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Hulk smash! Winners and losers of the week in LGBT sports

Our weekly look at the big stories from the past 7 days of LGBTQ sports coverage is in keeping with this week’s theme week: the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Shelby Weldon/Photo of Lou Ferrigno as “The Hulk” by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

As more states re-open from the lockdown and major sports leagues make plans for practice camps and competitions, the continuing coronavirus pandemic is still raging. If nothing else, I hope my weekly look at the week that was will serve as a distraction from the disturbing headlines. Here are all 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.

This week, Outsports joined SB Nation and our sister sports sites in celebrating the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the comic books, TV shows and Saturday morning cartoons of our youth. So here is the MCU-edition of my weekly list, with our favorite Marvel heroes and villains representing this week’s winners and losers.


Venom: A Matter of Pride co-founder Rick Cataldo accused of sexual assault

Four pro wrestlers and one wrestling fan accuse Cataldo of groping and/or harassing them.


Heroes and Villains: Which LGBTQ athletes could be Marvel characters?

Six members of the Outsports team assembled for a special MCU-themed podcast episode, and we fitted our favorite out sports heroes for capes.


Black Panther: For gay college track athlete, hearing slurs on campus way too common

Trae’ Robinson felt a need to call out a culture of homophobic language among athletes at his school. ‘Enough is enough,’ he said.


Iceman: Hockey player Zach Sullivan says coming out was ‘by far best day of my life’

Zach Sullivan reminded us on Instagram what’s important during our current sports shutdown.


Iron Man: Confrontation with angry parent showed volleyball coach he made right decision by coming out

Out volleyball player and coach Brett Thompson tells a parent that ‘whom I choose to love has no effect on my abilities to coach.’


Mister Fantastic: Division I basketball coach sees profile raised since coming out as gay

Matt Lynch has found nothing but support since telling his story and is eager to share what he’s learned.


The Wasp: Team USA runner Nikki Hiltz hosting virtual 5k to raise money for The Trevor Project

The virtual 5k will take place June 28. Hiltz already has 1,300 people registered.


Wolverine: Pro volleyball player Dennis Del Valle comes out as gay

Dennis Del Valle, a pro volleyball player from Puerto Rico now playing in Switzerland, said it was time to tell the world he is gay.


Captain America: Navy vet and water polo player Conner Curnick has found his muse in a DJ booth

DJ Conner Curnick is just starting his career mixing house music, and played a set for a virtual dance party.


Jean Grey: This athlete struggled through depression to win gold in Rio

Abby Dunkin went from suicidal thoughts to Paralympic gold in just three years. That has to be a record.


Deadpool: How being closeted drove me to obsess over my career at a young age

Our Alex Reimer says it’s easy to avoid thinking introspectively about yourself when you’re always thinking about your career.


She-Hulk: A love letter to Thor

We’re taking time this week to pay homage to our favorite MCU superheroes, and our managing editor reveals her crush on the Mets player everybody knows as “Thor,” Noah Syndergaard. SPOILER ALERT: At the end of the story, much to her disappointment, the superhero does not get the girl.


Ancient Ones: “A Secret Love” review: Heartwarming Netflix doc tells lesbian romance through eyes of family

The love story of Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel is told through the eyes of Donahue’s family, even though the couple thrived in their queer community long before coming out.


Captain Marvel: Megan Rapinoe perfectly explains why judge got equal pay ruling wrong

In an interview with “Good Morning America,” Rapinoe explained why a federal judge’s ruling against the USWNT in their equal pay dispute is incorrect.


Gambit: Judge’s ruling against USWNT equal pay lawsuit based on ‘appropriate application’ of law

While the decision may not be popular, one attorney tells Outsports that it was a ‘well-reasoned decision.’


Havok: Dennis Rodman challenged taboos of sexuality in sports long before The Last Dance

As a decades-old Rodman interview with Oprah demonstrates, the 1990s were a difficult time to have a frank conversation about sexuality.


Minister Sinister and Jamie Madrox: 2 Australian cops suspended over leaked pics of Aussie Rules coach in wig and dress

Victoria Police are expected to charge officers accused of leaking photos of former North Melbourne coach and premiership player Dean Laidley inside a police station.


Thanos: With LGBT sports leagues canceled, we lose camaraderie and community

Tens of thousands of LGBT people participate in sports leagues across the country, where they find friendship and comfort.


Rogue: For a Blue Jays podcaster, baseball still blooms

Despite the COVID-19 shutdown, A.J. Andrews delivers a daily diamond dream: a simulated baseball season.


Spider-Man: Chris Mosier’s advice for managing stress and relieving anxiety: take a walk

“Whenever I’m feeling itchy and in the house, I know it’s time to move around, it’s time for a walk,” Mosier tells USA Today. “It’s such a great anxiety reliever.”


Nick Fury and Mystique: Anthony Bowens and Michael Pavano hit it big with ‘Love Is Blind’ parody videos

The two boyfriends have found a fun outlet for their creativity on YouTube.


Be A Superhero: Join Outsports for a conversation about building inclusion with your team and school

On May 13 we’ll host a live conversation about building LGBTQ inclusion in your athletics department.


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!