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This week’s winners and losers in LGBTQ sports

Every week, our managing editor runs down the big stories of the past seven days.

Shelby Weldon

Time again for my weekly ranking of the winners and losers in LGBTQ sports, based on the stories we’ve shared since last Saturday.


Winner: Ryan Russell calls on athletes to fight trans bans: ‘Don’t let anyone use the games that we love for hate’

R.K. Russell
R.K. Russell
Benjamin

“To use sports to perpetuate hate is the exact opposite of what sports is all about,” writes the former NFL player in a powerful op-ed.


Loser: Arkansas Gov. defends veto of anti-trans bill amid Trump criticism, but his compassion has its limits

Asa Hutchinson called for compassion for trans youth on a national television appearance, but also stood behind signing a trans athlete ban.


Winner: Colton Underwood, former NFL prospect and Bachelor, now says he IS gay after saying last year he wasn’t

Screening Of Lionsgate’s “I Still Believe”
Reality TV personality and former NFL prospect Colton Underwood at the screening of Lionsgate’s “I Still Believe” at Fairfax Cinemas on March 11, 2020 in West Hollywood, Calif.
Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Colton Underwood shares his journey to sexual discovery, now saying he is in fact gay. After appearing on the Bachelor, he said he wasn’t.


Winners: There have been 15 out gay and bi football players in the NFL’s 100-year history

The openly gay and bi football players have been trailblazers in the NFL’s 100 years.


Losers: Mets partnership with Chick-fil-A has this gay fan Mad-Full-A

A sign at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., home of the New York Mets, advertises Chick-fil-A restaurants.
Citi Field’s new Chick-fil-A sign.
Twitter

A lifelong gay Mets fan wrote this plea to the team to end its promotion with the controversial fast-food restaurant chain, and he demands MLB step in.


Winner: This gay racing phenom needed money to keep driving, and his calls were answered

Devon Rouse sits in the drivers seat of his race car.
Devon Rouse.
Submitted photo

When Devon Rouse asked for help on Twitter, a generous celebrity benefactor came to the rescue.


Winners and also losers: NCAA clarifies it hasn’t actually made a decision about championships in states with anti-trans laws

In a new statement, the NCAA expresses support for trans athletes, but is vague on specifics.


Winner: This pro fighter is a proud drag queen

Diego Garijo in drag.
Diego Garijo
Screenshot via Instagram

Diego Garijo carries the same confidence whether he’s taping up his fingers to fight or putting on heels to perform on stage.


Winner: From college swimmer to high school coach, gay athlete stayed true to himself

MacJilton Lewis in the pool for Cleveland State.
MacJilton Lewis.
Andrew Yoshi

The most challenging part of being gay has actually been encouraging myself to be more open with others,’ MacJilton Lewis writes.


Winner: Sheena Lawrick played in two Olympics. She’s talking for the first time about being gay

Australia’s first base Sheena Lawrick
Australia’s first base Sheena Lawrick (R) celebrates with coaches after hitting a homerun during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games softball semi final match against Canada at the Fengtai stadium on August 20, 2008.
OMAR TORRES/AFP via Getty Images

Sheena Lawrick was out at Nebraska and Team Canada. Now she’s married and raising a family, skipping Olympics No. 3.


Winners: The 25 best LGBTQ matches from WrestleMania week

Nearly every event during Wrestlemania week 2021 featured LGBTQ talent. Here are the best the week had to offer.


Winner: NCAA’s Sedona Prince of viral TikTok fame shares her coming out story

NCAA Womens Basketball: Sweet Sixteen-Oregon at Louisville
Oregon Ducks forward Sedona Prince (32) and Louisville Cardinals forward Olivia Cochran (44) jump for tipoff in the first half in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2021 Women’s NCAA Tournament at Alamodome.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In a new interview, the Oregon Ducks forward speaks on activism, gay visibility, and using their TikTok platform to speak out.


Winner: Dropping Lords and Ladies would make my college more trans-friendly

Students at Ohio’s Kenyon College believe the school’s Lords and Ladies nicknames are transphobic. This (old) alumnus has come to agree with them.


Winner: ‘Team DemiNik’ puts up second WTA doubles win of 2021

2021 Volvo Car Open
Demi Schuurs of Netherlands and Nicole Melichar celebrate match point against Marie Bouzkova and Lucie Hradecka of Czech Republic in the doubles final during the Volvo Car Open at LTP Daniel Island Tennis Center on April 11, 2021 in Charleston, S.C.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Out doubles specialist Demi Schuurs and doubles partner Nicole Melichar win at the Volvo Car Open and move into third in the WTA Finals standings.


Winner: A fan makes the case for Amanda Nunes as the UFC G.O.A.T.

MMA: UFC 259
Amanda Nunes of Brazil, right, punches Megan Anderson of Australia in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

In this FanPost, Ares Victos writes that Nunes has normalized bell-to-bell dominance.


Winner: This gay surfer started an OnlyFans page to feel sexy, and it’s working

Nick Vallejo
Nick Vallejo
Photo by Connor Trimble

Nick Vallejo finds inner-peace in the ocean and confidence in front of the camera.


Rooting for A Winner: Gay former college rugby player is now running for city clerk in Michigan

Taylor Vanderlaan wants to bring his push for equality to public office in Kentwood, Mich.


Winners: New Jersey Devils host team’s first Pride Night since pandemic

N.J. Devils Pride Night January 2020
N.J. Devils Pride Night.
N.J. Devils

The NHL team hosted its 5th annual N.J. Devils Pride Night, featuring special jerseys which will be auctioned-off to benefit LGBTQ groups.


Winners: Phoenix Suns treat LGBTQ fans to 2021’s first in-person Pride Night in NBA

The honor of hosting 2021’s very first in-person Pride night in the NBA since the pandemic began goes to the Phoenix Suns.


Be A Winner: Please take this important, confidential survey if you’re out to teammates

A new survey studies the experiences of LGBTQ athletes who have been out on high school or college teams.


That’s all for this week! I’ll bring you another 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!