Time once again for Outsports to stop the clock for an instant reply of the week that was. It’s my way of memorializing the glorious victories, the ignominious defeats, and the players and personalities who made them, lived them or just couldn’t avoid them.
For some reason, transphobes seem to be everywhere this week. Thankfully, not in every story, but in a heaping lot of them.
I realize my roster may differ from yours, and I welcome your comments, contributions and critiques. I read them all! Details on how to reach me are below, after our look at the week’s winners and losers.
Winner: Dr. Rachel McKinnon
Transgender Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon won the gold medal at the Masters Track Cycling Championships in Manchester, UK, today, giving her back-to-back victories in that category as she defended her world title. In an interview with Sky News, Dr. McKinnon defended her right to participate in women’s sports as a human right.
Loser: The Alliance Defending Freedom and Laura Ingraham
For the 12th time this year, Fox News invited the rabidly anti-trans legal hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, to spew transphobic propaganda. Ingraham herself called transgender inclusion in sports “insanity” and declared ADF to be “a fantastic organization,” according to Media Matters.
Winners: L.A. Lakers and Robbie Rogers
The Los Angeles Lakers celebrated their second annual Pride Night in style with a preseason win over the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers Pride Night festivities included members of the LGBTQ community. Among those in attendance were 60 members from the Lambda Basketball League as well as co-founder Cyd Zeigler. Out soccer icon Robbie Rogers received the Laces of Unity Award.
Losers: Parents who won’t buy GLAAD-inspired breakfast cereal
Yahoo News reported Kelloggs released a limited-edition variety pack of cereal that includes Corn Flakes, Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Raisin Bran and Rice Krispies all in the same box to celebrate Spirit Day, the largest anti-bullying campaign in the world and to support a “more accepting world for LGBTQ youth.” The package, which features all of the cereal mascots, from Tony the Tiger to Toucan Sam, runs for $19.99, with a promise from Kellogg to donate $50,000 to GLAAD. But some parents saw an opportunity to denounce “sodomites” on Twitter and to send the cereal brand a message that they were opposed to their “elementary kid’s cereal” being an “LGBT conversation starter.” Others attacked the company for giving in to “bigots” and “bullies” promoting the LGBTQ “lifestyle.”
Winners: Spirit Day Participants
Kudos to all the players, leagues and teams especially the MLB, including the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, the University of Buffalo Bulls Volleyball team and the Furman Paladins for supporting #SpiritDay!
Loser: Martina Navratilova
Admittedly, I regret labeling the legendary lesbian tennis icon a “loser” after previously calling her a “transphobe,” especially on her birthday weekend. And I am sincere in wishing Martina a very happy birthday! But after she spent ten months in reflection, research and talks with actual transgender women athletes, she is still spouting TERF idioms — “transgenderism” for one, “biological males” for another — and most recently called transgender inclusion in women’s sports “tricky.” Then came this week. She took a political swipe at the U.S.’s only out gay ambassador, Richard Grenell, for tweeting about his grandfather’s first visit to Normandy since he landed there on D-Day, saying it was bad timing given that our troops were under fire in Syria. I’m hardly a fan of Ambassador Grenell, his boss or his party, but I was glad to see Martina apologize for not realizing the grandfather Grenell was tweeting about was Grenell’s own relative. But if you scroll through Grenell’s thread and read all the remembrances and tributes to the Greatest Generation, those few soldiers from World War II who survive today, it’s very apparent that Martina misstepped in namecalling and in how, where and when she raised an extremely valid complaint against the Trump administration. Also, I hate it when Mom and Dad fight.
Winners: IAAF TERFs who imposed new rules on trans women athletes
Congratulations to the transphobes at the International Association of Athletic Federations. Trans women athletes will no longer be recognized as female by the IAAF and must keep testosterone levels under 5 nmol/L for 12 months prior to competing, just like intersex women athletes. Brian C. Bell has the full story here.
Losers: Mexico fans who still shout “puto” despite plea national soccer team officials
In a new video, players and suits from Mexico’s national soccer team ask fans not to chant “puto,” lest FIFA officials thwart their World Cup chances. Daniel Villarreal has our story.
Winner: Designers of the Rainbow Track at Los Angeles City College
Cyd Zeigler showed us how the new BETRUE-funded Los Angeles City College Track’s look welcomes all and honors the LGBTQ rainbow pride flag.
Loser: Hillary Clinton
Before she intimated that Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian plant, the former Democratic nominee for president (and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 election) got into some hot water in an interview with the Sunday Times of London in which she parroted TERF talking points on transgender women athletes. The leading questions by a transphobe journalist got Hillary Clinton to admit to some of her own biases. As Jezebel put it, her beliefs on this topic skirted thisclose to TERF logic, “before scooting away from the edge.” Among her quotes: “There are women who’d say [to a trans woman], ‘You know what, you’ve never had the kind of life experiences that I’ve had. So I respect who you are, but don’t tell me you’re the same as me.’ I hear that conversation all the time.” Yes, so do we… among TERFs.
Winner: Chelsea Clinton
You know who didn’t have a problem avoiding the trap? The former secretary of state’s daughter and co-author, Chelsea Clinton. As Jezebel reported, reporter Decca Aitkenhead was deliberately goading them, setting out bait. She asked them, “if someone with a beard and a penis can ever be a woman.” Chelsea responded with an unequivocal “yes.” Later she said she wholeheartedly “supported children being able to play on the sports teams that match their own gender identity.”
Losers: UK rugby referees who oppose transgender inclusion
Once again, the TERFs and transphobes at the Sunday Times of London had their way. Rugby referees in the UK would rather quit their jobs rather than watch male players who identify as females injure and maim actual female players, according to PJ Media. The original report The Sunday Times claimed the fear of “being sued as more men claim to be women join the women’s leagues and end up hurting natural-born female contestants with their strength and speed” has led to their decision to resign rather than take the liability.
Winner: Out college football team captain Avery Saffold
Avery Saffold wears No. 1 and is a defensive force to be reckoned with for 4-1 Amherst College. He leads the team with three interceptions on the season. He’s also blocked a field goal attempt. And he’s even returned a couple kicks. He’s doing all of this after coming out publicly as gay in an Outsports article over the summer. And his team is having their success with an out gay team captain. In fact, as Cyd Zeigler reported, the Mammoths football team elected Saffold team captain after knowing he’s gay.
Super Duper Loser: Transphobic pundit Ben Shapiro
Ugh. This guy! The notorious transphobe and editor of “The Daily Wire” turned an interview with noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson into a discussion of “the problem of transgender athletes participating in sports.” Finally, we learn that men are from Mars, women are from Venus, and Shapiro has his head up his Uranus. The space expert sat down with Shapiro to promote his book, and wound up as far from that topic as the Voyager probes are from Earth right now. The only satisfying outcome of this exchange is that Tyson does not take Shapiro’s bait, and in fact makes a great argument in support of protecting the freedom and rights of all Americans.
Winner: Outsports Podcast listeners
We launched a brand new series of Outsports podcasts this week! The world leader in LGBTQ sports coverage is now in your earbuds and headphones with daily podcasts. Click here for our guide to Level Playing Field, Same Team, LGBT In The Ring, The Trans Sporter Room and 3 Strikes, You’re Out! Find them on Apple, Spotify, Spreaker, Castbox and Player FM.
Winners: Charlie Bird, Carly Nelson, Wyatt Pertuset
Charlie Bird, the gay student who played Brigham Young University’s mascot, Cosmo the Cougar, danced his way into the top slot of ESPN’s ‘10 best mascot moments of all time.’
Carly Nelson was isolated and bullied after coming out as gay as a Mormon. At the University of Utah, she has found love and acceptance.
Wyatt Pertuset, an openly gay college football player, is a role model for LGBTQ athletes.
Winner: Jake Streder and his high school football teammates
15-year-old high school sophomore Jake Streder seriously thought of quitting his Illinois football team after being outed, but he decided to embrace who he was and it made all the difference. He asked his teammates if they’d appear in a “coming out” photo with him — and they said “YES!”
That’s all for this week! I’ll bring you a fresh list of winners and losers next Saturday. Got a name I missed, or want to challenge my choices? Comment here or on Facebook or Instagram, tweet at us, message me via any social media, or just plain email me at [email protected] Thanks!
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this week’s edition incorrectly identified Dr. Rachel McKinnon as American. Although she works at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, she is in fact Canadian.