Good morning and welcome to The Huddle for today, August 21, 2020. It’s finally Friday! Today’s Huddle has a little “extra,” so it’s a 2-minute-read.
Other than the WNBA, we’re not aware of any scheduled events involving out LGBTQ athletes. If you know of one, or more, let us know by emailing us at [email protected]
Scroll down for today’s calendar of major sports events.
This Morning’s Sports Headlines:
Two words dominated the world of sports Thursday: Thom Brennaman. In our unscientific poll on Twitter, just under 70% of the 300 Outsports readers who have voted are calling for the Cincinnati Reds TV announcer to lose his job for uttering an anti-gay slur on the air.
Check out the wide range of opinions:
Cyd Zeigler: I wouldn’t fire Thom Brennaman. Here’s why
Charlie Scrabbles of Red Reporter: So long, Thom
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN: ‘I do not believe he deserves to be fired’
Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer: “Too often, perception is reality. You can’t say what Thom said and not pay a steep price.”
Marty Brennaman, Thom’s father: “What he said is not a reflection of who Thom Brennaman is. I know that’s not him.”
Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports: “What is Thom Brennaman sorry for if not that he’s the kind of person who uses homophobic slurs?”
Steve Buckley of The Athletic: It isn’t about whether Thom Brennaman is fired. I just want him to evolve
And my own opinion: I would not hesitate to fire Thom Brennaman
Then there’s this:
Thom Brennaman apologized (again) in the Cincinnati Enquirer for using the word “fag:”
“I used a word that is both offensive and insulting. In the past 24 hours, I have read about its history; I had no idea it was so rooted in hate and violence and am particularly ashamed that I, someone who makes his living by the use of words, could be so careless and insensitive. It’s a word that should have no place in my vocabulary and I will certainly never utter it again…”
“I have spoken at length with Billy Bean, vice president and special assistant to the commissioner of baseball and an openly gay man, and Evan Millward, WCPO-TV anchorman, who have been generous with their time and patience to help me understand the impact of my actions and provided me with resources to educate myself and work to become a more informed person.
“With their help, I am going to start improving my understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and not in a way to simply check a box to keep my job, but to sincerely have an impact and change. I immediately plan to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training and have reached out to PFLAG for resources and guidance.”
Evan Millward, out gay newscaster at WCPO-TV: “I’m disappointed. I feel a little betrayed. I’m sad. Again. And I just want to understand why… There’s clearly a lot of learning still to do. I’m serious, Thom. If you are, let’s talk.”
Billy Bean statement, in part: “We will pause for a moment, and utilize this incident as a learning opportunity for every one of our stakeholders.”
Also, there’s this from USA Today: Fox Sports drops Thom Brennaman from NFL broadcasts
And Ginny Searle wrote a compelling essay in Baseball Prospectus about Brennaman, Glenn Burke and “how MLB has failed and continues to fail” the LGBT community
In other news…
Arrowhead Pride: Chiefs announce fans to be prohibited from wearing headdresses at Arrowhead Stadium
NY Post: Two Mets test positive for coronavirus as games vs. Marlins, Yankees postponed
Yahoo Sports: 5 Notre Dame football players test positive for COVID-19 as case numbers rise on campus
NBC Connecticut: UConn Pauses Football Activities After 6 Positive COVID-19 Tests
Highlights from Social Media:
It’s always nice when the guy who started it all not only notices but likes your work! Kudos to our Cyd Zeigler:
@CydZeigler is extremely thoughtful here and this deserves a read. https://t.co/tIlwb34f9y Me? I think education makes sense. How comfortable he was spitting that term on a hot mic is deeply concerning but I think you make a better world with education over cancellation.
— Tyler Bleszinski (@papiblez) August 20, 2020
Our Ken Schultz spoke to the Fox flagship station in New York City Thursday about the Brennaman mess, offering not only perspective as an out gay journalist and baseball fan (with an impressive collection of memorabilia on display) but also as to how the broadcaster could show he truly regretted his homophobic comments.
Principal and youth sports advocate Micah Porter is getting excited about this upcoming event:
Happy Antwerp Pride from Olympian figure skater Jorik Hendrickx!
Following up from Thursday’s Huddle: we told you if you texted Chris Mosier a photo of your pet, he’d send you a photo of his bunnies. And so he did!
Podcast Du Jour
Six days a week, Outsports has a new podcast for your listening pleasure. Today’s is Ken Schultz’s 3 Strikes, You’re Out! “The Unwritten Podcast with Jono Zalay.”
This week, comedian and Padres fan Jono Zalay returns to toast a rare moment in baseball history: a time when the rest of the game is talking about San Diego. Jono’s been waiting for his team to return to relevance for a long time and he just wishes that said relevance also involved a record more than three games over .500.
All our podcasts are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and on every platform where you find Outsports!
Today’s Sports Calendar
WNBA in the Wubble:
Los Angeles Sparks vs. Atlanta Dream at 7 p.m. EDT.
Washington Mystics vs. Dallas Wings at 8 p.m. EDT.
Minnesota Lynx vs. Phoenix Mercury at 10 p.m. EDT on CBSSN (this is the only nationally-televised WNBA game today).
NBA Playoffs in the Bubble:
Toronto Raptors vs. Brooklyn Nets at 1:30 p.m. EDT on NBATV.
Denver Nuggets vs. Utah Jazz at 4 p.m. EDT on TNT.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers at 6:30 p.m. EDT on TNT.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks at 9 p.m. EDT on TNT.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in Canada:
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.
St. Louis Blues vs. Vancouver Canucks at 9:45 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.
MLB nationally-televised and games:
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals at 6:05 p.m. EDT on MLBN.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays at 6:45 p.m. EDT on MLBN.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves at 7:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+.
Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs at 8 p.m. EDT, 7 Central on ESPN (So now we know what Ken Schultz will be doing Friday night. Please note, he does not earn extra money each time his name is mentioned in an Outsports post).
Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners at 9:10 p.m. EDT on MLBN.
Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at 9:40 p.m. EDT on MLBN.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants at 9:45 p.m. EDT on FS1.
If you’re a soccer fan, check out ESPN’s schedule of matches by clicking here.
Share your thoughts in the comments below or email us at [email protected]
Thanks for reading all the way to the end. We’re taking a day off tomorrow, so the next edition of The Huddle will appear Sunday on Outsports.com Stay safe!