Oregon United for Marriage along with other groups are currently in the process of collecting the voter signatures needed to put marriage equality on the November 2014 ballot.
The Timbers and Thorns organization announced the endorsement with a statement from owner Merritt Paulson: “We are proud to support Oregon United for Marriage and its efforts to secure the freedom to marry for all Oregonians next November.” They also released the following video on the Oregon United for Marriage YouTube page:
The Chicago Fire currently work with Equality Illinois, who are working through the legislature for marriage equality. Adidas America joined with Oregon United for Marriage this week as well.
You can sign onto a message thanking the Timbers, Thorns, and NBA’s Trailblazers on the Oregon United for Marriage website.
The US Olympic Committee (USOC) announced Friday that its board voted to add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy.
The USOC was under a great deal of pressure from both athletes and lawmakers to protect gay and lesbian athletes ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where laws are in place that punish what is viewed as pro-gay propaganda. The amended bylaw reads:
The USOC is committed to honesty and integrity as the cornerstone of our activities. In turn, the USOC expects you to conduct yourself in an ethical and legal manner as a representative of the USOC. This requires you to:
* Respect the rights of all individuals to fair treatment and equal opportunity, free from discrimination or harassment of any type, including, without limitation discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or otherwise.
While openly stating opposition to the law, the USOC states that they will not advocate for its changing. They are inquiring with the International Olympic Committee about how IOC rules against political speech affect athletes who have already been vocal about the laws in place in Russia. The IOC does not include sexual orientation or gender identity in its non-discrimination policies.
Gay and lesbian soccer players from Robbie Rogers to Tasha Kai and from Megan Rapinoe to Abby Wambach have represented the United States at the past few Olympic games.
The soccer programs from each school is represented in the two videos, along with a myriad of other sports programs.
Brown and Dartmouth are two of our nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning, and it’s great to see their student athletes taking a stand on and off the field as they lead the way in the Ivy League.
Here’s the video from Dartmouth released early in September:
And here’s Brown’s video that came out just last week:
Here’s to many more great You Can Play videos from collegiate and pro teams in the coming year!
As a former Olympian himself, Robbie Rogers has gotten a lot of questions about calls to boycott the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi after Russian crackdowns on the LGBT community. To answer everyone at once, he has penned a column for USA Today about the issue.
…I couldn’t imagine supporting a boycott of the Sochi Olympics that would deny any fellow athletes the opportunity to do what I did then: to compete against the world’s best, to fulfill the dream of a lifetime, to set an example for the world, to make our friends, families, and country proud of our accomplishments. I also couldn’t imagine telling an athlete not to boycott if that’s what he or she thinks is best.
Beyond his statements about Sochi, Rogers talks about the Galaxy’s recent trip to Miami for the International Champions Cup tournament. At one of their meals as a team, the subject of his sexuality came up: what it’s like to date guys and what it’s like to go to a gay bar. He compares that moment to what it will be like for out athletes and allies to go to Russia and have an opportunity to expose folks there to some exceptional members of the world LGBT community and have conversations.
You can read Robbie Rogers’ complete column at the USA Today website.
The campaign’s first video was produced with the 2012 All Stars while in Philadelphia and it premiered later in the season. This season started off with a new video, and the message prominently appears throughout Kansas City, at the press conference, at fan events, and at the game itself tonight.
Portland’s Will Johnson, Kansas City’s Graham Zusi, Chicago’s Mike Magee, and Kansas City Coach Peter Vermes all spoke about why “Don’t Cross the Line” is such an important message to them and to the league:
The Seattle Reign are the latest American soccer team to make a video for the You Can Play Project, becoming the first Women’s professional team in the US to participate.
Out US Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe joined the Reign earlier this summer after her time with Lyon and she appears with her teammates in the video.
Welsh international Jess Fishlock spoke about making the video:
I am excited that we are partnering with You Can Play and helping them take the steps that are needed to eradicate homophobia in professional sports. It’s something I support 100% and I am honored to play for the first professional women’s team aligned with this cause.
- Michelle Betos, goalkeeper
- Liz Bogus, forward
- Jess Fishlock, midfielder and Welsh National Team member
- Laura Harvey, head coach
- Sam Laity, assistant coach
- Megan Rapinoe, midfielder and US National Team member
- Keelin Winters, midfielder
AS Roma released their video for the “Don’t Cross the Line” featuring US Men’s National Team star Michael Bradley over the weekend ahead of this week’s MLS All Star Game.
Bradley is joined by teammate and Roma captain Francesco Totti, defender Nicolás Burdisso, and manager Rudi Garcia in this first-of-its-kind video for a team in Serie A.
Don’t Cross the Line is featuring heavily at All Star Game week festivities, with stations set up at events where fans can take the pledge.
You can take the pledge yourself at http://www.mlssoccer.com/dontcrosstheline and don’t forget we’ll have coverage of the 2013 MLS All Star Game all week.
Sarah Huffman and Meleana Shim speak out as out NWSL athletes as part of the announcement.
Eighteen NWSL players have joined the Athlete Ally program as Ambassadors, representing seven teams across the league, as well as both the US and Canadian National Teams.
The effort to have league players join the anti-homophobia and a anti-transphobia non profit as a group was spearheaded by the Western New York Flash’s Sarah Huffman, who said as part of the statement:
I am proud to be an athlete ally because I dream of a world full of equal opportunities and treatment. I believe that sports are a place where everybody belongs. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation, race, gender have no place in the world – nevertheless sports. I am excited to be an ally and stand up for people like me in the LGBT community.
Marc Burch is not a dickhead.
Robbie Rogers is on the August cover of Out Magazine for an issue focused on sports. It’s quite a good interview done by who is probably the best writer at Here Media, who publishes both Out and The Advocate. It covers his playing, his coming out, and his personal life with a balance you don’t often see from gay media outlets. I haven’t yet mentioned the Out Magazine interview on this site, and this will be the only time I mention it.
I’m not going to mention Out Magazine and their otherwise good interview with Robbie Rogers because the magazine has also published an online slideshow called the “21 Biggest Dickheads in Sports: 2013 Edition.” Seattle’s Marc Burch and San Jose’s Alan Gordon both appear on the list along with athletes from basketball, ultimate fighting, hockey, gridiron football, and baseball.
The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization aimed at suicide prevention among LGBT youth. It was started in the 1990s by the creators of the 1994 Oscar-winning short film “Trevor” about a 13 year old boy who attempts to take his own life after being taunted by his peers. They provide a helpline for teens and other resources.
It’s great to see Robbie Rogers using his prominence as a pro athlete to help kids who are going through the same struggles with sexuality he did when he was their age.
Here’s the full Hangout with Robbie Rogers, ESPN’s L.Z. Granderson, and youth from the Trevor Project: