It has been quite the newsworthy summer for gay women in American soccer. Star midfielder Megan Rapinoe came out as a lesbian back in July and just this week openly gay USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage, who led the U.S. women to Gold at the London Olympics, announced she would be leaving the team in order to coach for her home country of Sweden.
Last weekend, the NBA became the first league to take GLAAD and Athlete Ally up on our offer to provide ally trainings to professional athletes - the latest in a series of big steps being taken to potentially pave the way for an openly gay male athlete in the world of major league team sports.
In a culture of increasing acceptance toward out individuals, in which the movement toward marriage equality sometimes appears unstoppable, sports remain one of the last frontiers of homophobic attitudes
"How can we be challenging homophobia when we’re saying. ‘You’re equal to me but you’re separate. I’ll go sign this [marriage] document here but you can go have your civil union,’ which is the same, but not, really.”
In March, Dan wrote about a movement called “You Can Play”, a public show of support by NHL stars and other athletes for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender players.
George Washington University is supporting the issue on a collegiate level by releasing a video for “You Can Play,” pledging acceptance for all of their student athletes regardless of sexual orientation.
Only a handful of Olympic competitors have publicly identified themselves as gay, including Hester, Rapinoe, U.S. basketball player Seimone Augustus, Australian diver Matthew Mitcham and South African archer Karen Hultzer, who came out to the media during the games.
Seimone Augustus is having a very good Olympic Games. The Minnesota Lynx star, who came out publicly as a lesbian earlier this year, has helped Team USA to the semifinals, with their latest game a thrashing of Canada, 91-48. On Wednesday, Augustus talks to ESPN's Outside the Lines about coming out publicly.
Long the public face and chair of Britain's Gay Football Supporters Union, athlete and activist Chris Basiurski was one of the last individuals to carry the Olympic Torch in its three-month relay through the British Isles. He lit his torch in London on Thursday, approximately 28 hours before the flame's route through the city brought it to Olympic stadium.
As he prepared to light his torch, Mr. Basiurski kissed his boyfriend, drawing cheers from onlookers. Mr. Basiurski told the crowd he and his boyfriend will be married next year.
When former Tennessee Titan Wade Davis came out publicly on Outsports last month, it captured headlines across the sports world. Those headlines made their way into a Tennessee Titans quarterbacks meeting, Matt Hasselbeck told Outsports.
“The quarterback room conversation was that, ‘Hey, has anybody played with an openly gay teammate?’ And nobody had,” Hasselbeck told Outsports. “And it’s kind of irrelevant to the discussion in terms of how we would view that person as a teammate or how we would view that person as a friend, or how we would trust that person.”