Good morning and welcome to The Huddle for today, August 21, 2020. It’s finally Friday! Today’s Huddle has a little “extra,” so it’s a 2-minute-read.
Other than the WNBA, we’re not aware of any scheduled events involving out LGBTQ athletes. If you know of one, or more, let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scroll down for today’s calendar of major sports events.
This Morning’s Sports Headlines:
Two words dominated the world of sports Thursday: Thom Brennaman. In our unscientific poll on Twitter, just under 70% of the 300 Outsports readers who have voted are calling for the Cincinnati Reds TV announcer to lose his job for uttering an anti-gay slur on the air.
Check out the wide range of opinions:
Cyd Zeigler: I wouldn’t fire Thom Brennaman. Here’s why
Charlie Scrabbles of Red Reporter: So long, Thom
Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer: “Too often, perception is reality. You can’t say what Thom said and not pay a steep price.”
Marty Brennaman, Thom’s father: “What he said is not a reflection of who Thom Brennaman is. I know that’s not him.”
Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports: “What is Thom Brennaman sorry for if not that he’s the kind of person who uses homophobic slurs?”
Steve Buckley of The Athletic: It isn’t about whether Thom Brennaman is fired. I just want him to evolve
And my own opinion: I would not hesitate to fire Thom Brennaman
Then there’s this:
“I used a word that is both offensive and insulting. In the past 24 hours, I have read about its history; I had no idea it was so rooted in hate and violence and am particularly ashamed that I, someone who makes his living by the use of words, could be so careless and insensitive. It’s a word that should have no place in my vocabulary and I will certainly never utter it again...”
“I have spoken at length with Billy Bean, vice president and special assistant to the commissioner of baseball and an openly gay man, and Evan Millward, WCPO-TV anchorman, who have been generous with their time and patience to help me understand the impact of my actions and provided me with resources to educate myself and work to become a more informed person.
“With their help, I am going to start improving my understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and not in a way to simply check a box to keep my job, but to sincerely have an impact and change. I immediately plan to participate in diversity, equity and inclusion training and have reached out to PFLAG for resources and guidance.”
Evan Millward, out gay newscaster at WCPO-TV: “I’m disappointed. I feel a little betrayed. I’m sad. Again. And I just want to understand why... There’s clearly a lot of learning still to do. I’m serious, Thom. If you are, let’s talk.”
Also, there’s this from USA Today: Fox Sports drops Thom Brennaman from NFL broadcasts
And Ginny Searle wrote a compelling essay in Baseball Prospectus about Brennaman, Glenn Burke and “how MLB has failed and continues to fail” the LGBT community
In other news...
NBC Connecticut: UConn Pauses Football Activities After 6 Positive COVID-19 Tests
Highlights from Social Media:
@CydZeigler is extremely thoughtful here and this deserves a read. https://t.co/tIlwb34f9y Me? I think education makes sense. How comfortable he was spitting that term on a hot mic is deeply concerning but I think you make a better world with education over cancellation.— Tyler Bleszinski (@papiblez) August 20, 2020
Our Ken Schultz spoke to the Fox flagship station in New York City Thursday about the Brennaman mess, offering not only perspective as an out gay journalist and baseball fan (with an impressive collection of memorabilia on display) but also as to how the broadcaster could show he truly regretted his homophobic comments.
Principal and youth sports advocate Micah Porter is getting excited about this upcoming event:
Happy Antwerp Pride from Olympian figure skater Jorik Hendrickx!
Podcast Du Jour
Six days a week, Outsports has a new podcast for your listening pleasure. Today’s is Ken Schultz’s 3 Strikes, You’re Out! “The Unwritten Podcast with Jono Zalay.”
This week, comedian and Padres fan Jono Zalay returns to toast a rare moment in baseball history: a time when the rest of the game is talking about San Diego. Jono’s been waiting for his team to return to relevance for a long time and he just wishes that said relevance also involved a record more than three games over .500.
Today’s Sports Calendar
WNBA in the Wubble:
NBA Playoffs in the Bubble:
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in Canada:
MLB nationally-televised and games:
Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals at 6:05 p.m. EDT on MLBN.
Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs at 8 p.m. EDT, 7 Central on ESPN (So now we know what Ken Schultz will be doing Friday night. Please note, he does not earn extra money each time his name is mentioned in an Outsports post).
If you’re a soccer fan, check out ESPN’s schedule of matches by clicking here.
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Thanks for reading all the way to the end. We’re taking a day off tomorrow, so the next edition of The Huddle will appear Sunday on Outsports.com Stay safe!