TAG | NCAA
On Monday, April 16, I was proud to be involved in a panel discussion at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law on the subject of “Homophobia in sports and developments in policies at the institutional level.”
The two panelists were phenomenal: Professor Erin Buzuvis, from the Western New England University School of Law (and co-founder of the Title IX Blog), and Brian Kitts, a co-founder of You Can Play.
The event was well attended by law students, faculty, and alumni.
For those that were unable to attend, the event was recorded and the video is now available online. I parsed the video into segments based on the topic of discussion for your convenience.
You can view the entire event (just over an hour) with one simple click by viewing this YouTube playlist or you can watch individual segments based on the subject you’re interested in by viewing the embedded videos below.
I set up a slew of fantasy football leagues again this year (a NFL pick’em, NFL survival, NCAA pick’em, and a NFL standard fantasy — all in Yahoo).
I need some new, tough challengers! I won the 3 pick’em/survival leagues last year and got 2nd in the standard fantasy league (#1 was John – JackAttack). Bring it!
The password for all of the leagues is: widerights
Group ID: 21383
Group ID: 8783
Group ID: 7248
If you have any questions about how fantasy sports or any of the leagues work, don’t hesitate to email me.
Even if this would be your first time, I encourage you to join and I can talk you through it!!
KCRW, the leading National Public Radio affiliate in southern California, had an excellent 30 minute segment today discussing homophobia in sport. Diana Nyad, who narrated the documentary Training Rules, the story about homophobia and anti-gay recruiting in women’s basketball at Penn State, hosted the conversation that included some excellent, articulate, and educated guests on the subject.
Guests for the discussion were:
- Dee Mosbacher, who created the Training Rules film;
- Billy Bean, gay former Major League Baseball player whose story can be found in his biography “Going the Other Way,” and
- Pat Griffin, who, in my opinion, is the most knowledgeable person in the country on homophobia in collegiate sports (Check out her blog, “It Takes a Team” – I read it frequently)
The discussion delved specifically into the unfortunate situation that took place at Penn State: how and why it even happened, what it will take for a player to come out, a few of the differences between male and female sports, the receptiveness from the NCAA and other sources on the topic, and so much more.
You can download the segment here in mp3 format (13mb file).
Or you can listen to it directly here.
Or you can find out more about the segment and the radio station here.
With the Duke Blue Devils and Butler Bulldogs set to meet in the NCAA college basketball championship tomorrow, I join the ranks of those rooting for Butler. Not only are the Bulldogs the underdog, which we all love to cheer for, but Duke is just one of those teams that it is so easy to hate. The New England Patriots, New York Yankees, and Detroit Red Wings come to mind as similar teams. The common theme in teams asking to be hated: being good for a while, developing a bandwagon of a fan base, and being somewhat arrogant and entitled during your successes.
I must confess: I used to actually like Duke, as the only two basketball players to come from Alaska both played there. However, once I made it to a school with a competing interest, I quickly jumped ship and joined the anti-Duke ranks.
Now, while myself, and certainly every sports fan out there, will root against certain teams and players, there really needs to be some unwritten code of conduct in doing so. Fag jokes and trying to spark rumors about a player’s sexuality? Not cool. At all.
I never really considered Duke, or any player/team, to be a target of such pathetic behavior, but a friend pointed out this article from The New Republic. The article is now a year old, but it mentions two premiere players on Duke’s current championship-contending roster—Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer—as victims of the immature tactics. Since I’m sure this type of nonsense still goes on today, and now that I’ve been informed, I have to at least mention it and challenge it.
I realize you may hate Duke and countless other teams. I realize you think they’re elitist and entitled. You can see it on their faces or the way they play the game (often beating your preferred team, no doubt). Well, hate them and root against them for those reasons, but keep the gay slurs to yourself.
If you’re curious for my pick for the game: I think Duke’s going to win the game with ease. The combination of Scheyer, Singler, and Smith is really, really tough to defend. They play well inside and outside, they play smart, they play solid defense, and they are coached by one of the best in the business. Still rooting for Butler, but it’s going to be tough.
Andrew McIntosh is a senior co-captain on the lacrosse team at Oneonta State University, but he almost did not make it to his senior season. Struggling with his sexuality, and reaching a valley in his depression at the end of his junior year, McIntosh contemplated suicide.
Thankfully, he took an alternative approach: coming out. After being inspired by watching the powerful movie, Milk, to come out to his teammates, family, and coaches, he is now among the ranks of out NCAA athletes. McIntosh’s coming out story is told in his own words through this OutSports article.
The themes that are so frequent in coming out stories—depression, thoughts of suicide, the choice of words for coming out, etc.—resonate throughout. Again, thankfully, this is a “happy-ending” sort of coming out, contrary to the instances when suicide is attempted or when the response is negative.
I snickered empathetically when I read how he first tried to come out. His friend asks, “Do you like guys?” and he answers, “I think so.” Even now, for me (as it was for him), it is weird to simply say, “Yes, I am gay.” And I usually do not. Even if accomplishing the same end, it is easier to choose words that are less direct or diffused with some humor (at least we tell ourselves that when we justify the indirect route).
Similarly, McIntosh came out to his coach via email. Now, I do not want to suggest there is anything wrong with coming out in an indirect method. It is hard enough coming out without forcing yourself to do so in some formalistic fashion; if it is easiest to mull it over, select your words carefully, and deliver via e-mail, then I hope you find the courage to do so.
McIntosh’s coach sounds like a great, respectable man. Prior to McIntosh coming out, he stopped practice and scolded his players who said that a drill “was so gay.” Without this explicit, yet minor, decision by the coach, there is no way to know if McIntosh would have found the courage to come out (rather than the alternative). I wish more coaches and organizations took the initiative to establish a safe environment for their players to come out.
With that preface, it should come as no surprise that the coach’s response to McIntosh coming out was fully supportive. In McIntosh’s words: “[Coach] told me that if we had a roster of 30 players and 15 of them did not want to play on the team because I was gay, he would tell them to leave the team.” Wow. That is powerful.
McIntosh continued to come out to the rest of his team, and now, based on the article, it seems he is enjoying the benefit of being open and honest with his team, his peers, and himself.