Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Round up on stories on the "is sport homophobic?" issue

The NY Daily News Sports Zone column describes the current moment as the turning point in coming out, but opens with a look back at the pioneers, in the form of Gay Games Ambassador David Kopay:

When Dave Kopay came out in 1975, three years after he retired from the NFL, he figured gay athletes' fight to win mainstream acceptance and respect would be measured in years, not decades.

It wasn't just wishful thinking: Kopay and his teammate Jerry Smith were never completely open about their relationship when they played for the Washington Redskins, but they never hid it, either, says Kopay. Most of the other players cared more about what Kopay and Smith did on the field than what they did behind closed doors. Kopay says even the Redskins' coach, the iconic Vince Lombardi, didn't seem to have a problem with the fact that Kopay and Smith were lovers. If the most respected and beloved figure in NFL history didn't have a problem with homosexuality, why should any other coach, athlete or sports fan?

But Kopay, a running back who played for five teams during his nine-year career, learned the hard way that the wide world of sports didn't want to make room for gays. He had been considered an excellent coaching prospect, but by the time his autobiography, "The David Kopay Story," was published in 1977, college athletic directors and NFL general managers wanted nothing to do with him. He still sounds shocked, more than 30 years later, by the hostility he encountered when he was interviewed by reporters and talk-show hosts about the book, and by the ugly phone calls and letters he received from anti-gay bigots.

"I am very pleased to have been part of the change that has occurred in sports," Kopay says, "but I didn't think it would take 35 years."

From the RealFooty column in the
Brisbane Times:

Which raises the question, one that should greatly annoy those athletes whose intelligence, maturity and sensitivity is insulted every time the (non) issue of a gay athlete ''going public'' is raised: Why is it still assumed - particularly by the media - that an athlete would be subjected to ridicule by teammates if he declared himself to be the only gay in the sheds? Why, years after openly gay athletes such as Ian Roberts and Matthew Mitcham revealed their sexuality, are footballers, particularly, still portrayed through their supposed attitudes towards homosexuals to be knuckle-dragging throwbacks who love beer, birds and barbies and hate poofters?

J. Rudy Flesher
claims there is no homophobia in sports, based on his own experience on a college rugby team:

Let me be emphatic here: As an out, queer, gender non-​conforming person, there was absolutely no environment more utterly accepting of me, or that did more to foster my sense of confidence and self-​worth, than playing for The College of New Jersey Lions Men’s Rugby Football Club. Yes you read that right. Rugby — one of the world’s most brutal contact sports — with team rosters positively overflowing with intelligent, sensitive, straight allies.

He feels that the whole issue is made up by the media to generate controversy, and thus page views, and thus ad revenue:

Let’s do a little basic capitalist math. News organizations make their money selling ads. Controversy gets more readers, and more readers mean more can be charged for ads, hence higher profits. Cue the Times digging up a four year-​old quote by retired player Tim Hardaway, originally in response to John Amaechi’s coming out, that he would never play with a gay teammate. Journalists can make the claim that they are reporting in this way for “balance,” but a years-​old, out of context quote wouldn’t pass muster in a journalism 101 class, and the Times should be ashamed for reporting in this way. In doing so, they further unfounded fears of closeted athletes, and negative stereotypes of straight athletes being homophobic.

He seems to have high expectations for behavior of pro athletes, ones that are belied by their behavior in just about any area of their life, on and off the field:

What mattered to my team is what matters to any team: winning, and doing so with fine sportsmanship. Why would pro athletes, all of whom are relatively young, and many, especially in the NFL and increasingly in the NBA, are college-​educated, feel any differently? Youth and education are two of the best predictors for being an LGBT ally. I do not doubt that if the Times chose to do a survey of pro athletes, rather than finding one or two contentious bigots to quote, the results would back me up on this.

The True Hoops affiliate blog "Valley of the Suns" takes a in-depth look at the NBA:

For those not interested in thinking about the growing relationship between sports and social issues, this is your warning to stop reading. Whether you like it or not, as a basketball fan, there are going to be times when sports and society become intertwined. Now is one of those times.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Phoenix Suns are not making a ton of headlines right now, at least not for basketball reasons. While talk will soon turn to what the Suns will do with the 13th pick in the draft, the big news on Planet Orange right now is the recent public announcement by Suns president and CEO Rick Welts that he is gay.

The immediate reactions, while mostly positive and supportive, ranged from praise of Welts’ courage to questions of why the fact is newsworthy. But no matter the attitude, it got the basketball world talking about a topic often avoided like the plague in all sports. From Charles Barkley to current Sun Grant Hill, many big basketball names are making their opinion known.

The NBA has been the most progressive of the major sports leagues in recent years and the Suns have been one of the more progressive teams with forward-thinking players who chose to take a stand against an immigration bill in the middle of a playoff series last year. The events following Welts’ announcement and Hill and Jared Dudley’s anti-bullying PSA only further solidify that.

But they have also sparked a number of questions about what is next in the NBA’s gay future. In the context of recent events, I’ll try to address those questions, citing the relevant sources.

When will the NBA see an openly gay player?

It’s hard to tell when the NBA environment will get to where a player is comfortable being openly gay, but Welts’ coming out is a step toward that. An out executive is much different than an out player for a number of reasons, but the fact that a prominent figure in an NBA organization is able to be out and so supported is an indication that at some point the same will apply to a player.

Former NBA player John Amaechi, who came out after retirement, said last week it will likely still be a while before a player feels comfortable coming out. One of the big reasons, Amaechi said, is the amount of prominent sports figures who “speak about gay people with such derision and utter disrespect that it would make it very difficult for the people around them to come out.”

While executives, and college athletes like former Villanova player Will Sheridan, coming out is progress, it may be at least a few more seasons before an active player does so.

However, it may be the case — and completely reasonable if it was — that a player does not feel a need to make his sexuality public. He may just share it with his teammates. Straight players do not publicly announce that they are straight so gay players might not feel a need to publicly announce they are gay.

Keep reading HERE.

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