Outsports’ 100 most important moments in LGBT-sports history
Over the past four months, Outsports, the popular blog cover the gay community in sports, has been publishing a list of the 100 most important moments in LGBT-sports history (dating back to the early 1970s).
Since becoming passionate about this subject myself only recently, I’ve spent the past 5 years or so catching up on this specific history. I try to read as many of the books and articles out there, but even still, there are events I’ve missed hearing about.
For anyone else interested in the topic, the list Outsports published is a tremendous way to catch up. Kudos to Cyd Zeigler and Jim Buzinski for the wonderful job they did compiling this list.
Here are the top 10 (you can see the complete list here):
1) Dave Kopay comes out / 1975 / football
2) Martina Navratilova comes out / 1981 / tennis
3) Billie Jean King outed / 1981 / tennis
4) Publication of ‘The Front Runner’ / 1974 / books
5) First Gay Games / 1982 / various sports
6) Corey Johnson’s story is told / 2000 / football
7) Billy Bean comes out / baseball / 1999
8) John Rocker spews homophobia to Sports Illustrated / 1999 / baseball
9) First gay softball world series / 1977 / softball
10) Matthew Mitcham wins diving gold / 2008 / diving
Beyond the top 10, here are some of the moments I like, find important, or otherwise feel like linking to you directly:
17) Brendan Burke passes away / 2010 / hockey
81) Brendan Burke comes out / 2009 / hockey
Burke’s coming out and subsequent passing has transformed the discussion of gay rights in hockey. Patrick, his brother and scout of the Philadelphia Flyer, and Brian, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, continue Brendan’s legacy by fighting for the LGBT community.
21) Tim Hardaway tells radio host, ‘I hate gay people’ / 2007 / basketball
This story is particularly noteworthy because of the growth of Hardaway who recently spoke in support of LGBT rights in El Paso, Texas.
39) ESPN hires LZ Granderson / 2004 / sports media
LZ continues to build of following for his outstanding writing with CNN and ESPN. His ability to comment on a wide variety of issues relating to society and sports is incredible, and accordingly, his visibility as an openly gay man is tremendous.
44) Kye Allums comes out / 2010 / college basketball
The inclusion of transgender participation is going to come even after the barrier is broken down for the community. Thus, the progress is Kye Allums playing (and the subsequent developments with the NCAA adopting formal guidelines for transgender athletes to compete) is incredible.
45) Hudson Taylor openly supports gay rights / 2010 / wrestling
Hudson is probably my favorite ally out there. Have you seen the work he does? I can’t think of a single straight athlete that has committed themselves so seriously to fighting for my rights, and for that, I am incredible thankful.
50) Rick Welts comes out / 2011 / NBA
The news that Rick Welts was hired by the Golden State Warriors signifies how far the sports world has come. That he is out, and had no problem finding a job, is outstanding.
78) NAGAAA sued over straight-athlete limit / 2010 / softball
I’ve already vocalized my opinion on this issue, so I’ll just link you to my thoughts on the matter if you’re interested.