Another year has come and gone and sports diversity continues to rapidly evolve. Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, played an integral role in sports diversity this year. The Women’s World Cup, in which the U.S. beat Japan, was the most watched soccer match in U.S. history. What an amazing step forward to see such a rising interest in women’s sports, especially since a number of the women are openly lesbian.
And big news in world sports wasn’t limited to team play. Caitlyn Jenner’s transition was probably the biggest sports story of 2015. I have to say Caitlyn’s story was one of the most surprising sports stories to come about since Compete’s inception. More than just an incredible Olympic champion, Caitlyn also proved to be an incredible role model for the transgender community and, frankly, the LGBT community at large through her willingness to be open about her life and acknowledge any faux pas during her learning curve as a woman.
My home state of Indiana was in the news this past year, unfortunately for its Religious Freedom Restoration Act which proved damaging to Indiana’s reputation and economy. A number of organizations threatened to ban the Hoosier state for what many viewed as anti-LGBT legislation. One of my long-time sports heroes, Olympic diver Greg Louganis, along with Athlete Ally, stepped up and spoke out against the act. In the end the state backed down from implementing the bill as originally written.
There were many more national and international stories that made news in 2015, like world champion freeskier and Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy’s and Princeton football player Mason Darrow’s com- ing out and ESPN: The Magazine’s November issue called the “being out” issue. In fact, Compete’s 2013 Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year Chris Mosier made the cut and was featured in the ESPN issue.
But there were also great sports stories that remained predominantly in the LGBT media. For example, the San Diego Bolts of the National Gay Flag Football League made history this year by winning their fourth Gay Bowl in a row, this year in their home town, no less—a big accomplishment by any standard.
So for this issue we’ve chosen to highlight some of the important sports diversity stories carried in Compete Magazine in 2015. These are stories that highlight gay and allied athletes and their assorted organizations coming together, inspiring us all as we continue to move the sports diversity movement forward into 2016 and beyond. Please join us!
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