If you choose to celebrate Independence Day, Happy 4th of July!

And if you recognize that in doing so, you’re celebrating the decision by our founding fathers to continue the enslavement of Black people, and supporting the systems put in place to continue their disenfranchisement, then I encourage you to read and add your comments to our other story about this holiday.

Also, if you choose to celebrate the holiday by ignoring health recommendations on mask-wearing and social distancing, then I genuinely hope this is not your last opportunity to exercise your freedom.

So with all that said, let’s take a moment to pause, and look back at the week that was, with “Firework” demarking the winners and “Dud” for the losers.

My weekly list begins with reflections on what this holiday means to members of the LGBTQ community.

Firework: What Independence Day means to LGBT folks in 2020

I asked LGBT athletes, coaches, readers and Outsports colleagues what the 4th of July means to them in 2020. Community organizer Justice Horn summed up the view of many: “This year, we saw the conversation and celebration of intersectionality with the Black Lives Matter Movement, but let me be clear, Independence day is not a day for those that come from disenfranchised communities.”

Dud: Is an apology enough? New SMU assistant golf coach says he is ‘truly sorry’ for homophobic and transphobic tweets

Brandon Wilkins will undergo Ally Training for his anti-gay and anti-trans tweets, which he has now deleted. Add your comments to this story by clicking here.

Fireworks: Jake Kuzyk comes out as gay, 5th gay snowboarder in a week

Kennedi Deck

Torment magazine profiled five snowboarders who, until now, were not known to be gay: Tanner Pendleton, Kennedi Deck, Chad Unger, Jill Perkins and Jake Kuzyk.

Dud: Major esports tournament Evo canceled after SonicFox, developers withdraw participation

Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, other competitors and multiple game developers withdrew after allegations of sexual misconduct against Evo co-founder Joey Cuellar surfaced.

Firework: Bisexual Cal and Olympic rower Maarten Hurkmans shares a Pride message

Maarten Hurkmans

Maarten Hurkmans has already qualified for the Olympics and he will do it as an out athlete.

Dud: When Minor League Baseball canceled 2020 season, it postponed 85 Pride Nights

This was shaping up to be MiLB’s best Pride Night season ever. Then 2020 happened.

Firework: Titan Games’ Robbie Rodriguez is gay, an out COVID-19 nurse, and has 2 moms

Robbie Rodeiguez

Rhino Robbie put on an incredible show on NBC. And at his hospital he’s testing people for COVID-19.

Dud: No, Barstool, you’re not using the LGBTQ community to cancel Jemele Hill

Jemele Hill stands with the full equality and visibility of the LGBTQ community, and trans women in particular. She is not canceled.

Firework: This gay college basketball player at Richmond started a club for Black LGBT students like her

Jaide-Hinds Clarke

Jaide-Hinds Clarke says embracing intersectionality is vital in her coming out journey.

Dud: Former Alabama WR released by CFL team for ridiculous homophobic tweet

Christion Jones crassly tweeted his opposition to same-sex marriage, and initially doubled down before apologizing.

Firework: Former Nebraska jumper Jace Anderson has found his muse singing during quarantine

Jace Anderson

Anderson covers ‘Never Enough’ from Greatest Showman, Billie Eilish and more.

Firework: Out NFL player R.K. Russell shares poems about the killings of 3 Black men

Through poetry, Russell shares his thoughts on the shooting deaths of Tony McDade, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery.

Firework: Openly gay and thriving at The World’s Most Famous Arena

Joshua Lindsey at Madison Square Garden.

Joshua Lindsey never dreamed he’d go from Kentucky to New York’s Madison Square Garden, but seeing another out person in sports management changed his life.

Firework: Trans Pride Talk with Chris Mosier on Outsports Instagram

Groundbreaking transgender athlete Chris Mosier talked about trans inclusion, activism, and answered your questions on Instagram Live Tuesday night.

Fireworks: ‘A world of its own:’ 2 Team Trans hockey players share their experiences on and off the ice

As our friends at ‘The Ice Garden’ site reported, Team Trans was set to play the Madison Gay Hockey Association before the pandemic canceled the series.

Firework: We celebrate the centennial of baseball’s Negro League alongside Pride: Buck O’Neil exemplified the pride of the Negro Leagues

Buck O’Neil of the Kansas City Monarchs demonstrates his first baseman’s stretch during a work out in the 1948 season.

Just as Pride is not limited to June, we should tip our caps to the players of the Negro League all year long. Baseball legend Buck O’Neil’s fortitude and courage in the face of innumerable obstacles is something with which we can all identify.

Firework: How Michigan’s Sec. of State is leading fight for women’s sports in coronavirus age

Jocelyn Benson chairs the Michigan Task Force on Women in Sports, which seeks to elevate female athletes, and serve as a template for the country.

Firework: This emotional moment transcends sports

Casey Short and Julie Ertz with Red Stars teammates.

USWNT and Chicago Red Stars teammates Casey Short and Julie Ertz hugged, as their teammates and their North Carolina Courage opponents knelt in protest during the national anthem and for a moment of silence on Saturday.

Firework: Rockies’ Ian Desmond cites homophobia as one reason he’s walking away from MLB this season

In an exceptional essay, Desmond rips baseball’s prejudiced culture, detailing stories of racism and homophobia in clubhouses.

Um… Whatchamacallit: Queer Eye takes on Gritty

The Fab Five, Philly Phanatic and Gritty.

The boys wrap their 5th season of Queer Eye on Netflix with a mock makeover for the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty.

30 Moments of Pride: Esera Tuaolo appears in the Super Bowl as a closeted gay player

Esera Tuaolo played in the Super Bowl while closeted and has become a passionate LGBTQ advocate after coming out.

30 Moments of Pride: Robbie Rogers’ second MLS Cup made a statement for gay athletes

Robbie Rogers won the MLS Cup with the L.A. Galaxy almost two years after coming out publicly.

Our 30th Moment of Pride: Jason Collins scores for the first time as an out gay athlete

Outsports’ 30 days of Pride moments concludes with the first and so far only male major pro sports athlete to play after coming out as gay.

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 [email protected] Thanks!