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Underdog winners and losers of the week in LGBT sports

My weekly look at the big stories from the past 7 days of LGBTQ sports coverage is in keeping with this week’s theme week: Underdogs!

Shelby Weldon, Dawn Ennis/Total Television

Every state in the union is now at least partially open, but many of us are wisely continuing to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoiding large crowds whenever possible. That’s because thousands of people are still getting sick and dying. If nothing else, I hope my weekly look at the week that was will serve as a distraction from all the disturbing headlines and the clashes between those who want to resume life as normal and those who are taking precautions while the danger of contagion remains.

This week, Outsports joined SB Nation, SwishAppeal and our other sister sports sites in sharing stories about underdogs. So, this week’s list follows this theme.

The 1969 Mets, the MVP and the young fan in the closet

1969 World Series Game 5: NY Mets Donn Clendenon Hits Home Run
Mets 1st baseman Donn Clendenon smacked a 2-run HR in Game 5 of the 1969 World Series, left; Donnie Ennis, age 5, center; Dawn Ennis, right.
Photo by Walter Leporati/Getty Images/Dawn Ennis

Outsports joins SB Nation in the latest theme week: Underdogs, beginning with 1969 World Series MVP Donn Clendenon, the “Miracle” Mets and their biggest fan, our managing editor.


Mike Montgomery threw the greatest pitch in Cubs history

A solid but unheralded acquisition that July, underdog Mike Montgomery became the hero Chicago needed, wrote our Ken Schultz.


So who is eligible to be an underdog? Karleigh Webb sets the ground rules

We love them, root for them, make movies about them, but what qualifies someone to be an “underdog”?


Who are you calling an ‘underdog’?

Underdogs? Not in today’s WNBA, wrote SwishAppeal’s Cat Ariail. Refreshingly, WNBA stars do not adopt “underdog” mentalities. Instead, they project self-confidence, unapologetically advertising their well-earned belief in themselves.


Why the best shooter in the WNBA is actually an underdog

The Chicago Sky’s Allie Quigley is one of the WNBA’s most feared shooters, nailing 3-pointers at 40 percent or better in each of her previous three seasons. This was not always the case, however, wrote SwishAppeal’s Eric Nemchock. Quigley fought the odds since draft day and crafted for an incredible career arc and tale of resilience.


Why do we root for the underdog?

SwishAppeal’s JimSavell wrote that everyone loves an upset, but why is that? Is this love conditional? There are several theories as to why we tend to root for underdogs in sports — sometimes over our own favorite teams.


Jesse Owens vs. Hitler is the ultimate underdog story

SwishAppeal’s Tamryn Spruill calls Jesse Owens the quintessential underdog and muses about underdog psychology and theories about why underdogs win.


Matthew Mitcham’s gold medal is one of the great underdog victories of all time

In 2008 one man took on an entire nation and became the gay Jesse Owens, wrote Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler.


Trans athletes everywhere are the ultimate sports underdogs

Outsports deputy managing editor Alex Reimer wrote that no group of athletes fit the “underdog” definition better than the brave trans men, women, boys and girls who strap on their uniforms in the face of prejudice.


Megan Rapinoe to the Class of 2020: ‘Demand better’

Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020
In this screengrab, Megan Rapinoe speaks during Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020 on May 16, 2020.
Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ

USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe delivered a powerful message in her part of Saturday night’s TV special, then let girlfriend Sue Bird cut her hair, live on Instagram.


Michelle Tumolo is an openly gay lacrosse superstar

She has been an elite player in college and in helping the U.S. to a world title and has done while being openly gay.


Lisa Wainwright pushing sport to set the tone for inclusion

The head of the UK’s Sport and Recreation Alliance noted the period of no sports is a ripe time to discuss an inclusive future, in a recent interview with Sky Sports.


Sue Bird says one cup of coffee per day is key to her basketball greatness

Sue Bird, and our imagined one cuppa, representing Team USA against Team Nigeria during the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on February 9, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Sue Bird photo by Catherine Steenkeste/NBAE via Getty Images/Coffee image: pngtree.com

The WNBA star says drinking a cup of coffee before game time is one of her most important in-season rituals.


For gay hockey player, locker room felt like a prison

Benjamin Fredell was playing in an elite youth league, but years of homophobia in the sport and self-hatred led him to quit to find happiness.


For gay triathlete, sport helped him get sober and saved his life

A chance meeting helped Mark Turnipseed start to turn his life around and embrace who he is.


Caitlyn Jenner and LGBT celebs are sending messages of hope to young LGBT people struggling during lockdown

The British LGBT Awards and It Gets Better UK have launched a campaign featuring Jenner and other celebrities sending uplifting videos to LGBT youth.


Hours after Eric Radford won Olympic gold, he grabbed his husband and disappeared

Eric Radford talks about that magical week at the Winter Olympics, plus quarantine and his budding music career.


Scott Frantz leaves football, having blazed a trail in major college sports

Scott Frantz was publicly out as gay for three years while playing for the Kansas State Wildcats.


Adam Rippon steals the show on NPR

The Olympic medalist is used to dazzling figure skating judges. But did you hear how he dazzled the panel on ‘Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!’?


Outsports Trivia Night returns!

How much do you know about LGBTQ professional athletes and Olympians? Eight contestants accepted our challenge. After two rounds, and a head-to-head lightning round, one champion emerged victorious.


Outsports Pride 2020 is going virtual with entertainment and conversation!

Outsports Pride will be virtual this year, with a variety hour, webinars and community chats with sports heroes. Join us!

Outsports Pride 2019 marchers in West Hollywood, Calif. for L.A. Pride. We won’t be able to meet like this again this year, but we are getting together on Zoom!
Instagram

That’s all for this week! I’ll bring you a fresh list of winners and losers next Saturday, at the end of our “sporting events that made you cry” theme week. 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!