February 19, 2014 |
INDIANAPOLIS - There will be intrigue, just as there is every year with the NFL scouting combine, as the nation's top college football prospects look to turn the heads of their future employers with size, speed and strength. But this year's event promises a little history to go along with the mystery. Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, on track to become the first openly gay NFL player, will be working out for teams, as will a record 103 players who opted to forgo their senior seasons and make the early plunge into the draft pool.
February 18, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia - The surprise American star of these Olympics is walking through a rainstorm, not a drop on his black leggings and ankle-high boots, not a splotch on his styled hair and pale makeup, when suddenly he stops. "Wait, I want to finish saying this," says Johnny Weir, standing unspoiled under an umbrella while a storm rages above. "I am not protesting. I am not making a statement. I'm just being myself. " Yet, what a fabulous self he is, and what a splendid statement that makes.
February 11, 2014 |
When University of Missouri All-American defensive lineman Michael Sam came out publicly in interviews over the weekend, he put himself in a position to become the first openly gay player in the National Football League - if, as expected, he's chosen by a team in the May draft. Professional team sports are among the last arenas of public life to embrace openly gay people, and the NFL is expected to be a particularly tough culture to challenge. Sam is brave to go public in advance of the NFL draft, when his announcement could potentially harm his standing and drop him down a few notches.
February 11, 2014 |
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Craig Kuligowski heard the words, but at first they didn't register. In nearly three decades in college football, the University of Missouri defensive line coach had come to view summer team-building sessions as a typically uneventful training camp exercise. So he wasn't expecting different on a sweltering day last August when he gathered 15 players in a nondescript, windowless meeting room on the first floor of the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex. There, beneath seven black-and-gold placards professing an adherence to teamwork, camaraderie and character, one of the players tested whether those were core values or just empty words.
February 10, 2014 |
While politicians and others heaped praise Monday on NFL prospect Michael Sam for announcing that he's gay, calling him a pioneer in the sports world, the news was largely met in pro football circles with a collective shrug. The pressing issue for those football types: How well can he play? "Times have changed; it's a nonissue," said one NFL team executive of Sam, a University of Missouri senior defensive end. "If he can play, everything will be fine. It's going to be a story.
February 7, 2014 |
A pregnant Montana teacher who alleges that she was fired from a Catholic middle school because she was not married has hired a law firm in the latest conflict between religious doctrine and shifting societal values. Shaela Evenson, 36, was fired from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena for violating the morality clause of her contract, the diocese said. “As with any Catholic school, we have the obligation to provide an authentically Catholic learning environment,” Supt.
February 6, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- On the eve of the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, Google took a very public stand against Russian anti-gay law and discrimination. The Internet giant is displaying a Google doodle on its homepage of athletes in the colors and pattern of the rainbow gay pride flag. Click on the image and you are taken to the search results for “Olympic Charter.” Google put this excerpt from the Olympic Charter on its homepage: "The practice of sport is a human right.
February 6, 2014 |
As the Sochi Olympics kick off, Russia's anti-gay legislation has drawn high-profile protests from athletes, heads of state and the court of public opinion , but perhaps none is as imaginative as "Luge," by the Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion. The video, above, was created to send "a really strong message about the need for equality and the treatment of LGBT people and their allies, particularly at the Olympics,” institute founder Michael Bach said in an interview Thursday with the Los Angeles Times.
February 4, 2014 |
Utah has filed its opening salvo defending its ban on gay marriage, while in Virginia, a federal judge will hear arguments about that state's similar law in the latest legal maneuvering over the right for same-sex couples to marry. The separate legal actions are part of the growing number of court battles over what remains a sensitive issue since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June. That ruling, hailed as a major step by gay-marriage advocates, gave federal recognition to legally married gay couples and extended to them the same federal health, tax, Social Security and other benefits that heterosexual couples receive.