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This week’s winners and losers in LGBT Sports

Each week, Outsports’ managing editor selects big stories from the past 7 days of LGBTQ sports coverage.

Shelby Weldon

Time once again for Outsports to stop the clock for an instant reply of the week that was. It’s my way of memorializing the glorious victories, the ignominious defeats, and the players and personalities who made them, lived them or just couldn’t avoid them.

I realize my roster may differ from yours, and I welcome your comments, contributions and critiques. I read them all! Details on how to reach me are below, after our look at the winners, losers and hopefuls for the past seven days.

Winners: USWNT Headed to the Olympics!

Sports Illustrated reports the U.S. women’s national team has qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after a 4-0 win over Mexico Friday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Winners: Katie Sowers and her hometown of Kansas City

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
Offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers of the San Francisco 49ers looks during warmups prior to Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Fla.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

I know, I know: Sowers is an assistant coach with the Super Bowl-losing 49ers.

BUT, win or lose, she made history Sunday as the first woman coach in a Super Bowl and the first LGBTQ coach to take part in a Super Bowl in NFL history.

And besides, she’s from KC, so we hope the disappointment was not total. Fans in her hometown have waited 50 years for that championship.

Also, we were moved by Sower’s message to 49ers fans, reminded them to “be kind” in the aftermath of the team’s heartbreaking Super Bowl loss.

Winners: The Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV, the LGBTQest one ever

In addition to lots of drama on the field, Super Bowl LIV was packed with LGBTQ representation on the sidelines, on the halftime stage and on the TV.

Loser: Chiefs fan LaRue Bell (also, Winner: A Parking Meter)

Patrick Mahomes tweeted, “Yo is the dude who hit the parking meter okay?” The dude’s name is LaRue Bell, who tells the Kansas City Star: “I took a professional NFL hit for that ball. That was my Super Bowl... I feel a little better than yesterday. That [parking meter] pole was not forgiving at all.” He said he wasn’t injured but his wife’s phone that was in his coat shattered. Worst of all: Another fan ran off with the ball!

Losers: One Million Moms for trying and failing to kill one of the Super Bowl commercials

Several big-name brands featured LGBTQ-friendly stars in their signature ads, including Sabra hummus, which ran the first Super Bowl spot ever starring drag queens. One Million Moms started a petition drive demanding Fox Sports and the NFL spike the ad, which was ignored, and GLAAD reported Friday that the hate group has dropped its failed campaign.

Hopeful: Here are 54 LGBT-inclusive things the NFL, its teams and players have done, and we can hope for 55 or more in 2021

The league, its teams, coaches and players have done more for LGBT inclusion than you think.

Winners: JLo and Shakira

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez rocked the Hard Rock Stadium during Super Bowl LIV, but we would have liked to have seen more of Jennifer Lopez’s blink-and-you-missed-it tribute to Kobe and much more Shakira, Shakira, Shakira. Relive the halftime show on YouTube.

Losers: Not all the LGBTQ Super Bowl commercials were memorable

But even so, there was “an unprecedented level of LGBTQ inclusion during Super Bowl LIV on FOX,” according to GLAAD. So that’s good!

Hopeful: Houston Astros to hold their 1st Pride Night in a decade

The Astros announced Tuesday it will hold a Pride Night on June 24 when Houston hosts the Minnesota Twins at Minute Maid Park. Your move, Texas Rangers.

Winner: Openly gay pro-football referee Amanda Sauer-Cook will be part of diverse XFL officiating crew

Sauer-Cook became the first openly gay referee in professional football history when she worked for the Alliance of American Football last year. Today she is part of the XFL.

Loser: University of Miami for not addressing complaints of gay Hurricanes football player about teammates’ anti-gay taunts

TJ Callan played for the University of Miami until he felt he would never be accepted as a gay man by coaches, players or staff.

Hopeful: Out lesbian rower Angela Madsen to make solo assault on Pacific Ocean

American paralympian Angela Madsen seeks to be first paraplegic to row unaided across the Pacific.

Winner: Trevor Project partners with PUMA to support LGBTQ youth athletes

The Trevor Project and PUMA announced a $1 million partnership to foster inclusive environments for young LGBTQ athletes.

Loser: Department of Education fires whistleblower who leaked anti-trans athlete plans

Dwayne Bensing called attention to the DOE fast-tracking a Title IX complaint against trans athletes. Now he’s out of a job.

Hopeful: Courage is contagious for Vivianne Miedema, encouraging closeted male footballers to come out

The Arsenal striker says one man coming out would embolden others to come out as well.

Winners: Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris maintain balance as work/life partners

As Stephanie Yang of our SB Nation partner site All for XI wrote, communication is key whether you’re organizing a back line or building a life partnership.

Losers: Haters who cannot see that the Super Bowl has always been for everyone

As Brian Bell wrote, Sunday’s 49ers-Chiefs championship clash was historic for LGBTQ representation, but LGBTQ fans have always engaged in the de facto national holiday without public acknowledgement.

Hopeful: OUT Central Oregon’s Winter PrideFest continues dialogue on LGBTQ athletic visibility

LGBTQ representation, internalized stigma and the struggles of LGBTQ athletes were topics of discussion at Winter PrideFest’s opening panel.

Winner: Lesbian boxer defies Islamic law by posting selfie kissing her partner

April Hunter and her girlfriend in The Maldives
Twitter: @aprilhunterbox

Great Britain’s April Hunter makes a statement for LGBTQ rights on social media while vacationing in The Maldives. It appears she has once again removed the photos.

Losers: States daring to lose big businesses like Nike and Amazon, who signed a letter in support of trans student-athletes

A total of 142 businesses signed a letter this week expressing their opposition to a slate of proposed anti-LGBTQ legislation in Tennessee.

Winner: Nike, for recruiting Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Chris Mosier and Caster Semenya to showcase the Tokyo 2020 Olympic gear

At least four out LGBTQ stars — Chris Mosier, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Caster Semenya — are among those chosen by Nike to model competition uniforms for Tokyo 2020.

Winner: Out gay pro soccer player Collin Martin signs with San Diego Loyal SC

Collin Martin is America’s only openly gay male professional athlete and is bringing his talent to San Diego’s expansion franchise in the second-division USL Championship.

Winner: He came out as gay at 15 and Galen Dodd now thrives as a volleyball coach

In this week’s Being Out story, Galen Dodd reveals how he has forged his path in volleyball as an out coach, all before turning 24.

Winner: Amanda Kulas: standing out and standing up

Collegiate track grad assistant Amanda Kulas is working to help make sport a safer space for LGBTQ athletes.

That’s all for this week! I’ll bring you a fresh list of winners and losers next Saturday. Got a name I missed, or want to challenge my choices? Comment here or on Facebook or Instagram, tweet at us, message me via any social media, or just plain email me at outsports@gmail.com Thanks!