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Socially distant winners and losers in LGBT sports

Each week, Outsports’ managing editor selects big stories from the past 7 days of LGBTQ sports coverage. We’re practicing some social distancing this time.

Shelby Weldon

It’s 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.

This week, all the entries are practicing social distancing, just as we all should. 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 week’s winners, losers and hopefuls.

Winner: Denis Finnegan, 10-time national champion, comes out as gay

Denis Finnegan of Ireland
Instagram

Denis Finnegan is one of the most decorated gay athletes in track & field to come out publicly. He just wants to help. He came out on Cyd Zeigler’s Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast.


Loser: Attorney Gen. William Barr, who says: “Don’t treat transgender girls as girls”

Barr and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a brief this week in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by three cisgender athletes in Connecticut, who say it’s unfair for them to compete against trans girls. Barr and DOJ says they’re not girls, they’re male, echoing the anti-LGBTQ hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the girls who are suing.


Hopeful: NCAA runner after abrupt end to career: ‘I’m working on finding the ground again’

We launched a new series in LGBTQ people in sports shared how they are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic: Susie Poore was looking forward to all the ‘lasts’ of her senior year, but it all ended abruptly.


Hopeful: NCAA athlete’s season cut short due to coronavirus shutdown: ‘I cope through counting my blessings’

Colby Grey is bummed that his sport’s season was cut short, but he is keeping a positive spirit.


Hopeful: For phys-ed teacher, social distancing makes remote teaching very difficult

Jonathan Vriesema misses sports but he mostly misses the personal connection he has with students.


Winner: Katie Sowers raises money for Meals on Wheels San Francisco in coronavirus crisis

Katie Sowers, the first gay NFL assistant coach, is using her platform to raise money to provide food during the coronavirus crisis.


Losers: LGBTQ, independent pro wrestling feels ripple effect of WrestleMania weekend’s cancellation

EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch and JALEX: Take Back The Power have been postponed while Uncanny Attractions and others canceled events amid rising coronavirus concerns.


Hopeful: Jason Collins and his partner test positive for COVID-19

Collins believes he contracted the disease on a trip this month. Collins tweeted Thursday evening that he and his partner, Brunson Green, are showing signs of improvement.


Winner: Gay pro baseball player found inspiration reading these 39 LGBT sports books

Looking for something to do while social distancing? A gay pro baseball player shares his favorite books about LGBT athletes, plus his entire reading list.


Loser: Margaret Court, who choked against Bobby Riggs in the other ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis match

Four months before Billie Jean King made a statement for women athletes, Margaret Court had the same opportunity and gagged it away. This week our Ken Schultz took a look back at Court’s historic ass-whooping.


Hopeful: After a gritty effort at the Olympic Trials marathon, Megan Youngren looks back and ahead

Ultra-distance events are next for pioneer marathoner Megan Youngren, who this week spoke with the Outsports podcast, The Trans Sporter Room.


Winners: Outsports readers who showed us their tattoos

Anthony Nicodemo Twitter: Anthony Nicodemo

We asked. They tweeted.


Hopeful, but worried: Gay basketball coach and educator Anthony Nicodemo says coronavirus will have everlasting impact on society

Nicodemo, whose tattoo can be seen above, says the coronavirus outbreak is exposing the inequities in our society and education system.


Winner: Our Jim Buzinski, who wrote: As a gay man, I’ll miss the Olympics but postponing is the only thing to do

The Olympics have always been special to LGBTQ athletes and fans, but the 2020 Games must be moved a year later because of the coronavirus. And the very next day, they were.


Hopeful: Tokyo Olympics officially postponed until 2021

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo until 2021.


Hopeful: Tom Daley shares his support for Tokyo Olympics postponement

In a perceptive Instagram post, the longtime British Olympic diver vows “to work my tail off” to be ready for 2021.


Hopefuls: This is how 14 out Olympic hopefuls reacted to the postponement of the Summer Games

The next Summer Olympics will have a record number of out LGBTQ athletes. That’s simply been delayed.


Hopeful: Sue Bird vows to pursue 5th Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2021, despite turning 40

Bird says she couldn’t imagine sitting out the 2021 Olympics.


Winner: esports champion SonicFox signs with Evil Geniuses, pledges to continue message of ‘equality’

The Final Kombat 2020 champion will be joined by their longtime friend and teammate Jon “Dekillsage” Coello on Evil Geniuses’ fighting games roster.


Mourning Our Loss: Bud Budlong, chronicler of the San Francisco FrontRunners and the Gay Liberation movement

We learned this week that Bud Budlong died on March 19. His work and his words kept the history of the FrontRunners from being forgotten. He was 82.


Winner: Rugby announcer Nick Heath becomes viral sensation for announcing everyday events during sports hiatus

With no rugby matches scheduled, Heath is taking to London’s streets to fill his time, and entertain the social media masses.


Hopeful: After coronavirus shutdown, let’s disregard our vanities

Social isolation has a way of showing us what is truly important in life, writes Deputy Managing Editor Alex Reimer, host of The Sports Kiki podcast.


Winner: The Karleigh File: 13 things to know about me

Here’s the baker’s dozen on Outsports contributing writer and co-host of The Trans Sporter Room podcast, Karleigh Webb, as we share a little about the people behind the bylines.


Winner: 13 interesting facts about contributing writer Brian Bell

Outsports’ ‘get to know you better’ series made our Brian Bell realize how much of a creative dork he sees himself as. Also, sports! Brian hosts our LGBT In The Ring podcast.


Winner: No hockey, no fans, but plenty of Pride in Pittsburgh

The arena where the Pittsburgh Penguins normally play hockey was lit up in Pride colors Tuesday night even though the coronavirus pandemic has suspended the season.


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!