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Winners, losers and Stanley Cup Qualifiers

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The NHL is skating closer to the Stanley Cup playoffs as we look back at the big stories we’ve covered in the past 7 days.

Vancouver Canucks v Minnesota Wild
Antoine Roussel #26, Alexander Edler #23 and Tyler Motte #64 of the Vancouver Canucks fist bump with Mikko Koivu #9, Zach Parise #11 and Mats Zuccarello #36 of the Minnesota Wild following the Canucks 5-4 overtime victory on a goal by Christopher Tanev (not pictured) in Game Four to win the Western Conference Qualification Round, prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on August 07, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is not going away. As of press time, the Centers for Disease Control report it’s claimed 722,000 lives worldwide, 161K here in the U.S. There are close to 5 million cases here, with almost 19 and a half million people around the globe having tested positive. Florida — where the NBA and WNBA are playing in protected “bubbles,” and the MLB Florida Marlins are not — is second in the nation in new infections behind California.

Wherever you are, I hope you’re safe, healthy and taking precautions to protect yourself and those you care about. Here’s my weekly look back at the last 7 days of LGBT sports, beginning with the National Hockey League, which has restricted play to bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto. As the NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers conclude, it’s imperative that we note, as ESPN reported: not one player or league staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus since play began. I guess you might even say they’ve proven hockey is for everyone who wants sports to resume safely. So for this week, winners are qualifiers, and losers are, well, losers.

Qualifiers: Colorado Avalanche seek top seed in game against Golden Knights

Colorado Avalanche v Vegas Golden Knights
That was then: Forward Colin Wilson #22 of the Colorado Avalanche shoots against goalie Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights during a preseason game at T-Mobile Arena on September 28, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images

The winner gets home ice throughout the playoffs. You may recall in May Avalanche center Colin Wilson told Outsports that he supports and welcomes LGBTQ inclusion in the NHL, and so do his teammates.


Who Will Lose? Philadelphia Flyers face Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in end of round robin

NHL: MAR 07 Sabres at Flyers
Pre-pandemic lockdown Gritty sits by the ice during the game between the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers on March 07, 2020 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Eastern Conference No. 1 seed is on the line as the Lightning and Flyers battle for the chance to take on the Montreal Canadiens in the next round. Even if hockey is not your thing, you should at least give it up for the Flyers’ mascot, LGBTQ ally Gritty.


Qualifiers: NWHL delays start of season to January 2021

The league will start its sixth season late due to the pandemic.


Losers: The 300 unnamed athletes who signed anti-trans group’s letter to NCAA

Screengrab from Save Women’s Sports Letter to NCAA

Anti-trans group Save Women’s Sport claims more than 300 athletes stand with them in support of Idaho’s HB500, but named only three.


Undecided: NCAA postpones Idaho decision, reveals transgender athlete ‘policy review’

On Tuesday, the Board of Governors tabled consideration of moving its Boise March Madness tournament games as it reviews its own policy on transgender athletes and awaits the outcome of a federal lawsuit on Idaho’s anti-trans law.


Qualifier: Former USWNT member Lori Lindsey defends trans athletes: ‘I’m gay and remember what it feels like to be different’

Lindsey wrote an op-ed in the Indy Star arguing against Idaho’s HB500, which bars trans girls from participating in women’s sports.


Qualifier: Damian Lillard wore sweet Pride sneakers during game

Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics
A view of the sneakers of Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers in the game against the Boston Celtics as part of the NBA Restart 2020 on August 1, 2020 at The Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.
Photo by Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

Lillard was sporting Pride sneakers from his “Dame 6” collection during the Trail Blazers’ game Sunday against Boston.


Qualifier: Sue Bird came up with idea for WNBA players to wear shirts supporting Kelly Loeffler’s opponent

Dallas Wings v Chicago Sky
Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm and Megan Rapinoe are seen wearing Vote Warnock T-shirts during a game between the Dallas Wings and the Chicago Sky at Feld Entertainment Center on August 04, 2020 in Palmetto, Fla.
Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

WNBA players are wearing shirts this week to support the Democratic challenger to Loeffler’s senate seat.


Qualifier: Megan Rapinoe’s new talk show debuts on HBO

USWNT star and outspoken advocate Megan Rapinoe kicked off a new talk show on HBO Saturday night, talking to AOC among others.


Qualifier: Gay baseball player remembers his coach who died from COVID-19 at age 30

Michael Holland
Michael Holland

Being Out: Michael Holland remembers his former coach as someone ‘who cared about me and what I wanted to do outside of baseball.’


Qualifier: This coach came out at an NCAA convention. Now he leads the LGBTQ-inclusion program OneTeam

Neil Virtue

Neil Virtue is proud of the work OneTeam has done in the last year, and he’s hoping for more in the near future.


Qualifier: When this UCLA gymnast came out before the team’s Pride Meet, her teammates embraced her

After coming out as bisexual, Kalyany Steele set career highs on the mat.


Qualifier: Out wrestler Cassius found self-validation inside the ring

Cassius
Cassius
James Musselwhite/@Y2Jimbob

The popular British wrestling fixture found his inner brightness and his “Neon Explosion” persona through feminine expression and fan acceptance.


Loser: Tom Daley shows fans that he’s hilariously bad at golf

In a new vlog, the Olympic medalist entertainingly demonstrates that athletic skills on the platform don’t translate on the driving range.


Qualifier: For trans high school lacrosse player, it was liberating playing with boys team

Gabriel Kris
Gabriel Kris

‘On the field, I’m not a trans kid or an autistic kid or a depressed kid. I’m a lacrosse player,’ Gabriel Kris says.


Qualifiers: U.S. elite and club rugby players join worldwide chorus against proposed trans ban

USA Rugby is asking for feedback on proposed World Rugby guidelines


Qualifier: On the pitch and in the studio, Alice Soper runs straight at you

Alice Soper
Alice Soper

New Zealand rugby player and television analyst Alice Soper has a lot to say about the sport she loves.


Qualifier: Gay former umpire Dale Scott joins in virtual ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’

To welcome the 2020 season, Scott puts the mask back on to join several baseball players and alumni in a virtual seventh inning stretch.


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!