There was not one overriding LGBT sports story in 2016, but it was still very newsy.
Here is a year in review, hitting stories that were important, historic, newsworthy or sometimes just fun. It is most remembered for a record number of out LGBT Olympians at the Summer Games in Rio, where 47% of them won a medal.
This recap does not feature most of the dozens of coming out stories we ran in 2016. You can check out that list here.
- The L.A. Kings showed a gay couple kissing on the Kiss Cam and the crowd loved it. "It was a particularly sweet night since the Kings were playing and beat my hometown Toronto," one part of the gay couple said. "My parents and siblings live in LA but the rest of my family think I am a terrible traitor for being a Kings fan; I've lived in LA for 17 years."
- Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said fans can boo and chant as long as it’s not racist or homophobic. "I don't agree with any type of racist or homophobic language, any of that type of stuff from the crowd to the people on the field. But ‘scoreboard' and ‘air ball' and ‘fundamentals,' which is a great chant?" Rodgers told ESPN.
- FIFA, soccer’s governing body fined Mexico for its fans continuing to chant gay slurs during matches. Sadly, the practice did not stop and Mexican fans who chant the slur continue to be assholes.
- The International Olympic Committee released groundbreaking guidelines on transgender athletes that do not require surgery.
- Cristiano Ronaldo kicked around a soccer ball in his underwear. Just because.
- Adam Rippon won the U.S. figuring skating championship as an openly gay man and praises the occult. “I'm like a witch and you can't kill me. I keep coming back every year and every year I get better.”
- At the Super Bowl, Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman denied he called New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. a gay slur during a game late in the season. “Oh, wow. I don't know anything about that situation. I didn't say nothing or make any kind of slurs."
- San Francisco. Beyonce. Lady Gaga. It was the gayest Super Bowl ever.
- Soccer star Abby Wambach showed off her “gay car” in a groundbreaking Super Bowl commercial.
- Boxer Manny Pacquiao called gay people “worse than animals,” Nike yanked his endorsements in response.
- At the NFL Combine for draft-eligible players, a coach for the Atlanta Falcons asked one player if he likes men. Falcons head coach Dan Quinn later apologized
- Chicago Tribune hockey writer Chris Hine came out as gay and became an important mainstream voice for LGBT issues.
- Derrick Gordon (Seton Hall) and Bree Horrocks (Purdue) were the only publicly gay players in the NCAA men’s and women’s Div. 1 basketball tournaments.
- Charles Barkley wanted to beat up those protesting an openly gay basketball player. It one more reason we love Barkley.
- A St. Louis Cardinals minor league baseball player said he regularly heard gay slurs, including one saying gays should be killed.
- A straight, born-again Christian sports fans told how he became a gay rights advocate.
- The Philadelphia 76ers hosted an anti-bullying night.
- A women’s college basketball coach was fired after she suspended two players for dating. Love wins.
- University of San Francisco women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi came out, making her the only out women’s coach in the country. "I, too, lived a long time not being 100 percent honest. Kind of the don't-ask-don't-tell kinda of thing. And it's so stupid. I don't know why we do that, but we do that. I'm a college coach. Is it going to hurt me with recruiting? What are people going to think? And you are constantly worrying about those things.
- Bruce Springsteen canceled North Carolina concert in reaction to the passage of anti-LGBT HB2. The Boss showed sports how it’s done as HB2 was an issue in the sports world all year.
- “60 Minutes” featured transgender Harvard swimmer Schuyler Bailar.
- Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling made an ass of himself after reposting an offensive transgender image, then blamed everyone but himself. ESPN fired him soon after. Karma’s a bitch.
- Chicago Blackhawks player Andrew Shaw was suspended one game by the NHL after yelling gay slurs late in a game. Shaw then apologized.
- Trans athlete Chris Mosier earned a spot on the U.S. duathlon team. Mosier was named Outsports Person of the Year for 2016 for his many accomplishments.
- San Diego Padres screwed up National Anthem by playing woman’s voice when gay chorus was singing. The team profusely apologized for what turned out to be an honest mistake.
- Vanderbilt hired Stephanie White, who is openly lesbian, as its women’s basketball coach.
- NBA released Pride Month T-shirts with every team’s logo in rainbow colors.
- Spanish Olympic figure skater Javier Raya came out as gay.
- A shooting at gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando killed 49 people.
- An openly gay and an openly trans athlete were featured in ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue.
- Pro wrestler John Cena released an awesome pro-diversity July 4 video. UFC fighter Daniel Cerrone apologized for saying an opponent “fought like a fag.” The “fake” sport turned out to be more tolerant that the real one.
- NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte in response to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB2.
- The coming out of Conner Curnick, a gay sailor and water polo player, was Outsports’ most-read coming out story of the year.
- WNBA star Elena Delle Donne came out on eve of Summer Olympics. She later helped Team USA win the gold medal.
- A record 56 out LGBT athletes competed in the Rio Olympics.
- Tonga’s flag-bearer set the Internet a-sizzle by marching oiled up and shirtless. Tourism inquiries soared.
- Brazil’s first gold medal was won by an open lesbian.
- U.S. men’s gymnasts said they would get more attention if they competed shirtless. No complaints here.
- A straight writer for Daily Beast posed as gay for story on Olympic sex and gave enough details to out athletes. Journalistic malpractice. Easy pick for Outsports Assholes of the Year.
- There were two same-sex marriage proposals at the Olympics: Women, Men.
- Rio Olympics go down as gayest ever.
- Out soccer player Megan Rapinoe knelt during the National Anthem to call attention to the treatment of minorities. “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.”
- Troy Aikman was still mad at Skip Bayless for gay rumors 20 years ago. These two can’t quit each other.
- The Atlantic Coast Coast Conference moved its college football title game from North Carolina because of anti-LGBT HB2.
- Brian Anderson, a pro skateboarding star, came out as gay.
- A new book said some Packers teammates thought Aaron Rodgers was gay because he didn’t brag about his penis size.
- Professional hockey player Harrison Browne from the National Women’s Hockey League announced he was transitioning genders and will live life openly as a man. "On the ice, when I put that equipment on, I'm a hockey player. I don't think about who I'm playing with, I don't think I'm playing with women. I don't think I'm in the wrong body.”
- We looked at the 174 and counting LGBT athletes who have played college sports over the years.
- Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis was selected as the grand marshal for the Rose Parade.
- A gay athlete in West Virginia campaigned for openly gay legislator and saw the hateful side of politics.
- We said visibility of LGBT athletes was more important than ever in the Age of Trump.
- Oakland Raiders fans in Mexico chanted a gay slur during an ESPN Monday night NFL game.
- Openly gay fighter Orlando Cruz lost his bid to win a world championship.
- The NFL allowed players to wear cleats dedicated to any cause. None chose an LGBT-specific cause.
- Out athletes Gus Kenworthy and Robbie Rogers inspired a young gay athlete on a TV series to be himself.
- A gay couple got engaged at a Chicago Bulls game. The video posted on Outsports Facebook page got 1.4 million views.
Happy 2017! Good luck to us all.