The 2014 Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Inductees
See if your favorite athlete made the cut!
The second annual Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Ceremony took place this past July at the Center on Halsted in Chicago. Still in its infancy, the ceremony attracted a wide audience of athletes, musicians, celebrities, past inductees, and fans.
Bill Gubrud is the founder, executive director and board chair of the Sports Hall of Fame. He was on hand to introduce the inductees and share his thoughts about the past year in LGBT sports. Highlights from his speech included Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player drafted in the NFL and numerous other college athletes, both men and woman, who bravely came out of the closet. As for the lows, there was only one that Gubrud felt compelled to mention—Sochi, Russia.
But lets not dwell on the negative. The point of the Sports Hall of Fame Ceremony was to celebrate the amazing and historic achievements of LGBT athletes who helped paved the way for the future.
The 2014 Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame inductees include:
• Mark Bingham
Bingham was a championship rugby player. He died on September 11, 2001 on United Flight 93.
• Diana Nyad
Nyad is a long-distance swimmer. In September 2013, at the age of 64, she successfully swam from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Fla. It was her fifth attempt.
• Jerry Smith
Smith was a tight end for the Washington Redskins and held the record for most touchdowns by a tight end. He died in 1986 of complications from HIV/AIDS.
• John Amaechi
Amaechi was a professional basketball player. He came out after retiring from the NBA in 2007. He was also honored for his advocacy and leadership in the LGBT community.
• Fallon Fox
Fox is a Mixed Martial Arts fighter and she transitioned in 2006.
• Christ Mosier
Mosier is a triathlete and cofounded the website Transathlete.com to help further the advancement of trans athletes.
• Former San Francisco Mayor George Moscone
Moscone died in 1978 when he was shot walking next to Harvey Milk. He was an advocate of LGBT rights both politically and athletically.
• Nike, Inc.
The famous shoe and apparel company has been a long and storied supporter of LGBT athletes. In addition to signing the likes of Abby Wambach and Brittney Griner to endorsement deals, they held the first-ever LGBT Sports Summit in 2012 to combat bullying, harassment and bias in sports.
• The Stand Up Foundation
In 2011, the Stand Up Foundation began its campaign to eliminate bullying from the classroom and the field. Ben Cohen is the founder and a former rugby world cup champion.
• Brittney Griner
Griner is an All Star in the WNBA. She plays for the Phoenix Suns and currently leads the WNBA with a record-setting number of blocks.
• Billy Bean
Bean was an all-American outfielder, first baseman and designated hitter in the MLB. He played for the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. He was the second former major league baseball player to come out as gay and has since become a motivational speaker, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, and author of Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major League Baseball.
• Tom Daley
Daley is am Olympic diver and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist.
• Wade Davis
Davis is a former NFL Player. He also played in NFL Europe player. He is currently the executive director of the You Can Play Project.
• Gareth Thomas
Thomas is a retired Welsh international rugby player.