News Round-Up: June 21, 2021

(image via Depositphotos)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Gaily Grind: 18-year-old Gage Burlile has been arrested after stealing and destroying 25 Pride flags in Boise, Idaho.

The Advocate: A gay couple in East Cove, Florida, are refusing to take down a small Pride flag flying from their mail box after their HOA informed them it was against neighborhood regulations.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Kenneth’s weekly feature for ‘Manspread Monday’ is a cutie.

(image via kenneth-in-the-212)

The Hill: The defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager who is accused of fatally shooting two people and injuring a third at a protest sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake last August, has raised $464,111 since March 1. His trial is scheduled for November.

LGBTQ Nation: Mexico’s soccer team is begging fans to stop chanting homophobic slurs at their games. After receiving one of the toughest punishment from FIFA in recent years, Mexico’s team president scolded fans: “To those who think it’s fun to yell it out, I have news for you. It’s not.”

CNBC: As more and more major corporations embrace the rainbow during Pride Month, more consumers are paying attention to the companies that are allies more than one month a year.

Soccer Player Gets Handsy With Opponent’s Junk (Twice) During Match

Darnell Fisher goes for the grab (twice!)

What up with athletes grabbing an opponent’s junk during a match?

Pro soccer player Darnell Fisher of Preston North End was captured twice grabbing Callum Paterson’s crotch during their 1-0 win over Sheffield on Saturday.

Paterson was clearly annoyed by Fisher’s first snatch and grab as you can see him turn to see if a referee saw what happened. Then Fisher continued to be handsy.

Sky Sports reports the English FA is investigating the incident for possible penalties on Fisher.

You may recall England rugby union international Joe Marler was banned for 10 weeks earlier this year for similar hand action on Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in a Six Nations match.

US Women’s National Soccer Team Wins World Cup Over Netherlands 2-0

The US Women’s National Soccer team has won the World Cup beating the Netherlands 2-0.

From CNN:

Competing in its first World Cup final, few gave the Dutch hope. The reigning European champion it may be, but it had not yet come up against the best team in the world, the dominant force of its generation.

The Netherlands held on for over an hour but two goals within eight minutes sealed the underdog’s fate. In a tournament where she has transcended her sport, Megan Rapinoe coolly drilled home a penalty before a Rose Lavelle thunderbolt made sure of a second successive title for the US.

This win makes for back-to-back titles and the fourth championship in total for the US women’s team.

Trump Twitter Rants At US Womens Soccer Team’s Megan Rapinoe

Donald Trump (L) Megan Rapinoe (R)

After hearing that the openly lesbian U.S. women’s soccer team co-captain, Megan Rapinoe told a reporter, “I’m not going to the f**king White House,” if her team should win the the World Cup, Donald Trump took to his Twitter to rant at the soccer legend.

Trouble is, Trump being Trump, he tweeted his rage at the wrong ‘Megan Rapino.’

“Women’s soccer player, @meganrapino, just stated that she is “not going to the F…ing White House if we win.” Other than the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners (please explain that I just got Criminal Justice Reform passed, Black unemployment is at the lowest level…….in our Country’s history, and the poverty index is also best number EVER), leagues and teams love coming to the White House. I am a big fan of the American Team, and Women’s Soccer, but Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job! We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose. Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag, especially since so much has been done for her & the team. Be proud of the Flag that you wear. The USA is doing GREAT!”

It appears someone at the White House tipped off the Donald about his latest gaffe and he retweeted.

Rapinoe isn’t the first athlete to decline a visit to Trump’s White House.

The Toronto Raptors shooting guard, Danny Green told the press a visit to the White House now that the Raptors are NBA champs is a “hard pass.”

More from the Twitterverse:

Pro Soccer Player Collin Martin Comes Out As Gay

Minnesota United’s Collin Martin

Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin came out this morning in a tweet on his personal Twitter account.

“Tonight my team, @mnufc , is having their Pride night. It’s an important night for me — I’ll be announcing that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. #soccerforall,” wrote the 23-year-old just hours before Minnesota United hosts their Pride Night playing FC Dallas.

Attached to his tweet was a more detailed statement which read:

“I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my teammates. I have played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United. Today, I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay. I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier.
“As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am. In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly. June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.”

Pro soccer player Collin Martin of Minnesota United came out just hours before his team held its annual Pride Night match
Pro soccer player Collin Martin comes out as gay

Martin is now the second openly gay professional soccer player in MLS history following Robbie Rogers, who came out in 2013.

That same year, Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay professional basketball player. And in 2014, Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams becoming the first openly gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team.

Rogers, Collins and Sam have retired from their sports, which means Martin is currently the only openly gay active player in any major pro sports league in the United States.

Don Garber, MLS commissioner, said in a statement, “We admire Collin’s courage, and are proud of him and of the support from the soccer community.”

Visibility is the key to acceptance, so here’s opening more pro athletes step up and come out.

Congratulations, Collin, on living your authentic life! #BeTrue.

His team followed up Collin’s announcement with a tweet of support with the hashtag #SoccerForAll:

And his old team tweeted their support as well:

And Robbie Rogers also tweeted his support:

U.S. Soccer Teams To Wear Rainbow-Themed Uniforms In Honor Of Pride Month

From USSoccer.com:

In recognition of LGBTQ Pride month in June, U.S. Soccer will activate a number initiatives in partnership with the You Can Play Project, along with the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association and the Women’s National Team Players Association.

The You Can Play Project is an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches, and fans without regard for sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

As the highlight, the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams will wear pride-inspired rainbow numbers during the June friendlies.

The MNT will debut the look for the World Cup Qualifying tune-up against Venezuela on June 3 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

The WNT will wear the kits in away friendlies against Sweden on June 8, and Norway three days later.

After the games, the shirts will be auctioned off for charity. In addition, fans will be able to purchase the customized rainbow jerseys online at USSoccerstore.com.

FIFA Fines Five Countries Over Anti-Gay Chants

FIFA fined Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay on Wednesday for anti-gay chants by their national team’s fans.

The “insulting and discriminatory chants” came during qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup, FIFA said.

Chile’s fine is the biggest at 70,000 Swiss francs ($70,000) over cases at four different matches. The governing body imposed fines of 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000) on Argentina, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Proceedings continue against Honduras for what FIFA described as “apparent homophobic chants by its supporters.”

The fines were imposed despite FIFA for several years insisting that financial sanctions alone were not enough for discriminatory cases.

(from ABC News)

German Pro Footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger comes out

From BBC Sports:

Former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger has revealed he is gay.

The 31-year-old, who won 52 caps for Germany and also played for West Ham and Everton, made the announcement in newspaper Die Zeit.

He is the most prominent footballer to publicly reveal his homosexuality and said it was “a good time” to do so. “I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards,” he added.

The midfielder said he has only realised “in the past few years” that he would “prefer to live together with another man”, adding: “I’ve never been ashamed of the way I am.”

Hitzlsperger had this to say to the Guardian:

“In England, Italy and Germany being a homosexual is no big thing, at least not in the dressing room… I was never ashamed of being who I am but it was not always easy to sit on a table with 20 young men and listen to jokes about gays. You let them get on with it as long as the jokes are somewhat funny and not too insulting.

“Being gay is topic that is ‘ignored’ in football and not ‘a serious topic in the changing room’. Fighting spirit, passion and winning mentality are intrinsically linked, that doesn’t fit the cliché: ‘Gays are soft’.”

Support throughout the sports world has been strong: