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NFL, NHL Preparing Grounds For First Gay Players

From Reuters:

Football preparing the ground for first gay players

By Simon Evans | April 30, 2013

MIAMI (Reuters) – They’re big, they’re tough, and, presumably, some of them are gay, but so far not a single active NFL player has come out and said so. After NBA player Jason Collins broke that barrier this week, the National Football League is making sure it will be ready for any coming out party…

Remember when ‘coming out parties’ meant something else?

Just hours before Collins’ coming out statement was published by Sports Illustrated on Tuesday, the NFL – America’s most popular sport, with $9 billion a year in revenue – released a ‘workplace conduct statement’ regarding sexual orientation.

"The NFL has a long history of valuing diversity and inclusion. Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation is not consistent with our values and is unacceptable in the National Football League," league commissioner Roger Goodell says in the document…

The memo, sent to chief executives, club presidents, head coaches and general managers, highlights a tough policy on reporting acts of discrimination or harassment and makes clear that questions about sexuality are not permitted during recruitment interviews.

Collins’ statement, and the reaction to it, has raised expectations that other gay athletes will feel the time is right to come out… Several reports have indicated that one or more NFL players may be close to coming out…

Gay rights groups say that making the locker room ready requires more than just stamping down on homophobic comments on the field or in social media and involves a process of education.

Aaron McQuade, of gay rights group GLAAD, says the NFL has responded well to the group’s suggestions that proscribing discrimination isn’t enough on its own.

"We are part of a coalition that has been meeting with the NFL and speaking with them for almost a year now about ways to stop coming down hard on guys for saying something that they didn’t think about and start educating them," McQuade told Reuters.

"We are still very early in the process but it’s moving along fairly quickly," he added. "The NFL is absolutely committed to not just punishing the players that misbehave but actually educating the players about these issues."

Thank Allah we are keeping politics out of sports.

From Reuters:

NHL ready for arrival of first gay player

By Steve Keating | April 30, 2013

TORONTO (Reuters) – The National Hockey League (NHL) has been preparing for years for the first gay player to come out in public and that groundwork may be about to pay off after the NBA’s Jason Collins opened the door to a new era…

The deputy commissioner of the NHL, composed of U.S. and Canadian teams, said he was not personally aware of any gay players in the league but made it clear the NHL is treating any coming out as a high priority.

Huh? Why should it be a priority to them at all?

"Certainly this is something that is very important to the National Hockey League, it has been and I think our partnership with ‘You Can Play’ is demonstrative of that," Bill Daly told a Toronto radio station on Monday…

The NHL says it is committed to becoming not only North America’s but the world’s most inclusive professional sports league…

Which you can see by just looking at it.

The gay issue is one that hits close to home for the NHL.

The You Can Play Project was founded just over a year ago by Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke, son of former-Toronto Maple Leafs and 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team general manager Brian Burke, after his brother Brendan, an openly gay student athlete, was killed in a car accident.

Ah, so you can see the connection.

You Can Play is not only committed to changing the locker room culture within the NHL but also educating fans and media to better prepare a welcoming environment for any player, from junior to professional, who decides they want to reveal their sexuality.

Last year the NHL and You Can Play, with the help from 60 players, developed a series of public service videos asking for tolerance and understanding from the fans.

You Can Play representatives will also appear at the league’s rookie orientation program to educate incoming players about the NHL’s inclusiveness policy

The NHL is also being helped by initiatives at the grassroots level

We can just imagine.

Meanwhile we have this troubling scoop from TMZ:

Jason Collins’ Ex-Fiancee: I Had NO IDEA He Was Gay

April 30, 2013

Exclusive Details! The woman who was once engaged to NBA star Jason Collins tells TMZ, she had NO CLUE he was gay at the time of their relationship … in fact, she only found out last weekend … and she was floored.

Carolyn Moos (who played a few seasons in the WNBA) dated Collins for seven years and was engaged to him until they broke up in 2009 … after Collins pulled the plug on their wedding.

Carolyn tells TMZ, she never once suspected he was gay, so the news is shocking. She says Collins eventually revealed everything last weekend — just days before his big announcement — and said that his homosexuality was the real reason he ended things with her.

At the time of their breakup, Carolyn says Jason gave a bunch of BS reasons for calling it quits … and she could never understand what went wrong, until now.

Carolyn — who’s back on the hunt for Mr. Right — tells us, "It’s very emotional for me as a woman to have invested 8 years in my dream to have a husband, soul mate, and best friend in him. So this is all hard to understand."

She adds, "I care about [Jason] tremendously and only want the best for him. I want Jason to be happy for a lifetime and stay true to who he really is, inside and out."

What if it turns out that Collins is just ‘gay for convenience’? Which isn’t unheard of. Men used to claim to be gay to avoid the draft. Just like now it might be a new way for someone to get drafted by a pro sports team.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “NFL, NHL Preparing Grounds For First Gay Players”

  1. captstubby says:

    whats the penalty for slapping another player in The National Hockey League ?

    • Petronius says:

      Funny you should ask, capt.

      Not sure about the NHL, but as regards the NFL — In 1968 Joe Don Looney knocked out rookie fullback Ray McDonald in the Redskins’ locker room. No penalty was assessed by the NFL.

      McDonald was arrested by the DC police shortly thereafter for having sex with another man in public. After this arrest McDonald’s football career immediately flamed out.

      He died of AIDS some years later.

      Joe Don Looney, by the way, was the wrong man to get fresh with. Looney once defended quarterback Sonny Jurgensen against a blitz by knocking out the pass rusher with a right hook to the jaw.

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    The NFL will have to change the name of one of its positions.
    “Tight end” doesn’t cut it anymore.

  3. Noyzmakr says:

    Ah, Sonny Jurgensen. The good ole days. I loved watching him play. Growing up in NC meant the Redskins were our local team on TV. Ole Sonny, with his red hair and beer belly. He could really toss that pigskin. You don’t see those tough guys any longer. Real men. Out of shape and loving it.

    Ah….just allowing that memory to settle.

    Now, what happens the first time (which it won’t be but we’ll be told it is) somebody calls one of these “playa’s” a fa*#ot?

    Are they going to change the rule book to include various colorful descriptions? Because as far as I can tell the only rule against adult language seems to fall under Rule 12, Section 3 and that’s about unsportsmanlike conduct. I have never heard of that rule being used against a player for his language against another player.

    From the rule book…

    “It is important to note that the unsportsmanlike conduct rules apply to all
    personnel in the team area, including players, coaches, team employees,
    and officials. Lack of respect or other unsportsmanlike conduct will not be
    tolerated during games or at other times, including postgame interviews.
    This includes abusive, threatening, insulting, or profane language or
    gestures, and physical acts by coaches, players, and other club personnel
    directed at opponents, officials, game personnel, or fans.”

    But I would just note that adult language has always been a part of the NFL.
    Even the so called “N” word is often heard on the pro and college fields. Even worse!! They talk about each others mothers and sisters with language that would make a merchant marine blush.

    So this is going to be at the discretion of the Refs. I can see it now. They will throw someone out of an important game for calling some guy a “fairy” and that changes the outcome…all hell will break out and that will be the end of the NFL!

  4. wirenut says:

    I don’t care if you’re carring balls, or just dream about them. I DON’T CARE! Just do your damn job.
    The uniform makes no differance. Sports or otherwise.

  5. canary says:

    NY Middle school girls forced to ask for lesbian kisses during anti-bullying presentation


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