We have been critical of NBC for some blunders it has made in covering gay and lesbian athletes at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Now the network needs to be praised for its wonderful feature on Brazilian beach volleyball player Larissa Franca and her wife, Liliane Maestrini.
The three-minute video aired on the NBC national network and examined the dynamics and love of their relationship. Lili is also a beach player but is not an Olympian. Larissa's playing partner is Talita Rocha and the two have reached the semifinals, which are today. (Update: Larissa and Talita lost in the semis and will play for bronze).
"To me she is the best athlete and spouse in the world. She has a huge heart.," Lili says as romantic music plays in the background and the couple looks at their wedding album from 2013. They also talk about how it can be uncomfortable to play against each other on the court, but that love and sport are separated at home. Talita also talks about how she has been made to feel welcome into their lives since in many ways she is "married" to Larissa athletically.
It's the kind of feature we've seen countless times with straight couples and to see NBC show it in the same fashion, without apology, is a nice sign of progress.