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Be a winner in LGBT sports by being socially distant

Stay in your homes and apartments and read the big stories from the past 7 days of LGBTQ sports coverage during the coronavirus crisis.

Shelby Weldon/House image by Vecteezy.com

Wow, it’s Saturday, again, which means it’s time for Outsports to stop the clock for an instant reply of the week that was: the glorious victories, the ignominious defeats, and the players and personalities in LGBT sports who made them, lived them or just couldn’t avoid them.

Of course, my roster may differ from yours, and so 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 stay at home winners, ignoring the guidelines losers and hopefuls who wear masks if they have to go outdoors.


Winner: When this gay tennis player hit rock bottom, a friend’s actions spurred him to come out

Greg Nelson, center, with his friend Matt, left, and sister Kali.

Greg Nelson struggled with coming out until he finally found a helping hand and the strength to be himself.


Losers: The XFL just shut down, and it doesn’t sound like it’s returning

SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea reports the XFL laid off staffers and reportedly won’t return in 2021. That’s brutal for a promising young league. Our unscientific poll showed a lot of people who took time to vote said they hadn’t had any interest in the XFL existing or returning. There’s still time for you to cast your ballot.


Hopeful: Runner knows ‘we must practice social connection’ as we physically distance

Coronavirus impact: Nicholas Turco says it’s most important to help those who feel marginalized.


Winner: Former NFL player’s foundation sending help to LGBTQ athletes

Ryan O’Callaghan is directing scholarships from his foundation to LGBTQ student-athletes who find themselves in need during this crisis. If you joined our Friday night Zoom chat you got to talk with him about this and anything else on your mind!

Losers: Shuttered gyms across the U.S. are still charging members, and facing lawsuits

Openly gay Boston attorney Michael Stefanilo Jr., whose firm is leading one of the class action suits, says these practices are clear-cut violations of consumer protection laws.


Hopeful: For college coach Kirk Walker, a canceled season means ‘loss of identity’

Kirk Walker expected to be helping UCLA softball defend its title, but then everything ground to a halt.


Winner: Billie Jean King narrates her life story for a children’s YouTube series

Billie Jean King Twitter

The tennis legend appears as a special guest on children’s author Brad Meltzer’s channel, reading her own biography.


Loser: Ex-NHL champ Dustin Penner’s ‘dangerous’ but all too common tweets

In a series of tweets, former hockey champion Dustin Penner implied Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is a gay pedophile. Brock McGillis, a gay former semi-pro hockey player who came out in 2016, said those kinds of insults caused him to contemplate suicide earlier in his life, and that those insults are still prevalent, especially in sports locker rooms across the world.


Hopeful: WNBA coach Curt Miller on coming out five years later: ‘I wasted a lot of years not being a role model’

Five years after coming out, one of the most successful coaches in women’s basketball says he’s trying to make up for lost time.


Winners: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe sing for us when we’re not strong

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird croon an inspirational duet of “Lean On Me” by the late Bill Withers in their latest Instagram Live. What will they do tonight? We’ll let you know!


Loser: UFC’s Dana White cancels UFC 249, indefinitely postpones all other events but only after pressure from ESPN and Disney

Out fighter Jessica Andrade’s highly anticipated rematch with Rose Namajunas was set to co-headline the retooled card.


Hopeful: Gay tennis player in the Czech Republic says LGBTQ acceptance there is building

Jan Cmelik talks about the importance of marriage equality, as well as creating a gay tennis group in Prague.


Winner: This former college gymnast is fulfilling his passion as a sports commentator

Evan Heiter may not be flipping on a mat anymore, but he’s giving back to the sport he loves as a commentator.


Loser: Tom Brady for letting us all know what Gronk’s penis is like

Tom Brady told Howard Stern Rob Gronkowski’s penis is “amazing.” And? How low the former GOAT has sunk.


Hopeful: Leaders of our Outsports webinar counseled us about our mental health in a time of isolation

Mental-health professionals and athletes Taylor Vanderlaan and KC Cross joined us to share their insights during this difficult time. You can watch the replay on YouTube, below:


Winner: KC Cross is opening minds for queer people at the Univ. of Arkansas Razorbacks

KC Cross has dedicated their life to helping LGBTQ people. Doing that with the Arkansas athletics dept. is a dream come true.


Winner: Out rugby player and social worker ‘sees the emotional effect of this pandemic’

Taylor Vanderlaan is on the frontline helping people in need and LGBTQ youth at risk.


Winner: Let’s go out to the ballgame with Fenway’s organist — without leaving home

Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor goes on Facebook Live every afternoon, to play his organ at home — and he takes requests.


Loser: P.E. teacher sued by lesbian couple for anti-LGBTQ discrimination

The couple’s son was allegedly forced to attend ‘Teens For Christ’ meetings and endure anti-LGBTQ ‘sermons’ in order to play for his middle school’s basketball team.


Hopeful: Coronavirus pandemic puts out cricketer Lizelle Lee’s wedding on hold

The April 10 ceremony is postponed but the pandemic isn’t taking the wicket of love.


Winners: 3 queer ‘Disabled Girls Who Lift’ who fight discrimination

The hosts of this sports and fitness podcast visit Outsports to talk about the state of disabled rights and parallels with trans athletes.


Winners: 23 sports-themed movies we recommend watching while you #StayHome

Paramount

These are the essential films we picked, centered around sports, that will get you through the coronavirus crisis.


Winners: Caitlyn Jenner and Athena del Rosario share their thoughts on the coronavirus, the Olympics and more

Olympic gold medal decathlete and TV personality Caitlyn Jenner spoke with Outsports about the pandemic, the Summer Games postponement, philanthropy and the perception the trans community has of her, and Team USA’s Athena del Rosario explained her opposition to drag.


Winners: Transgender booters team-up in India’s Manipur State

A group of trans men assembled what is reported to be India’s first all-trans soccer side.


Winners: Phoenix Mercury hold virtual Pride celebration: ‘We will continue to celebrate each and every day’

Phoenix Pride is postponed until November but that didn’t stop the Mercury from celebrating.


Mourning Our Loss: Remembering Al Kaline’s legacy of endless kindness

St Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers
Former Detroit Tigers outfielder and baseball Hall-of-Famer Al Kaline looks on and smiles prior to a game at Comerica Park on September 9, 2018 in Detroit, Mich.
Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers legend was a first-ballot Hall of Famer on the field. But his lasting legacy was bringing humanity to the game.


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!