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pi$$ing match.

Analyzing the stigma lesbian athletes face and how Brittney Griner can be seen as a trailblazer too

Jason Collins put an end to a very long wait last month. Finally, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community had an active, openly gay male athlete in one of the four major American sports they could look up to. In a culture where sports and sports figures dominate and set the tone for the rest of society, it was a noteworthy step forward.

However, while some may have pointed out the courageous active female athletes who have come out over the past 32 years to pave the way for Collins, few would have suggested that any lesbian athlete from the past had as much to lose when they came out as Jason Collins did.

Helen Carroll, the sports project director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, summed up what lesbian athletes go through by saying, “it’s not easier for women, because they are dealing with sexism and homophobia at the same time, always.”

Former Baylor players respond to controversy about Brittney Griner’s coming out story (the comments are mighty interesting)

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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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Griner Is Part of Mission to Help All Live in Truth

When the N.B.A. center Jason Collins announced he was gay last week, I was thrilled. Not only was I extremely happy for him, I thought that maybe, just maybe, his courage and the wave of positive reaction meant that we were on the verge of an era when people accept and celebrate one another’s differences. I think that’s what makes life beautiful: everyone is different and we can all learn from one another.

Lordy, I hope women’s basketball coaches learn from Griner and Collins.

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So, to distract us, Mechelle offers this: Douglas fights way back to Fever

You might wonder whether Katie Douglas perhaps had just a brief moment of regret after Indiana won the WNBA championship last season. After all her years of durability through high school, college and pro ball, how could she have suffered a debilitating ankle injury just before the WNBA Finals that the Fever won? What are the odds of that rotten luck and bad timing?

Then again … if you know much about Douglas, it won’t surprise you that, actually, not a single second of angst crossed her mind in that regard. 

“At no point was I sad at all; I was really at peace that I was finally part of a WNBA championship team,” Douglas said Wednesday, looking ahead to the start of the Fever’s 2013 season May 24. “I helped get them there, and my teammates finished it off. They were great.

Get 24 Seconds with Brittney Griner (BTW she helped tv #s on Draft Day)

Need some preseason previews? Here’s what Full Court has:

D.C: With Thibault, the Mystics have nowhere to go but up

‘sota: The Lynx lose Mama Taj but still will be tough to beat

Texas:Despite setbacks, San Antonio concedes nothing

From News on 6: Shock Poised To Bring Excitement To Tulsa Thanks To Offseason Additions

Summertime in Tulsa normally can’t be considered one of the more exciting times of the year, particularly on the sports front.

The heat is oppressive, the mosquitoes are biting and everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of fall and football season. However, this summer—and more in the future—an unlikely source could give Tulsans a reason to be excited, a source that has previously been a point of ridicule and even embarrassment.

Yes, the Tulsa Shock could actually be something worth seeing this summer in Tulsa, thanks to progressive improvement over the past two years and the addition of new point guard Skylar Diggins.

In the land of the Vols, a continuation (Pat Summitt still head coach emeritus) and an explanation (Vols cite job performance for firing)

This is cool: Mark Emmert calls for inclusiveness

NCAA president Mark Emmert opened Tuesday’s second Inclusion Forum by urging campus leaders to make school policies more welcoming for women, minorities, disabled athletes and those with different sexual orientations.

While he didn’t cite Collins specifically during his speech or in the subsequent question-and-answer session, Emmert expressed his support for the first openly gay active player in a major American pro sports league. He acknowledged that Collins’ disclosure that he’s gay could have a ripple effect on how college athletic departments treat other players and coaches.

What did he have to say after Griner’s “revelation”? And what is he going to do about universities who have institutionalized homophobia?

Mechelle reflects on the changing roles/responsibilities of journalists: Who should ask? Who should tell?

This wasn’t discussed when I was in journalism school in the 1980s, or even brought up much by editors throughout my career. Nonetheless, there seemed to be an unspoken code: Sports writers not only shouldn’t “out” athletes or coaches but should essentially avoid questions about their personal lives if we thought they might be gay.

If they chose to bring up the topic, that was OK. Otherwise, we usually didn’t ask. And they rarely told.

I’m certainly not suggesting all media have adhered to this “code.” But I have. And many of the reporters I’ve known seem to, as well. Or at the very least, are typically hesitant to broach the topic of whether someone is gay, even in circumstances when writing about their relationship could be deemed journalistically relevant.

After Baylor’s Brittney Griner talked openly about being gay recently, I thought a lot about the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” mindset in sports writing. And I’ve pondered it more since NBA free agent Jason Collins’ announcement this week.

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Congrats to Jeff House, a good guy: Kentucky women hire WNBA assistant to replace Insell

Lady Swish has some other coaching stuff: Getting to know new George Mason coach Nyla Milleson and McGuire takes over at Radford

The Connecticut Sun open training camp Monday, so coach Anne Donovan has had a lot of time to think about what she will tell her team. In the end, though, she tries not to outthink herself.

“The night before camp, there likely will be a lot of thought [about what to say]. But my general feeling is, the best thing I can do is just be myself,” Donovan said. “It has worked for me with a bunch of other teams and a lot of different players. All I know how to do is be myself. That will be my message.”

Katie Douglas is testing her injured ankle in Russia before her 13th WNBA season

Need some more WATN? Here ya go! St. Bernard hires ex-UCLA star Michelle Greco

I’m not sure I get the point of this article from Henry Abbott: Jason Collins is not Brittney Griner as he tries to explain “why Jason Collins’ coming out made bigger waves than Brittney Griner’s.” He missed a big point… Just read some of the comments.

And, on a side note, how many tweets of support did Griner get from WBCA and WNBA coaches?

BTW, this from Jayda: National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Launched

From Mel: Guru Adds to Hall of Fame Collection: Summer League Countdown to Launch

Since the tease at the end of the previous post was written,and for those not connected on twitter @womhoopsguru, facebook or LinkedIn, the Guru was cleared to go public to say that on Oct. 19, though he was never enrolled at the university, he will become a honorary Catholic woman when he becomes part of the second induction class of the Immaculata Athletics Hall of Fame.

The letter cited support of the university and pioneering coverage of women’s basketball.

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From Variety: Media Coverage of NBA’s Jason Collins Varies Widely

The news Monday that Jason Collins had become the first active player in any of the four major U.S. team sports to reveal himself as gay itself provided a new demonstration of how idiosyncratically different media cover a story.

Even ESPN and ESPN.com seemed to be at odds over how to treat the NBA center’s news, which came two weeks after the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major-league game, while ESPN analyst Chris Broussard created his own controversy with [his] comments:“If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, (but) adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals … I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God,”  Broussard said on a special edition of ESPN’s “Outside the Lines.”

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