This last week’s replay of hot topics included responses to Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out, including a move to strip Bruce Jenner of his Olympic gold medal and ESPN defending its decision to award Caitlyn the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. And who can keep up with the trials and tribulations of Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson Griner as well as the whole soccer scandal unveiling a level of corruption in soccer on a global scale that is hard to believe. All-in-all, quite a week!
Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out mostly positive but petition started to strip Bruce of Olympic gold medal
After Bruce Jenner’s much watched interview about his transitioning, the reception to Caitlyn Jenner’s new public identity has been primarily positive and supportive. However, Bruce Jenner’s comment during the 20/20 Interview that he always felt he was a woman has led to a petition to strip Jenner of his Olympic gold.
The logic offered for this is that he/now she shouldn’t have competed in male sports. The petition has over 9,500 signatures but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has publically announced that they will not revoke the medal. Mark Adams, IOC communications director, said “Bruce Jenner won his gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games and there is no issue for the IOC.” Read the full story here:
ESPN defends its choice of Caitlyn Jenner to receive courage award
Almost immediately after ESPN announced that at its upcoming ESPY awards, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award will be given to Caitlyn Jenner, there was a hue and cry raised that she wasn’t the most deserving person for that award. People named both 19-year-old Lauren Hill who raised money for brain cancer research while she was dying from an inoperable brain tumor, and Army veteran Noah Galloway who lost an arm and leg in an roadside bomb in Iraq and still competes in marathons, CrossFit events, the 58-hour Death Race and Dancing with the Stars, as being more worthy candidates for the courage award.
ESPN said, “The Arthur Ashe Courage Award is meant to honor individuals whose contributions transcend sports through courageous action. Sometimes that courage is demonstrated over the course of a lifetime and sometimes it is demonstrated in a single act that shines a light on an important contemporary issue. At all times, there are many worthy candidates. This year, we are proud to honor Caitlyn Jenner embracing her identity and doing so in a public way to help move forward a constructive dialogue about progress and acceptance.”
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Brittney Griner files for annulment the day after her wife announces pregnancy
WNBA star Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury has filed for an annulment of her 28-day marriage to fellow athlete Glory Johnson-Griner. Saying that the marriage is based on “fraud and duress,” Griner says she was “pressured into marriage under duress by Johnson-Griner’s threatening statements.” This announcement came just one day after Johnson-Griner happily announced they’re expecting their first child together, TMZ reports (http://www.tmz.com/2015/06/05/brittney-griner-glory-johnson-annulment-divorce-marriage-wnba/). Johnson-Griner is carrying the child and will not be playing with the Tulsa Shock this season as a result.
The two women, who appeared on a January episode of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” got married just weeks ago. In April 2015, Griner and Johnson were arrested for allegedly assaulting each other and each given a seven-game suspension for their actions. But in a recent exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated, Johnson-Griner says she was the victim in the assault by Griner. According to medical records provided by Johnson-Griner’s lawyer, she suffered head trauma and a concussion as a result of the scuffle as well as spinal trauma (http://www.si.com/wnba/2015/06/01/glory-johnson-speaks-out-fight-brittney%20griner).
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In midst of FIFA scandal, Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 opens
Gay soccer fans are set to see some great lesbian role models playing in FIFA’s Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 from June 6 through July 5. According to Outsports, there are 17 openly gay women on the various teams, including coach Jillian Ellis and players Ali Krieger, Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach from the U.S. team.
This all seems to pale, however, in the face of the international scandal being investigated in FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, soccer’s international governing body. It started in the U.S. when the FBI arrested American FIFA member Chuck Blazer of Queens on tax evasion and other charges. He pled guilty to corruption and then cut a deal with the FBI in 2011 to wear a wire to implicate others within the highest levels of FIFA.
U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch laid out a 47-count indictment against FIFA, alleging “that [it] is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States.” The indictment focused on bribes paid in connection with awarding host sites for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups. And new information continues to come forward, the latest claims coming from Germany alleging that the vote for the 2006 World Cup was influenced by a shipment of rocket-propelled grenades. Read more at:
Sepp Blatter, who has served as FIFA’s eighth president since June 1998, and then South African president Thabo Mbeki had had “discussions” has been linked by email to a $10 million World Cup payment that allegedly went to corrupt football executives as payback for supporting the country’s World Cup bid. See more at:
In spite of the initial information, Blatter won another election as FIFA president, only to resign four days later. In what is now being called his “Blame-Retardant“ exit speech, he says he shouldn’t be held responsible for any of this nor should anyone else in FIFA be held responsible. Here is just one sentence of his remarks that says a great deal about how FIFA’s corporate culture of greed and corruption were able to operate so freely under Bladder’s leadership – ” … You can’t just ask everybody to behave ethically just like that in the world in which we live.”
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