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Tony Dungy and When Someone You Admire Turns Out to Be a Homophobe

When you have fervently followed your favorite sports team for decades, you put their stars and players on an imaginary pedestal. It’s a natural outcome. As I’ve talked about before, I grew up in Pittsburgh when the city’s NFL team, the Steelers, won four Super Bowls in the 1970s.

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How a Pro-LGBTQ+ Rights Armband Became World Cup Drama in Qatar
(CNN) -- FIFA President Gianni Infantino pleaded with countries to let football take center stage ahead of the World Cup in Qatar, but it hasn't quite worked out like that.Soccer's global governing body has found itself at loggerheads with seven European nations over the threat of sanctions for any player wearing a "OneLove" armband during games.The eleventh-hour announcement from FIFA has created a rift between soccer's governing body and the seven nations involved, although neither side has emerged free from criticism.The "OneLove" armband -- which features the outline of a heart striped in different colors -- was intended to be worn by captains from England, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, and Wales at the World Cup to promote inclusion and display solidarity with people of different genders and sexual identities.But hours before England captain Harry Kane was scheduled to wear the armband against Iran on Monday, FIFA said any player wearing the armbands would receive a yellow card, putting them in danger of being sent off or banned from a later game in the tournament.FIFA regulations state that team captains must wear armbands provided by the governing body, even though it said it "supports all legitimate causes, such as 'OneLove.'"However, the debacle has rumbled on as a sideshow to the tournament itself.If players like Kane didn't wear the armband, Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Hadja Lahbib did as she talked to Infantino at the World Cup game between Belgium and Canada on Wednesday.German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser also wore the armband with Infantino sitting close by during her country's 2-1 defeat against Japan."It's quite scary for LGBTQ+ communities around the world to see our
How Nikki Hiltz Is Making Running More Inclusive for LGBTQ+ People
(CNN) -- Running in the quiet, in those spaces between footsteps when both feet are in mid-air and flying for a millisecond, Nikki Hiltz figured out their gender identity.Ever since Hiltz ran on the beach barefoot as a child taking part in lifeguard training, running has seeped into almost every part of their life, becoming a career that took them to the world championships.So when all their races were canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Hiltz organized their own, naming it Pride 5k to create a space for LGBTQ people and to raise money for The Trevor Project — a nonprofit organization providing 24/7 crisis counseling to LGBTQ youth."I was open about my sexuality at that point, but not my gender identity," Hiltz tells CNN Sport."And so I think, deep down, I was just a closeted queer person, trying to make a safe space for people to show up as [themselves] and kind of subconsciously making that space for me to show up as myself."Hiltz says nearly 2,000 people participated from a variety of locations in the first edition of Pride 5k and at least four people used the day to publicly come out as queer, later recording podcasts with Hiltz to share their stories."Something about hearing coming out stories, or just connecting with someone who was hiding something and then got to share it — it just really was the last push I needed to be like: 'OK, I think I'm ready to now come out,'" Hiltz says.And, in what Hiltz calls a "full circle moment," they also publicly came out as transgender on March 31, 2021 — Transgender Day of Visibility — a little less than nine months after that first Pride 5k race."That means I don't identify with the gender I was assigned at birth," they wrote in an Instagram post explaining that they
LGBTQ+ Soccer Fans Should 'Be Respectful' in Qatar, Says U.K. Official
(CNN) — British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is receiving backlash for suggesting gay soccer fans should be "respectful" in Qatar when attending the FIFA World Cup set to take place in the Gulf Arab state later this year.Speaking to LBC Radio on Wednesday, Cleverly said he had spoken with authorities in Qatar -- where homosexuality is criminalized -- who "want to make sure that football fans are safe, secure and enjoy themselves."He continued: "And they know that that means they are going to have to make some compromises in terms of what is an Islamic country, with a very different set of cultural norms to our own."One of the things I would say to the football fans is, you know: 'Please do be respectful of the host nation.'"They [Qatar] will try -- they are trying -- to ensure that people can be themselves and enjoy the football and I think with a little bit of flex and compromise at both ends, it can be a safe, secure and exciting World Cup," the foreign secretary added.New UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's spokesman distanced themselves from the comments, saying, "We wouldn't expect [LGBTQ fans] to compromise who they are and you'll know the UK has very clear rules around this. Qatar's policies are not those of the UK government and not ones that we would endorse."Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell of UK's main opposition Labour party slammed Cleverly's comments, calling it "shockingly tone deaf" in a tweet."Where do you draw the line on that?" she said in an interview with LBC Radio.
Solomon Bates stepped up to the mound as an out baseball player and won
This profile is part of Queerty’s 2022 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.Name: Solomon Bates, 25Bio: Solomon Bates grew up in Victorville, California, where he excelled on the baseball field. He played through college for the University of Southern California until 2018, when he became the eighth-round pick for the Giants at age 25.  A post shared by Solomon Bates (@solomonbates)Little did we know, the following year, in 2019, Bates came out as gay to his teammates—the Giants’ minor league Richmond Flying Squirrels—and never let the ball drop.His posts during the time period show his clear love for the game:  A post shared by Solomon Bates (@solomonbates)  A post shared by Solomon Bates (@solomonbates)Coming out: The right-handed pitcher was released from the Giants organization this year, but Bates still had cause for celebration—becoming the second minor league baseball player to publicly come out as gay, after David Denson in 2015.“Being gay in this sport you don’t know what comes at you!” he said, alongside images of his 2022 stats and photos of him in action.“I thank the Giants for giving me the opportunity to be myself and go out there and play the game that I love the most.
8 Countries to Lead LGBTQ-Inclusive Campaign During Qatar World Cup
(CNN) -- Ten European football teams — the Netherlands, England, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales — will participate in a season-long "OneLove" campaign promoting inclusion and opposing discrimination.Every country except Sweden and Norway has qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and each captain of these eight nations will wear a distinctive OneLove armband — which features a heart containing colors from all backgrounds — during the tournament.The Netherlands FA, which is spearheading the campaign, chose the colors to represent all heritages, backgrounds, genders, and sexual identities; the armband will be worn in Qatar where same-sex relationships are a criminal offense.Sweden and Norway will participate in the initiative during the upcoming Nations League matches, while England will also wear black armbands during both its UEFA Nations League matches to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II."This is an important message which suits the game of football: on the field everybody is equal and this should be the case in every place in society. With the OneLove band we express this message," said Virgil van Dijk, the Netherlands captain."On behalf of the Dutch team I have been wearing this band for quite a while now.