Against the backdrop of an ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic, the NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLB are preparing to play shortened seasons in the coming days.
Wherever you are, I hope you’re safe, healthy and taking precautions to protect yourself and those you care about, as I take a moment to look back at the week that was. And in doing so, I’m paying tribute to a legend in the fight for equality: Rep. John Lewis.
The 80-year-old civil rights icon who died Friday urged us all to get into “good trouble, necessary trouble” to fight against injustice and inequality. This week’s winners, then, will be branded “Good Trouble,” and the losers, “Bad Trouble.”
My weekly list begins with tributes to Lewis from LGBT sports heroes and other famous names:
Good Trouble: Athletes Remember Congressman John Lewis
One of the highlights of my career. Thank you for showing the world how to raise “good trouble” and fight for civil rights. Rest in power John Lewis. pic.twitter.com/cjZ5QRBgpS— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 18, 2020
As the nation mourns a civil rights icon, so do some of our country’s out LGBT sports icons and other prominent figures.
Bad Trouble: Elena Delle Donne: WNBA doctors rejected my medical opt-out request
Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne, who suffers from chronic Lyme disease, says doctors denied her application to opt-out.
Good Trouble: As Delle Donne reveals fears about being forced to play, Mystics GM promises she will be paid
In an emotional Players’ Tribune op-ed, Elena Delle Donne discusses how Lyme disease ravages her immune system and should prevent her from playing in a pandemic.
Bad Trouble: WNBA favorite Connecticut Sun have two players test positive for coronavirus
Briann January and Natisha Hiedeman tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and will miss at least some of training camp. Listen to The Trans Sporter Room podcast next Wednesday when Sun Coach Curt Miller joins us with an update on January and Hiedeman, and offers his own thoughts about playing in The Bubble, plus a look back at 2019 and the shortened season ahead.
Good Trouble: Atlanta Dream’s response to part-owner Kelly Loeffler: ‘Black Lives Matter’
“Our team is united in the Movement for Black Lives,” reads the tweet, signed by the players and tweeted on the team’s official account Friday.
Good Trouble: This gay college rowing coach has had 9 athletes come out to him
Imran Malik, who coaches the rowing team at Arizona State University, says he feels a special bond with his athletes. Malik joins us next week for this important event:
Good Trouble: Conversation, July 21: How to support an LGBTQ athlete coming out on your team
Malik and four other coaches from across sports will discuss how to handle the situation when an LGBTQ athlete comes out on your team.
Good Trouble: How this gay softball player overcame high school taunts, and embraced her true self
When Zoe Kim came out in high school, she was taunted and demeaned. That all changed at Sarah Lawrence College.
Good Trouble: Michigan teen is a straight ally who chose to support LGBT with his hockey stick
Lucas Jodoin was warned he might get bullied for putting Pride Tape on his blade, and he was, but he did it anyway, to show his support.
Good Trouble: AEW’s Sonny Kiss shines in the TNT championship spotlight
Kiss challenged Cody for the TNT championship at AEW’s Fight for the Fallen Wednesday night, one year after making his singles debut at the same event.
Bad Trouble: Out fighter Jessica Andrade falls in UFC 251’s ‘Fight of the Night’
Rose Namajunas avenged her loss to Andrade at UFC 237, but the out fighter held her own in a narrow split decision loss that received “Fight of the Night” honors.
Bad Trouble: Coach says she was fired from Indiana Lutheran high school for being gay
Krystal Brazel worked at Lutheran High School for five years as a coach and athletic trainer.
Good Trouble: These women were ‘Born to Play’ football
A documentary film about LGBTQ and straight women who play tackle football debuted on ESPN earlier this month and was shown nationwide on ABC on Saturday.
Good Trouble: Adam Rippon goes behind the curtain on ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’
ABC invited Adam Rippon to comment on a scenario, in which a young gay athlete struggling with coming out.
Good Trouble: Retired out volleyball coach James Finley hopeful for LGBTQ advancement in college sports
Finley retired in December after leading Seattle University’s women’s volleyball program for seven seasons, capping off a 21-year collegiate coaching career.
Good Trouble: Valentina Sampaio breaks new ground as first openly trans model in Swimsuit Issue history
In a career filled with firsts, Valentina Sampaio helps Sports Illustrated embrace the trans community.
Bad Trouble: British tabloids need to stop their faceless gay fear-mongering in sports
With the latest ‘anonymous Premier League player,’ co-founder Cyd Zeigler says some British tabloids keep causing more problems than they solve.
Good Trouble: Player in England’s top women’s soccer league comes out publicly after leaving London club
Goalkeeper Chloe Morgan says playing soccer is a “safe haven” for her.
Good Trouble: Welsh sports legend Non Evans comes out at 46: ‘Please don’t judge me, I am gay’
Evans was the first woman to compete in three sports at the Commonwealth Games.
Good Trouble: For O’Shay Edwards, pro wrestling gave him the freedom to come out
The Big Bad Kaiju long struggled with his sexual identity but has found love, acceptance and liberation since unveiling his truth in and out of the ring.
Good Trouble: When a gay college hockey player punched a teammate who called him a slur, it led to him coming out
Stephen Finkel used a teammate’s gay slur as a catalyst to come out, including support from four NHL players.
Good Trouble: Pro hockey announcer thrives as out gay man doing what he loves
Jonathan Kliment decided to be himself as he pursues his dream of broadcasting one day in the NHL.
Good Trouble: Wrestler Tegan Nox comes out: ‘Life is good’
Welsh WWE wrestler Tegan Nox and her girlfriend Sierra St. Pierre confirmed they’re in a relationship with posts on Instagram.
Good Trouble: Olympian swimmer Martha McCabe comes out to encourage other women to follow in her lane
“I want to be an example to young female swimmers and help ones who are struggling with this, so they can see it’s normal,” Martha McCabe told the CBC. Listen to her conversation with co-founder Cyd Zeigler on Monday’s Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast.
Good Trouble: How to tackle homophobic and transphobic language in sports
This event offered tips on how to address anti-LGBTQ language on your team or during a 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 email@example.com Thanks!