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Laurel Richie

“Sophia has the right to express her point of view, however, I do not share her view,” WNBA president Laurel Richie said in a statement. “The WNBA supports diversity and we are committed to the equal and fair treatment of all people.”

Of course, she couldn’t ignore it, ’cause the rest of the world ain’t. From The Atlantic Wire: WNBA Star Doesn’t Care What She’s Voting For, She Just Doesn’t Like Gays

The WNBA is actually light years ahead of any other professional American sports league when it comes to progress for gay players and gay fans. While the NFL and NHL are busy talking about the anticipation of a single openly-gay player, the WNBA’s 2012 first draft pick, Brittney Griner, came out of the closet, was signed by Nike and was in a massive spread in ESPN magazine when she was drafted. “I am a strong, black lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better,” Griner said. Griner and Young actually went to the same college. 

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As you may or may not know, the San Antonio Silver Stars player has taken a public stance:

@sophiayoung33: Should San Antonio be a city that allows same sex marriage?? I vote NO.

Of course, if you’re followed the debate — I mean, the ACTUAL debate on the ACTUAL amendment being proposed, you’d know that the vote has nothing to do with same sex marriage. It’s about to ensure that people cannot be discriminated against for any of the following: sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or disability when it comes to housing or employment.

What Sophia believes about gay marriage is one thing. Folks will disagree with her on that. Folks may even lose respect for her because of her beliefs.

But 1) she’s proving she’s an uneducated voter and 2) by voting “No,” and urging others to follow her, she is voting FOR allowing discrimination.

Not good.

Rebkellians discuss.

From Hoopfeed: Sophia Young steps into equal rights controversy, Silver Stars fan speaks at city council debate

What happens when a WNBA player posts a tweet about a hot button topic while attending a protest on another controversial issue? San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young found out yesterday. The fan favorite since her college days helping lead Baylor to its first national championship in 2005took on two topics in one tweet. She followed up her first tweet with photo evidence of her stances. Young is not playing this season due to a torn ACL she suffered while playing overseas in China. However, she attends home games, interacts with fans and is active in the San Antonio community with charity work and her AAU girl’s basketball team, Sophia Young Elite.

While one can argue that adding protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to San Antonio city’s nondiscrimination code is related to state matrimony laws and gay marriage, legally the distinct issues have absolutely nothing to do with each other. However, Young tweeted that she was against gay marriage while attending a protest at the city council opposing adding LGBT protections to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

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from the NY Times: 

Only 21 states have laws barring employers from refusing to hire people or firing them because of their sexual orientation, and only 16 of those have inclusive workplace nondiscrimination laws that cover bisexual and transgender people as well as gays and lesbians.

Mr. Collins’s announcement coincided with the reintroduction in the House and Senate of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, an overdue measure to outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It has been stalled in Congress for years. But the idea that job applicants and employees should be judged on their professional credentials and the caliber of their work, and not be penalized because of who they are, is a basic fairness principle, and one that polls indicate most Americans support.

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other such targeted celebrations during basketball games can raise a huge number of issues.

As Mechelle said in her chat, “the fact that the league is celebrating [Pride], and that WNBA president Laurel Richie easily says the words “lesbian” and “gay” publicly, are all good signs.”

It’s also a fact that many faith-based organizations are deliberately and actively against equal rights for all, something I find both hypocritical and wildly un-American. So, when WNBA teams host “Faith nights,” it can, understandably, raise the hackles of all fair-minded fans. From an email I received:

I’ve written to LA Sparks mgmt. because this year they had 2 christian events as “entertainment” and no non-christian concerts/entertainment.  This really turns me off to attending Sparks games and I know I’m not the only one.  Is it possible that certain teams are looking to decrease gay fans and increase “families”, specifically christian ones? Don’t know but I think that it’s not a smart idea.

I agree, it’s unwise to alienate one fan base in the hopes of drawing another one. Neither am I willing to lump all faith-based organizations under one umbrella. But how do you decide who does or does not get a night? Here’s my simple litmus test: does the group/organization follow this non-discrimination statement as presented by Iowa State University:

“(Fill-in-the-blank) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity.”

If the group demonstrates a pro-active compliance, cool. If no, respectfully suggest that they are more than welcome to support the League through the purchase of group tickets, but no team of the WNBA would knowingly align themselves with an organization that would deliberately discriminate.

Thoughts?

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is sounded by Pat: A Challenge to Heterosexual Women Coaches and Athletes: Speak Up and Out

One of the problems that we face in women’s sports is that if heterosexual coaches who believe homophobia and discrimination against lesbian coaches and athletes are wrong remain silent in public, it leaves too many other coaches, athletes and parents with the impression that homophobia and discrimination against lesbians in sport is fine and dandy. We need more coaches who privately express their support for lesbian coaches and athletes to speak up in publicly and do it more often.

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