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Missouri DE Michael Sam comes out as gay

Michael-Sam-MissouriMissouri defensive end Michael Sam came out as gay on Sunday. Sam went public with his sexual preference in an interview  with ESPN’s Outside the Lines, though he says his teammates and coaches have known since August.

“I am an openly, proud gay man,” Sam said.

Sam said he made his decision to come out publicly at the Senior Bowl two weeks ago. After realizing that many people already knew he was gay, the All-American defender did not want to risk having someone else tell his story.

“I didn’t realize how many people actually knew, and I was afraid that someone would tell or leak something out about me,” he said. “I want to own my truth. … No one else should tell my story but me.”

Sam is eligible to enter the NFL Draft this year, so he could very well become the first openly gay player in the NFL. His revelation came less than two weeks after a Division-III kicker became the first openly gay player in college football.

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Google shows LGBT support for Sochi Olympics

Google-LGBT-Olympics-doodle

Google is the latest corporation to take a stand against Russia’s anti-gay laws, and it may also be the largest and most influential. Beginning on Thursday evening, Google’s latest homepage “doodle” features a rainbow flag (the symbol of the LGBT movement) and several sports images. Below the graphic is the following quote.

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” – Olympic Charter

While a Google representative told FOX Sports that he or she had no comment and would rather let the doodle speak for itself, it seems obvious that the corporation is showing support for the LGBT community at the Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony for the Games takes place on Friday.

Back in July, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a legislation that outlaws “homosexual propaganda” and gay rights rallies. He has since insisted that Russia will not discriminate against people based on sexual preference or personal belief during the Olympics, though one particular comment he made about the situation infuriated millions.

Several world-wide corporations like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, AT&T and Visa have all expressed their support for equal rights in advance of the Olympics. Google’s doodle will likely have the widest reach and be seen by the most people.

Conner Mertens becomes first active college football player to come out as bisexual

Conner-MertensConner Mertens made history on Monday night. No college football player has ever come out as gay or bisexual while they were still playing. Mertens is a red-shirt freshman kicker for Division-III Willamette University, and his team and the public now know that he is bisexual.

Mertens asked Willamette coach Glen Fowles if he could meet with him last week to discuss something important. According to OutSports.com, Fowles was concerned that Mertens — who has the potential to be the team’s kicker for the next four seasons — might be transferring schools. He was relieved to hear that the freshman was staying.

“I’m bisexual,” Mertens told Fowles. “I like dudes. I have a boyfriend. And next week, I’m going to tell the world.”

Before he came out, Fowles had assured Mertens that he was a good kicker and would only be judged by his on-field performance. Fowles was an assistant coach with the Bearcats in 1997 when they became the first college football team to have a female kicker, Liz Heastons, participate in a game and score a point. That was one of the reasons Mertens chose Willamette. However, he feared that telling his teammates might be a lot tougher than telling Fowles.

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Former Oilers say two players on 1993 team were gay, nobody cared

Lamar-Lathon-OilersWhile the topic of gay players on NFL rosters has garnered a great deal of attention over the past few years, it is hardly a new issue. There are likely gay men playing professional football today just as there were gay men playing professional football 20 years ago. According to a few former players, the 1993 Houston Oilers had two gay players on their roster and they were not ostracized in any way.

Lamar Lathon, a two-time Pro Bowl linebacker who played for the Oilers from 1990-1994, told the Houston Chronicle this week that the two players he was asked about are some of the toughest teammates he has ever played alongside.

“Listen, those guys that we’re talking about were unbelievable teammates,” Lathon said. “And if you wanted to go to war with someone, you would get those guys first. Because I have never seen tougher guys than those guys. And everybody in the locker room, the consensus knew or had an idea that things were not exactly right. But guess what? When they strapped the pads on and got on the field, man, we were going to war with these guys because they were unbelievable.”

I’m sure there will be people who take offense to Lathon describing the situation as “not exactly right,” but he was clearly defending his former teammates. Bubba McDowell, a former Oilers safety, echoed Lathon’s comments.

“Everybody knew certain guys (were gay),” he said. “Everybody speculated and people used to see these two guys come in by themselves. They’d leave at lunchtime and then come back.”

Both McDowell and Lathon said that showering and being in the locker room with their gay teammates was “no big deal.” An NFL documentary that aired recently painted a picture of the ’93 Oilers — who started the year 1-4 before winning 11 straight and being bounced in the playoffs — as one of the most dysfunctional teams in NFL history.

Earlier this year, Vince Lombardi’s daughter claimed that her father worked with at least five gay men on his 1969 Washington Redskins team and protected any players or co-workers that were discriminated against. If players and coaches were aware that there were gay players in locker rooms almost 50 years ago, I’m sure the same is true now. Hopefully more of those players receive support as time passes.

British Olympic diver Tom Daley comes out as gay (Video)

Tom-DaleyBritish Olympic diver Tom Daley revealed that he is gay in a video he posted on YouTube Monday morning. The 19-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in front of his home nation, spoke about how his life recently changed when he entered into a relationship with another man.

“Come spring, this year, my life changed — massively,” Daley said in the video. “When I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great. That someone is a guy.”

Daley admitted that it took him by surprise that he could have romantic feelings for a man, but said he is comfortable with where he is at in his personal life.

“It did take me by surprise a little bit,” he said. “It was always in the back of my head that it could happen, but it wasn’t until the spring of this year that something clicked. It felt right. Like I said, my whole world just changed right there and then. … It just really does feel right.”

Daley added that he still “fancies girls” but stressed that he could not be happier in his current relationship.

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Abby Wambach on being lesbian: I never felt like I was in a closet

Abby Wambach Sarah Huffman

Abby Wambach was the subject of headlines when it was revealed that she married longtime girlfriend and current teammate Sarah Huffman in Hawaii earlier this month. Wambach and Huffman didn’t publicize their wedding, but they didn’t shy away from the attention once the story became news.

In an interview with ESPNW, Wambach revealed that she found the attention amusing because she has been comfortably “out” for a while and all her friends knew about her relationship with Huffman. She also explained why she never has made a big deal of her sexuality.

“I can’t speak for other people, but for me, I feel like gone are the days that you need to come out of a closet. I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am and the decisions I made,” Wambach told ESPNW.

Wambach joined Athlete Ally over the summer, which is a group supporting gay athletes. Aside from that, she says she never felt the need to make huge statements about her sexual preference.

“I’ve never been asked a question in my soccer world about my relationship, rightfully so because it shouldn’t matter because it doesn’t have anything to do with soccer,” she added. “But I realize I’m a public figure and people are curious about my private life. I’m honestly not the kind of person who wants to step up to a podium, test the microphone and be like, ‘Hey, I’m homosexual and this is who I am, hear me roar.’ That’s not who I am.”

I think there are two aspects of her comments. One, Wambach isn’t out to make huge statements, which is fine. And two, this says a lot about the overall attitude and acceptance of gay athletes. Whether an athlete is gay or not shouldn’t be a big deal, just like it hasn’t been for Wambach, who was the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. We should be at a point where whether an athlete is gay or not is inconsequential. It seems like Wambach has long felt that way, which has probably made her life very comfortable.

WWE wrestler Darren Young says he is gay

Darren YoungWWE wrestler Darren Young told a TMZ cameraman that he is gay, making him the first active professional wrestler to come out, according to the gossip outlet.

Young happened to be at the airport — where many celebrity/TMZ encounters occur — and was asked whether he felt a gay wrestler could be successful in the WWE. Young contemplated the question, and then he decided to reveal he is gay.

“Absolutely [I think a gay wrestler could be successful)," Young answered. "Look at me. I'm a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay. And I'm happy, very happy."

The cameraman was "flabbergasted" by Young's revelation and stunned by the coming out moment. Young didn't think much of it.

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