Playing for Our Team

Lesbian Sports blog
Why I Love ESPN

10/24/11

Why I Love ESPN

I’m a sports junkie, so it makes sense that my favorite network on television is ESPN. But the reason I love ESPN isn’t just because I love sports. Sure, I watch Sportscenter every day to get my fix. But there’s more to ESPN than sports headlines, in-depth analysis and statistics. There’s the story beyond the story. Since its inception, ESPN has continued to evolve and expand. It now covers every sport imaginable, from poker to soccer and everything in between. But it has also developed riveting investigative reporting shows such as Outside the Lines and E:60. These shows have a knack for finding the story beyond the sports story—the one that lingers in the background, in the bleachers, and on the sideline. And they’ve never been afraid to...

Posted at 07:06 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

The Talk of “Gay” in the NBA

07/08/11

The Talk of “Gay” in the NBA

As a basketball fan, I’m excited with all the “gay” talk going on in the NBA. Here’s a quick rundown of the most recent developments:• Rick Welts, the president of the Arizona Phoenix Suns, recently came out of the closet. This is an important step forward in the right direction, because the NBA has often been known as an exclusive “hetero” league. The idea of a gay basketball player, president or owner was unheard of not too long ago. But the support Welts has received from visible All-Star players like Steve Nash, and the basketball community as a whole, is paramount to opening new doors of acceptance and evolution in the NBA.• Grant Hill and other NBA players have partnered up with GLSEN in order to address anti-gay language among teens....

Posted at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Story of Kye Allums

04/08/11

The Story of Kye Allums

As 64 division I women’s basketball teams took the court for this year’s NCAA tournament, George Washington University was sitting on the sidelines. With an 8–21 record, the Colonials had what many would consider to be a losing record. But this team has a lot to celebrate, because of the humanity, tolerance and compassion its players showed off the court.Kye Allums is a member of the women’s basketball team at George Washington University. It is because of his story, that the true meaning of “team” was tested. Allums was born female, but he has always felt inherently male. During his freshman year of college, he decided to transition. However, this decision posed a unique problem. Allums wanted to continue playing the game he loved, but testosterone...

Posted at 08:10 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Say it isn’t so, Diana

03/16/11

Say it isn’t so, Diana

I’ve been a fan of WNBA All-Star Diana Taurasi since her days at UCONN. At the time, she was the best women’s college basketball player in the nation. She was so good, in fact, that UCONN coach Geno Auriemma would often say during interviews after close games, “They played a really good game. But we’ve got Diana.”

Posted at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

I Heard a Rumor

12/08/10

I Heard a Rumor

Whenever I hear a “rumor,” I always stop and asked myself, “Is it true? Can I possibly know that it’s true?”I’m not a fan of rumors because most rumors are negative. That is precisely the case with a recent rumor I heard about the former women’s soccer coach at Belmont University.Apparently, she was fired because of her sexuality.For those of you who are unaware, Belmont University is Christian-affiliated. So when Lisa Howe abruptly informed her team that she would be leaving, rumors began to bubble up to the surface. Coincidentally, Howe had also recently announced to her team that she and her partner were having a baby in the spring (even though school officials had forbid her from sharing this information).The Athletic Director at Belmont...

Posted at 06:56 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

High School Reflections

11/12/10

High School Reflections

I visited my alma mater last winter to speak about my books and do a little Q&A session with a couple of local GSA groups in the area. During the book signing, I got a chance to talk with a few of the students. One student in particular stands out in my mind. She was a basketball player and a relatively popular girl. I told her how impressed I was that she was out in high school. She smiled, but confessed that she was thinking about quitting basketball because her teammates made fun of her. It broke my heart.As a basketball player myself, I know the importance of team unity. I know how crucial it is to be a supportive teammate no matter what happens on or off the basketball court. I also know that one of the reasons I didn’t come out in high school was because I was afraid...

Posted at 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

The Transformative Power of Sports

10/15/10

The Transformative Power of Sports

There is only one thing my mother-in-law loves more than hockey, and that’s her daughter. You wouldn’t know that she loved hockey unless you sat down and watched a Buffalo Sabres game with her. It’s amazing to me how quickly she transforms from a quiet, unassuming 60-year-old woman into a raging hockey fan with as much hockey knowledge as any veteran analyst, and the vocabulary of a sailor. The first time I witnessed this transformation, I was in utter shock.  Whenever a Sabres game comes on, we watch and listen to her break down the game, telling us what the Sabres are doing right and (very bluntly) what they are doing wrong.  I had never met a woman who was so into hockey before.My wife is an only child. She and her mother are very, very close. We even...

Posted at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

One Sports Bet I’d Actually Make

10/08/10

One Sports Bet I’d Actually Make

Unlike Pete Rose, I don’t bet on baseball. I don’t bet on any sport. I’m not the betting type. Case and point: I’m in fantasy football league with a bunch of friends and the only thing we play for is “bragging rights.” There is one thing in sports that I would bet on, though—and that’s the belief that it was a lot harder to come out in professional sports 30 years ago than it is now. Some people might disagree with me, and tell me that professional athletes today face even more pressure and public scrutiny due to heavy endorsement deals and the fast-paced world of the Internet, which creates a tsunami of backlash whenever an athlete steps out of bounds (excuse the pun, but it works). I agree that professional athletes today are under...

Posted at 08:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

ESPN’s 30 for 30 is Worth Watching

09/30/10

ESPN’s 30 for 30 is Worth Watching

If you are as much of a sports fanatic as I am, then you need to check out ESPN’s 30 for 30. It’s a documentary series featuring 30 individual sports stories, told by 30 different filmmakers, over the past 30 years.You may remember that Michael Jordan walked away from professional basketball in 1993 to pursue a professional baseball career instead. But did you know how hard he worked in the minors? Did you know that he improved his batting average by a whopping 50 points over the course of a single season? Did you know that the reason he left basketball was directly linked to the untimely death of his father, and it was the only way he knew how to deal with the grief?Each documentary that I have watched in the 30 for 30 series has been captivating, unique, inspiring,...

Posted at 06:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Testosterone + Alcohol + Football = Crazy Dudes

09/07/10

Testosterone + Alcohol + Football = Crazy Dudes

I used to go to Buffalo Bills home games with my father when I was younger. I remember when he asked me if I wanted to go to the AFC Championship game in 1993. The Bills were playing the Kansas City Chiefs for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. My favorite football team happens to be the Kansas City Chiefs, so of course I jumped at the chance. There was one small stipulation, however. I wasn’t allowed to wear any Kansas City Chiefs clothing.My Kansas City Chiefs Starter jacket was probably my favorite item of clothing at the time. I saved up all of my paper route money to buy the silly thing, and even wore it during class at school because I was so proud of it (and wanted to look tough). It didn’t make any sense to me when my father told me that I couldn’t wear it to...

Posted at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments