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.
This week’s list is coming out Saturday night due to a big event in my family that consumed all my attention the last few days!
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: Olympic gold medalist Kerron Clement
Kerron Clement was celebrating Nike’s new Gilbert Baker track in L.A. when he took the mic and talked publicly for the first time about being gay.
Losers: NFL teams who ignored National Coming Out Day
On Friday, three cheerleaders from the Tennessee Titans joined the Tennessee Equality Project in wishing LGBTQ fans “happy National Coming Out Day,” adding in a video: “It’s a great day to be yourself.”
Here’s a list of all the other NFL teams who followed the Titans’ example of inclusion:
In other words, none.
As far as playoff games go, this one was a classic. Read how the Washington Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun to take home their first WNBA championship in this report from our partner Swish Appeal.
Loser: Connecticut Sun
Swish Appeal’s Christine M. Hopkins writes: “No series goes the distance without a willing opponent, and the Sun were the best possible one. From stealing Game 2 in Washington, D.C. to welcoming the Mystics to Uncasville with a sold-out crowd — to making clutch buckets and creating key mismatches and being tricky and frustrating on the biggest stage, as they had all season long — the Sun truly gave it their all. Keeping the same starting five healthy and effective all year is extremely impressive, and between Courtney Williams’, Jonquel Jones’ and Alyssa Thomas’ production — especially in this game, where they combined for 62 points — the race for a Sun Finals MVP would have been fierce. Thomas also had the game’s only double-double, 21 points and 12 rebounds, torn labra and all. But in the end, the Mystics’ depth won it for them. So definitively, in fact, that Emma Meesseman was named Finals MVP after coming off the bench in every game. In Game 5, she scored a Mystics-high 22 points on 69.2 percent shooting.”
As Hopkins wrote, “Boy, did Delle Donne deliver in these finals. It wasn’t revealed until after the game that she’d been playing with three herniated discs, not just one, but still she scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and finished a near-perfect 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.“
Losers: Democrats running for president not named Buttigieg
Collin Martin, an openly gay MLS player, likes how openly gay candidate Pete Buttigieg handles his religion. Martin is not the only out LGBTQ athlete who has endorsed Buttigieg. Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis told Cheddar News: “He’s a genuine person, he is very intelligent, he served in the military. He’s got so much going for him, and he is not just a gay man.” Greg Berlanti, the husband of former soccer player Robbie Rogers, donated $5,600 (the max for a couple). Former NBA player Jason Collins donated $500 to Buttigieg in May, and former Olympic equestrian athlete Robert Dover also supports Buttigieg.
Winner: Vanessa Righeimer
For Nike Windrunner Vanessa Righeimer, running opened a door to coming out. At the Chicago Marathon she sought to race forward.
Losers: College football teams facing Amherst’s out gay football captain
Avery Saffold wears No. 1 and is a defensive force to be reckoned with for Amherst College.
Winner: Colorado State graduate Dalten Fox
An injury forced Dalten Fox to come to terms with being gay and the Colorado State athlete soared from there.
Winner: Assistant Coach Katie Sowers and her undefeated 49ers
Katie Sowers has been with the San Francisco 49ers for three seasons. For the last two, she’s been an offensive assistant coach. This year, they’re HOT HOT HOT!
Winner: Jill Ellis
The winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history has left the pitch for the last time. Jill Ellis leaves the USWNT with a record to be envied, one which may never be duplicated.
Loser: Tyson Fury
The British boxing champion is expected to face WWE’s Braun Strowman at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 31. Fury has espounged incredibly gross opinions and conflations about LGBTQ people and women habitually over the years. During a 2015 interview with The Daily Mail’s Oliver Holt, Fury stated his belief that homosexuality should be outlawed and conflated homosexuality with pedophilia.
Winner: Trans-affirming Roller Derby players
The resurgence of roller derby in the last decade has not only provided a boost for women’s sports In North America and Europe, it’s also set an example of a strong inclusionary ethic. Teams across the country and across the Atlantic have fostered a welcome atmosphere for trans and non-binary competitors.
Loser: Gay Stanford swimmer who claimed he was booted from swim team because of “homophobia”
Gay swimmer and NCAA champion Adam DeVine said he was kicked off the Stanford team due to “homophobia,” but he has since changed his story. DeVine has since admitted that he violated the National Team Honor Code by drinking at a Team USA swim meet when he should’ve been supporting his competing teammates. The Stanford Daily clarifies that DeVine wasn’t kicked off the Stanford men’s swimming team. Rather, he was “barred from the University’s pro-training group after finishing his collegiate care.”
Winners: Miami University Field Hockey team
Miami may have lost to top-25 Wake Forest, but they won the day waving a giant rainbow flag. As Chip Rogers wrote: “We wore our Pride shirts before the game, a clear message that we show love and honor others every day. We hosted a panel discussion last week in which three athletes shared their stories, helping continue a dialogue that will only grow.”
Losers: Georgia officials who fired Gerald Bostock
Joining a gay softball league ended Bostock’s 20-year career in social work in Clayton County, Ga., and began a six year legal journey to the Supreme Court steps.
Winner: Gus Kenworthy
Gay Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy will appear on the final season of NBC’s “Will & Grace” revival — it’s actually his third TV appearance.
Losers: Advocates for kindness
Ellen DeGeneres defended her controversial interaction with former President George W. Bush as two old friends who don’t let their political disagreements get in the way of their ability to enjoy a football game together.
“I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK that we’re all different…
“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them. When I say ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
As our Ken Schultz wrote, “Ellen worked as hard as she could to portray her fun day with Bush as a moment to heal the country’s wounds and her studio audience lapped it up. I’m sure she would have loved for the home audience to do so as well. Except here’s the thing. It’s only possible to consider this a feel-good moment if you don’t give a damn about history. And when it comes to George W. Bush and the LGBTQ community, there’s a lot of it. Quite frankly, it seems astonishing that anyone from the community could spend three hours with him and just ignore it.” My takeaway: I had been satisfied with Ellen’s justification that we should always be kind, even in the face of hate, or evildoers. But Ken’s argument convinced me that when we have an opportunity to stand up and call out wrongdoing, we should do so, especially when our “friends” are the ones who do wrong.
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!