TAG | LA Times
If a “trifecta” is three of something, then a “quadfecta” would be four, right? Just go with it, please.
Outsports, my favorite source among many where I get much of my article fodder, has forwarded four very interesting stories in the last day or so.
I’d love to give you more of my own analysis of these four stories, but being whelmed (just whelmed… it’s not serious enough yet to be of the ‘over’ variety) by the start of classes again, I can only share some brief thoughts on each at this time.
E! Online has reported that Kurt finally gets with the star quarterback on this hit show Glee, but it is not current QB, Finn. (Apparently there is some dynamic already between Kurt and Finn?). Rather, a new character is entering the show to be the new QB / love interest.
Quick thoughts: (1) I don’t like how the perceptions of a gay football player is usually the quarterback or the kicker. (2) I hope there is some storyline on the competition between Finn and this new guy for the QB position, and whether his sexuality will play a part in either the competition process or in trying to undermine him later. (3) I will be curious to see if he is out from the beginning or if he comes out after earning the starting nod, and how they will show that process. … I guess I’ll have to watch Glee for the first time. (Please don’t tell the gay police.)
The Los Angeles Times ran a story about Notre Dame’s new quarterback, Dayne Crist. LA Times is covering the story, because Crist hails from the Los Angeles area and because being the Notre Dame QB is one of the most coveted positions you can attain in collegiate athletes (despite recent declines in the program, a subject for another day).
Within the article is a gem about Crist’s dedication to public service and advocacy:
“On a July afternoon, Crist, a two-year starter at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High, arrived early for an appointment at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, wearing red workout shorts and a black T-shirt. On the shirt’s front, in large white lettering, was a slogan: “StaND Against Hate.”
“It was a week on campus dedicated to ending hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
You can find, and thank, Crist on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dcrist10
Billy Van Raaphort’s story of homophobic abuse while umpiring a minor league baseball game has recently spread through the major media sources. (Evidence: this site had a record day of traffic and hits from Google searches after his story went national.)
The significance of this most recent coverage is the response by the Edmonton sports group that owns the Edmonton Capitals, the team that had the homophobic manager. The group also owns the NHL franchise, Edmonton Oilers.
The group brought in Van Raaphort speak on diversity, and it received significant coverage in Edmonton (links provided in the Outsports article).
Once again, the NHL and its franchises are proving to be the most receptive to the existence of gay participants in their little world of sports.
Mark McGuire of the Albany Times-Union wrote a column about the likelihood of an active, openly gay, professional athlete. This is just a single perspective among many, but I am always fascinated to read these stories. McGuire thinks it “will be revealed in the not-too-distant future.” He has no scoop; it is just his hunch.
He also provided some quotes from current players on the topic.
New York Giants linebacker Bryan Kehl (who is Mormon and disagrees with the “lifestyle”) said: “If there is a guy who can hold his own as a football player, I think that’s the bottom line. Because that’s what guys care about.”
He quotes several other perspectives at the end of his piece and also makes the often comparison to the gay community’s Jackie Robinson.
He also opened discussion for comments on a separate page, which are always fascinating to read.
The Supreme Court began to hear American Needle v. NFL yesterday, a case to determine if the NFL can act as a single entity, being exempt from anti-trust laws, on behalf of all of its teams for licensing agreements. If ruled as such, the fear is that this exemption will expand unregulated monopoly power to additional areas of business.
On the front page of the Sports Business Daily page today, there is a quick synopsis of how various news sources have reacted (I’d link to the actual article, but I don’t have access, and presumably, you don’t either). Although it cautions “against trying to speculate the outcome of a Supreme Court decision based solely on the questions and comportment of the justices” it goes ahead in giving that information:
- The L.A. TIMES writes there was “skepticism from most of the judges” toward the NFL’s position
- The N.Y. POST notes the NFL “didn’t seem to score a lot of winning points”
- ESPN.com states justices Scalia, Breyer and Sotomayor “seemed to lay the foundation for the court to make a more limited ruling”
This article from ESPN also relayed some excellent quotes from the Justices:
- “You are seeking through this ruling what you haven’t gotten from Congress: an absolute bar to an antitrust claim,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told NFL lawyers.
- Several justices wondered whether the antitrust investigation could stretch to the rules of the game and scheduling, “things that it just seems odd to subject” to antitrust investigation, Chief Justice John Roberts said.
It is interesting to note that both American Needle and the NFL appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which was dismissed in the lower court. The ESPN article notes why the NFL would appeal in such a circumstance: “NFL also appealed, hoping to get broader protection from antitrust lawsuits. Major League Baseball is the only professional sports league with broad antitrust protection.”
The court is expected to issue its ruling in June. As cautioned by SBD, it is far too early to project anything based on the remarks of the justices on day 1, and the NFL certainly has plenty of time to rebound by June.