By Ty Nolan
In Compete’s Friday Roundup our community editor Ty Nolan shares some great news from NASCAR about the Religious Freedom Bill signed by Indiana’s governor as well as other interesting tidbits. It was an interesting week for sports diversity.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2015) — “NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.” — NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes.
In a related story about reactions to Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” bill, USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a tweet Tuesday that he would not be attending the College Football Playoff meeting in Indianapolis this week because of the newly signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He tweeted he’s the proud father of a gay son, and in his honor he’d stay out of Indiana.
And speaking of sports– Keith Olbermann has a history of being a strong advocate for LGBT justice. He used his ESPN platform for an awesome lesson on the parallels between LGBT rights and the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and how sport stood up against racism. He stated it’s the civic duty of the NCAA and NFL to put pressure on Indiana by removing all events from the state. What it lacks in the passion of his Prop 8 rant it makes up in completeness, and the ability to educate an audience that may not have thought about the issue for even as long as the 11 minutes Olbermann spends here. You can watch him here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QeLY7Jwwo0
Long term readers of this website know our community editor Ty Nolan enjoys sharing images of pro athletes when they’re busy modeling underwear or swimsuits. Here’s a bit of a variation—James Corden, the U.K. Comedian who has recently taken over as host of the Late Late Show, and his old friend and soccer icon, David Beckham, appear in their (imaginary) new line of underwear. If you’re not familiar with Corden (who starred as The Baker in the recent movie Into the Woods), he’s a full-figured guy who often uses his ample size for laughs. Check out the 90 second skit of Beckham and Corden here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xau8s_g-lQk
Corden has also been involved with a number of other sport stars when he appeared on a major U.K. sports and entertainment fundraiser, portraying one of his comedic characters “Smithy.” The gag was how Smithy was directly responsible for the success of several of men—including Tom Daley and David Beckham. Part fo the comedy came from seeing Corden and Tom Daley in matching tiny speedos. As with the Late Late Show skit, there was a lot of homoerotic interplay between Corden and Beckham. I wish straight American actors and athletes could have the ego strength to joke around their images the way Corden and Beckham do.
Here’s the link to see Smithy in all his coaching glory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvvKUtHlDK8
Oakland A’s Pitcher Offers To Buy Tickets
From Fans Who Object To LGBT Night Oakland A’s star pitcher Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend have offered buy the tickets from fans that object to attending the team’s upcoming first-ever LGBT Pride Night at the Oakland Coliseum. Doolittle’s girlfriend has two moms and she writes: “If attending a baseball game on LGBT Pride Night makes you at all uncomfortable, it is probably a good idea to sell your tickets. And I have the perfect buyer. ME! If you’d like to sell your tickets to June 17th’s LGBT Pride Night game, I will buy them from you at face value. As many as I can. No judgments. No questions asked. From there, I will donate any tickets I purchase to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth. That way you don’t have to feel uncomfortable, and the seats don’t go to waste. It’s win-win. Please tweet at me (@EireannDolan) if you’d like to sell me your tickets. I’ll purchase as many unwanted tickets as I can out of my own pocket. I also encourage other A’s fans to do the same. Let’s fill the stands that night! Love, Eireann and my hella gay moms.”
The couple has also launched a GoFundMe account to fill the stadium. At this writing the fund has taken in over $16,000. According to an update at GoFundMe, the team has now dedicated three more sections of seating to LGBT Pride Night. Doolittle pitched for the American League in last year’s All-Star Game.
Dalton Maldonado, a high school basketball player in Kentucky, met backlash after coming out at a game while retorting to a homophobic slur. After the game, the opposing team pounded on the bus windows, chanting slurs, and getting in their cars to pursue them down the road. Eventually, the opposing coach and the police stepped in to defuse the situation, but Maldonado was shaken. However, the team banded together after their harrowing experience, competing in the rest of the tournament and supporting Dalton’s decision to come out. It’s a Hollywood ending, and fortunately a real life one. Go Betsy Layne Bobcats!