Torii Hunter says he was misquoted on comments about a gay teammate

Let the damage control begin. Over the weekend, Kevin Baxter of the LA Times published a piece that quoted Detroit Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter as saying he would be uncomfortable with a gay teammate. He said his stance was based on his Christian faith, and as expected Hunter has been getting blasted for his lack of acceptance and beliefs that many feel are outdated.

On Monday, Hunter took to Twitter to try to clarify his stance. He went the old “I was misquoted” route.

“I’m very disappointed in Kevin Baxter’s article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented,” Hunter wrote. “He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being. I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true.”

Most athletes like these NFL players have said they would fully accept a gay teammate. Others like Roddy White have made insensitive comments about the gay community, and we see where that leads. Hunter’s comments fall somewhere in the middle. As he has likely learned, the middle is not a place you want to be.

Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Sarah Jones reportedly getting reality TV show

The former NFL cheerleader who admitted in court to having sex with a minor reportedly is getting her own reality TV show, though her attorney is denying the report.

Radar Online reports that 495 Productions, which created the popular MTV show “Jersey Shore,” is giving a reality show to ex-Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones. Jones admitted to having sex with her then-underage student while she was a high school teacher. She pleaded guilty to lesser charges on Oct. 8 and avoided jail time as part of a plea deal.

There is no word when the show will begin production or what network will air it. 495 Productions has produced/created “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila,” “Tool Academy,” “Disaster Date,” which appeared on MTV or VH1, as well as “Jersey Shore” and its spinoff shows. A few of their other shows have appeared on Oxygen or A&E.

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Lance Armstrong gives speech appealing to cancer donors (Video)

Lance Armstrong may be going through one of the most difficult times of his life, but the public shaming he has endured has not stopped him from continuing his fight against cancer.

Armstrong spoke at Livestrong’s 15th anniversary celebration in Austin, Tex., on Friday night — two days after he stepped down as the charity’s chairman– to appeal to cancer donors.

“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks,” Armstrong acknowledged. “When people ask how I’m doing, I say ‘I’ve been better, but I’ve also been worse.'”

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in August, and banned from cycling for life. But it wasn’t until USADA released over 1,000 pages of evidence supporting their decisions to strip and ban Armstrong that many other of his previous supporters began to turn on him.

Nike, which stood by Armstrong during his cycling career (and allegedly paid off a cycling president on his behalf), endorsed him, and supported Livestrong, officially dropped him on Wednesday. Several other companies followed their lead and cut ties with the disgraced former cyclist.

CNN even reported about several Livestrong donors who are angry and feel defrauded. One couple who has raised $200,000 for the charity say they want their money back.

“I feel we were really fooled. We were really hoodwinked,” Connie Roddy told CNN.

The criticism from corporations and individuals isn’t keeping Armstrong from rallying on behalf of Livestrong.

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Matt Birk writes column in opposition of gay marriage

Gay marriage has become a hot topic among some NFL players, and Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk is the latest to engage in the discussion.

The issue became publicized when a Maryland politician sent Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti a letter requesting that he prevent Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who supports gay marriage, from expressing his divisive political views. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded by writing a profane column published by Deadspin in support of Ayanbadejo and gay marriage.

Now Birk, a St. Paul native, wrote a column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in opposition of gay marriage.

Birk, who graduated from Harvard in 1998, believes that NFL players should have the right to voice their opinion, but he wants society to promote specific marriage values.

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College linebacker Jamie Kuntz says he was kicked off team for kissing boyfriend

Jamie Kuntz used to play football at North Dakota State College of Sciences before he was seen kissing his boyfriend. The freshman linebacker says he was basically kicked off the team for being gay, although head coach Chuck Parsons says it was because he lied.

The 18-year-old Kuntz says he was in the press box with his 65-year-old boyfriend at a game against Show College in Colorado over Labor Day weekend. Kuntz was videotaping his team’s 63-17 blowout when he says the kiss “just happened.” A teammate supposedly saw the kiss and told the coach, but Kuntz lied and said the man was his grandfather.

“People around here aren’t exposed to it,” Kuntz explained. “People expect gays to be flamboyant, not football players. I lied.”

Kuntz says he later felt guilty about lying so he told the truth. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the dismissal letter sent by Parsons to Kuntz informing him that he had lost his partial scholarship as a result of “conduct deemed detrimental to the team” and for violating clearly stated team rules about lying to coaches, teachers or other school staff.

“I know if it was a girl in the press box, or even an older woman, nothing would have happened,” Kuntz said. “If it was an older woman, I would have probably been congratulated for it from my teammates.”

School officials are now looking into the case, and North Dakota State College of Science president John Richman says he believes it is being handled “fairly and consistently” by the athletic department.

Kuntz mother, Rita Kuntz, says Jamie told her he was gay at the same time he told her he had been kicked off the team. While she has accepted his sexuality and believes what the team did was wrong, she doesn’t agree with her son having a 65-year-old boyfriend and believes the older man is taking advantage of Jamie.

Photo via Jamie Kuntz’s Facebook page

Youth football player quits team after coach won’t let him wear pink gloves to support mother with breast cancer

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We have heard of strict uniform policies regarding colors and brands at the NFL level, but what about youth football? If a 12-year-old’s mother is battling breast cancer and he wants to wear pink gloves to support her cause, would anyone stand in his way? Unfortunately, it appears they would.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, Julian Connerton strapped on his pink gloves before his Egg Harbor City Crusaders were set to take on the Ocean City Junior Raiders on Saturday night, but was told he could not play if he wore them. That led to Julian’s decision to quit the team. Word of the incident has circulated around various social media sites, and Connerton’s aunt Sonia Cruz is hopeful the coach will come to his senses.

“The family is optimistic that the coach will apologize and that Julian will rejoin the team,” Cruz said.

Cruz also noted that the team invited Julian to participate in team pictures on Wednesday, and that the EHC Crusaders Facebook page said the team was looking forward to welcoming him back. One member of the Crusaders Youth Athletic League Association, Louis Barrios, said head coach Paul Burgan was unaware of Connerton’s reason for wanting to wear the pink gloves.

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Condoleezza Rice, Darla Moore become first female members at Augusta National

Augusta National has finally broken its gender barrier for club membership. The exclusive Georgia golf club invited Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore to become members when the club opens for a new season in October, and both women accepted.

The acceptance of female members ends a long-standing debate that raged in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations demanded the club accept female members. That year the NCWO urged companies not to advertise on the Masters, and they urged CBS not to televise the tournament.

10 years after the issue came to the forefront in discussions, Augusta National has acted.

It’s pretty clear that Augusta National chairman Billy Payne (pictured) and the others in charge at the club succumbed to public pressure by extending invitations to women. As recently as April, Payne seemed unwilling to discuss the matter.

While I think that overall it’s better for people and organizations to be inclusive rather than exclusive, I’ve always felt that Augusta National had the right to limit membership to whomever they chose. If they didn’t want me in their club, then I wouldn’t want to play there anyhow. And if the women wanted to play golf at a beautiful, exclusive club, why not create one for themselves?

The inclusion of female members at Augusta National is probably a good step for gender equality, but we still shouldn’t lose sight of what the club is: a group that limits its membership to the most prominent and wealthy folks in the country. You think they let scrubs in there? You think they have Joe the Plumber playing rounds and hanging out in the locker room? Condoleezza Rice is one of the most distinguished women in the country. Moore is one of the richest. It may be open to female members now, but let’s not take this news to mean that Augusta National is suddenly open to everyone.