Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

News: OutSports


Outsports is the world's leading gay-sports publication. They talk about gay sports organizations and events.

  • Olympics confirm Russian athletes can compete in Paris
    by Cyd Zeigler on December 10, 2023 at 12:49 am

    Russia’s Olympic-medal-winning gymnast Nikita Nagornyy could be banned from the Paris Summer Olympics as he is involved with the Russian military. | Photo by Elsa/Getty Images IOC says individual-sport Russian athletes can qualify as long as they haven’t supported the invasion of Ukraine. Russian athletes will be allowed to compete at the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, the International Olympic Committee confirmed this week. It’s been a hotly debated topic, whether Russian athletes would be barred from competing in Paris due to the country’s illegal invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Russia has also outlawed LGBTQ activism in the country, prompting Outsports co-founder Jim Buzinski to advocate for the banning of all Russian athletes from the Paris Olympic Games. Russia remains banned from team sports, and the individual-sport athletes will not be competing under Russia’s flag, but instead as Neutral Athletes. There is one catch. The Russian athletes have to be verified as “neutral” on their country’s war against Ukraine, meaning they cannot be involved in the Russian military, and they cannot have actively and publicly supported the war. “Athletes who actively support the war will not be eligible to be entered or to compete,” the IOC said in a statement. “Support personnel who actively support the war will not be entered.” However, there is no indication that they have to have refrained from publicly hating on or harassing LGBTQ people. No one should be surprised, as the IOC welcomes countries that put people to death for being gay. The 2024 Summer Olympic Games take place in Paris, France, July 26 to August 11. After the Tokyo Summer Olympics had at least 186 publicly out LGBTQ athletes competing in 2021, Paris is expected to have 250 to 300 out athletes.

  • Here are 21 LGBTQ college basketball players and 57 coaches who have been out while competing
    by Cyd Zeigler on December 9, 2023 at 11:39 pm

    Over 30 college basketball players and coaches have come out publicly, and many more have come out privately to teammates and friends. The college basketball season is upon us, and we celebrate various LGBTQ players and coaches who have inspired others. College basketball is on the mind, as the season starts heating up in the waning weeks of the college football season, March Madness still a few months away. Over the years — particularly the last decade — college basketball has offered an opportunity for LGBTQ athletes and coaches to come out publicly, assert their presence and inspire others. We have seen transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual players and coaches across genders and NCAA divisions. While dozens or hundreds of other players and coaches have been out to family, friends and members of their team, these are some of some of the people we know of who have been publicly out in the media or clearly out on social media. If you know of more, please email us at Out players Izzy Allen, Palm Beach StateAllen came out while playing high school basketball in Colorado, Kye Allums, George WashingtonAllums was the first publicly out trans athlete in NCAA D1 basketball, playing for the women’s team at George Washington. Nicholle Aston, CornellAston came out to her Big Red teammates freshman year before deciding to do a more public story years later in 2016. Maria Berrum, Oakton CommunityBerrum came out publicly in a Chicago Tribune article in 2016, saying her teammates and coaches in both high school and college were supportive. Emily Easom, Sacramento StateEasom came out publicly in a newspaper article after transferring from Portland State. She now coaches high school basketball. Taylor Emery, Gulf Coast State College and Virginia TechEmery was publicly out while winning a national junior college title with Gulf Coast State College before moving on to Virginia Tech. Jess Farmer, ElonFarmer came out while dating a fellow Elon athlete on the school’s softball team. Hunter Fromang, Randolph-MaconThe center was part of a very successful men’s basketball team at Randolph-Macon. Derrick Gordon, Massachusetts and Seton HallGordon was the first NCAA Division I men’s basketball player to come out publicly in 2014 while at UMass. He then also played for Seton Hall. No player in D1 men’s basketball has come out publicly since. Rikki Harris, Ohio StateHarris has posted images of her and her girlfriend on Instagram. She was All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2023. Jaide Hinds-Clarke, RichmondHinds-Clarke started an on-campus organization for Black LGBTQ students like her. Bree Horrocks, PurdueHorrocks played for the Boilermakers in the NCAA Tournament while a center on the Purdue women’s basketball team. Navi Huskey, Long Beach CityHuskey was a successful and award-winning player for Long Beach City College in Southern California and a trailblazer for trans women in women’s sports. Gabrielle Ludwig, MissionLudwig came out publicly as a trans community college basketball player in 2012, in addition to being one of the tallest and oldest women’s basketball players in the country at 6-foot-8 and age 50. Jallen Messersmith, Benedictine Messersmith played in the NAIA for this religious school in Kansas, which tried to bar him from hanging a rainbow flag in his window after coming out. Joe Morrell, St. John FisherMorrell came out publicly in 2022 while a junior at St. John Fisher College in New York. His team went to the NCAA tournament that year. Max Nagle, HollinsThe transgender basketball player came out as trans to his Hollins University women’s basketball team and played with the Virginia-based college team after coming out. Sedona Prince, OregonThe star of the Oregon Ducks inspired others to come out in their own lives. Her college career ended in 2022 with an injury. Derek Schell, Hillsdale When Schell came out as an NCAA Division II gay athlete in 2013, he did so at a Michigan school that’s still on the Campus Pride Worst List for LGBTQ students. Jesse Taylor, Dakota WesleyanTaylor came out in 2015 on the NAIA Dakota Wesleyan basketball team after being a multi-sport athlete in high school. Courtney Thrun, BrandeisThrun found a culture where she could thrive as an LGBTQ athlete, under coach Carol Simon Out coaches Kate Achter, Detroit—MercyAchter has had coaching stings at Loyola Chicago and Xavier. She is married to her wife, Tina, and the duo has two kids. Karen Aston, Texas — San AntonioAston was hired as the UTSA women’s basketball head coach in 2021. She and her wife, Claire, have a daughter together. Jennifer Azzi, San FranciscoWhile still the head coach at the University of San Francisco, Azzi came out publicly before stepping down from her coaching position months later. Melanie Balcomb, Purdue and Ohio DominicanBalcomb came out publicly while working for Dawn Staley at South Carolina, before going on to coach at Purdue and becoming the head coach at Division II Ohio Dominican University. Courtney Banghart, North CarolinaBanghart is married to lacrosse coach Michele DeJuliis. She has brought UNC to this year’s NCAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed. Chelsea Barker Walsh, UMBCBarker Walsh played for the Retrievers from 2007-2011, joining the coaching staff in 2015. She and her wife, Kiera, live in Baltimore. Carla Berube, PrincetonBerube is married to her wife and they have three kids together. The Tigers are a No. 10 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Jessie Biggs, Indiana TechBiggs is the head coach of this NAIA school and married to her assistant coach, Kylene, with whom she has two daughters. Kylene Biggs, Indiana TechBiggs is an assistant coach of this NAIA school and married to her head coach, Jessie, with whom she has two daughters. Tempie Brown, StanfordWhile on the coaching staff for Stanford legend Tara VanDerveer, Brown shared her love for her wife, Melissa. She is now a high school athletic director in Ohio. Becky Burke, BuffaloBurke, the head coach of the University of Buffalo women’s basketball team, was not shy about sharing her proposal to her girlfriend in 2022. Chris Burns, BryantIn 2015, Bryant College assistant coach Chris Burns became the first publicly out Division I men’s basketball coach. Amanda Butler, ClemsonButler is married to her wife, Janna, and the couple has two sons. She has taken three schools to the WNIT and two have advance to the NCAA Tournament. Bridgett Casey, Bridgewater StateCasey has lead the Bridgewater State women’s basketball team for decades. She and her wife, Meghan, have four sons. Billi Chambers, IonaChambers led the Gaels to their only NCAA D1 Tournament appearance, in 2016. She is married to her wife, Melba, according to the Iona website. Kevin DeMille, George Washington and VanderbiltDeMille has been out as an assistant coach for both the Colonial and Commodore women’s basketball teams. Dalila Eshe, YaleWhen Eshe was announced as the Bulldogs’ new women’s head basketball coach in 2022, her wife, Way, was there with their two daughters. Heather Ezell, WyomingIn her first season as the Cowgirl head coach, the team earned a WNIT berth and a first-round win. Kaitlynn Fratz, MarylandAssistant coach Fratz shared her pride in being supported as Maryland celebrated the LGBTQ community. Lexie Gerson, Arcadia and HarcumGerson was an assistant coach at the D3 Arcadia University, and then head coach at the JC Harcum College. She is still coaching basketball today. Kristen Gillespie, Illinois StateAs head coach, Gillespie lead the Redbirds to the 2023 NIT, where they lost to Missouri. She and her wife, Brittany, were married in 2017. Allison Guth, LoyolaGuth and her wife, Jessie, have two kids. She previously coached women’s basketball at Yale. Lauren Hall-Gregory, New YorkThe NYU head women’s basketball coach first took her position in 2012. She and her wife, Colleen, have three children. Blair Hardiek, San FranciscoShe was assistant to her wife, Jennifer Azzi. She is now an executive for the Las Vegas Aces. Raina Harmon, IowaAssistant coach Harmon has shared messages about her marriage to her wife and their honeymoon in California. Katie Hempen, Eastern MichiganThe assistant women’s basketball coach played college ball for Arizona State. Gabby Holko, SusquehannaHolko has lead the Susquehanna women’s basketball team since 2019. She is married to her wife, Cailin. Layne Ingram, Lansing CommunityIngram is the rare out trans person in college basketball, coaching the women’s basketball team at Lansing Community College in Michigan. Jan Jansen, IowaAssociate head coach Jansen and her partner, Julie Fitzpatrick, have been together for multiple decades! Jason Jaramillo, Sarah Lawrence and ClarkThe longtime leader in the National Gay Basketball Association has also been a women’s basketball assistant coach for Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He is currently an assistant for Clark University. Kara Kelly, StonehillKelly has been part of two NCAA Tournament bids for Stonehill as an assistant coach. Her wife, Liz, played for the Stonehill women’s basketball team. Belle Koclanes, Dartmouth and DrexelKoclanes talked about her wife while she was an assistant coach with Dartmouth. Her Drexel profile has no mention of that. Monique LeBlanc, BrownLeBlanc was previously head coach at Merrimack and assistant coach at Northern Arizona. In 2022-23 she coached the team to its best record in five seasons. Matt Lynch, Chowhan and USC-SalkehatchieLynch was out while an assistant coach at the D2 Chowhan University in North Carolina. He is now the head men’s basketball coach at the junior college University of South Carolina Salkehatchie. Kelly McNiff, Wisconsin-PlattevilleMcNiff has been the head coach of the women’s basketball team at the University of Wisconsin Platteville since 2019. Katie Meier, MiamiMeier has coached the Hurricanes to 10 NCAA tournament appearances. She has posted many times on social media about her wife and their relationship. Ryenn Micaletti, LongwoodMicaletti played college ball for Seton Hall. She has been a recruiting coordinator and assistant coach for Longwood since 2020. Curt Miller, IndianaWhen announced as the next head women’s basketball coach at Indiana University in 2012, Miller publicly appreciated his male partner, effectively coming out. Ryan Mizner, Central MichiganMizner came out while an assistant coach for the Central Michigan men’s basketball team, though he has since left the college coaching profession. Colleen Mullen, AlbanyMullen lead Albany to a WNIT berth in 2023. She and her wife, Lauren, have three kids. She previously coached at Army. Sherri Murrell, Portland StateThe first publicly out head coach in all of Division I basketball, Murrell coached Portland State women’s basketball from 2007 to 2015. Deneen Parker, HoustonParker has been an assistant coach at Houston for several years. She is married to her wife, Danielle. Cassie Seth, West LibertySeth has been the associate head women’s basketball coach of this Ohio-based DII school for several years. Julie Shaw, La VerneShaw was the head coach of the D3 University of La Verne women’s basketball team before working with the Los Angeles Clippers. Candice Signor-Brown, Vassar and SwarthmoreSignor-Brown has been publicly out coaching women’s basketball for Vassar and Swarthmore. Carol Simon, BrandeisAs head coach of the Division III Brandeis women’s basketball team, Simon has inspired at least one out player to feel she belongs. Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft, ShenandoahSmeltzer-Kraft has been the head coach of the DIII Shenandoah since 2014. That was the same year she married her wife, Ashley, who is the school’s head field hockey coach. Jackie Smith, Connecticut CollegeSmith has been the head coach for the DIII Connecticut College since 2018. She played college basketball for Hartford. DJ Slifer, Texas A&M, Kingsville and LynnSlifer has been out as an assistant coach at Texas A&M University—Kingsville and Lynn University, both Division II. Julia Tucker, LynnTucker and her wife, Adrienne, have a son. She has been the head coach of Lynn’s women’s basketball team in Florida since 2015. Morgan Valley, ConnecticutA former UConn player, Valley was the head coach at Hartford before joining the Huskies coaching staff. She married her wife in 2018. Lindsay Werntz, DenverAn assistant coach for the Denver Pioneers women’s basketball team, married to head coach Doshia Woods. Lora Westling, WashburnWestling, who played college ball for Washburn, was in her first season as the team’s head coach. Westling and her wife, Amy, have a daughter together. C White, BentleyWhite has been on the coaching staff for the Bentley women’s basketball team for over 20 years, and as the team’s head coach since 2020. She and her wife, Lindsay, have twins. Stephanie White, VanderbiltWhite was the head coach at Vanderbilt from 2016 to 2021 and is currently a head coach in the WNBA for the Connecticut Sun. Maria Williamson, ChicagoWilliamson lives in Chicago with her wife, Erica. In 2023 she took her team to the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Doshia Woods, DenverHead coach for the University of Denver women’s basketball team, Woods is married to her assistant coach Lindsay Werntz.

  • Fatboy Slim selects schoolgirl’s ‘rainbow drips’ shirt for Premier League club
    by Jon Holmes on December 8, 2023 at 8:03 pm

    Brighton striker Evan Ferguson was among the Albion players to wear the Rainbow Laces design before the win over Brentford. | PA Images via Getty Images The legendary DJ was part of the panel that chose the striking design to be specially made for Brighton’s Rainbow Laces home game. What’s your favorite Pride-themed jersey in sports? Outsports writers have seen many over the years that would proudly sit in our wardrobes, or possibly even a picture frame in our homes. Some of us prefer subtlety, others like to be bold. These days, there’s something to cater for every taste. Remember queer artist Mio’s Canucks creation from March 2022, combining the sky, land and sea of British Columbia into a symbolic coming-out landscape? Sticking with hockey, the Utah Grizzlies clawed their way into our affections with their Pride night effort just last month, while in basketball, who can forget those iconic Denver Nuggets uniforms of the 80s and early 90s? Since soccer clubs began to raise their game in the fight against homophobia, we’ve seen plenty of football shirts that incorporate rainbows or use the colors of the Progress flag in imaginative ways. In 2019, Altrincham FC — a lower-league club based just outside Manchester — went ‘full rainbow’ in support of the Football v Homophobia campaign and made headlines worldwide. Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Altrincham FC players in Pride rainbow shirts celebrate a goal against Bradford Park Avenue in February 2019. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s ‘Love Unites’ kit, unveiled just over a year ago, was only a special-edition training top but even made some fashionista fans of rival clubs envious. The latest sartorial sensation in the Premier League with a Pride theme landed this week in Brighton and it’s made quite the splash. Perhaps that should be ‘splat,’ as this takes Albion’s famous blue-and-white stripes and drizzles what resembles red, orange, yellow, green, blue (well, cyan) and violet gunge from the neck down. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brighton & Hove Albion FC (@officialbhafc) Below is the Rainbow Laces slogan ‘Make Sport Everyone’s Game’. The campaign has been receiving its annual activation across British sport in the last fortnight and Brighton’s contribution has been to bring this design to kit manufacturer Nike for production. Heartwarmingly, the artist responsible is 14-year-old Livs Cook whose competition entry was chosen from hundreds submitted to the Brighton and Hove Albion Foundation by local schoolchildren. “I thought that the drips of rainbow colors would represent the merging of the rainbow laces with the Albion,” said the teenager. “I also added the writing as I wanted to emphasise the point that everyone is equal in sport.” Our amazing winning Rainbow Laces design, featured on last weekend's @SkyFootball Saturday Social. @PLCommunities | #RainbowLaces— Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation (@BHAFCFoundation) December 4, 2023 The Foundation is the Sussex club’s official charity and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there was lots of interest in the contest. There is evidence of strong LGBTQ representation in Brighton’s population dating back to the 19th century, and the city has long held the tag of being the UK’s “gay capital”. More recently, the England and Wales census 2021 asked questions about sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time — and with 10.7% of adults aged 16 or over living in the local authority area saying they aren’t straight, Brighton’s beautiful queerness which includes an abundance of LGBTQ families has now been confirmed by the data too. Sadly, Albion supporters continue to find themselves subjected to homophobic chanting and abuse from rival fans — police have been investigating reports of discrimination that occurred in the game at Nottingham Forest on November 25 — but the football club itself increasingly lifts up LGBTQ voices with confidence. The women’s team has worn rainbow shirt numbers on its jerseys in WSL games and fans group Proud Seagulls has been regularly promoted on the club website and social media. The group’s chair Stuart Matthews was on the judging panel for the shirt design competition and so was Albion superfan Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook (not thought to be related to the winner). from last night's amazing #RainbowLaces fixture.Livs, who designed our awesome Rainbow Laces shirt, went to the game with her granddad and got to meet Albion legend Glenn Murray!#BHAFC ⚪— Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation (@BHAFCFoundation) December 7, 2023 Having helped to whittle down the designs, the DJ and producer — who shot to global fame in the 90s with hits like “Praise You” and “Right Here, Right Now” — proudly posed for a social media picture in the special Rainbow Laces jersey upon its production. Albion players then warmed up in the shirts on the Amex Stadium pitch, going on to beat Brentford 2-1 on the night in front of over 30,000 fans. With the failure of Sheffield United’s captain to wear a rainbow armband raising eyebrows in midweek, the visibility given to the ‘rainbow drips’ jerseys by Brighton is a welcome boost to the campaign. Sarah Byrne, the head of ED&I at the Foundation, is certainly feeling upbeat after the success of the competition. “To have had so many entries has really blown us away,” she said. “It’s heartening to know there are so many young people in Sussex who are passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+ community.”

  • Disney will produce a film and series about Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia
    by Cyd Zeigler on December 8, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    Brittney Griner is working with Disney and ESPN on several projects to tell her story. | Photo by Lance King/Getty Images ESPN and ABC Signature will broadcast film, series telling Griner’s story. Brittney Griner’s story of being detained in Russia for almost a year will be the subject of a documentary film and scripted series, produced by the Walt Disney Company. “The last two years have been the most harrowing, transformative and illuminating period of my life, and I am grateful to be in a place now to share my story with the world,” Griner said in a statement via ESPN. “I’m proud to partner with ESPN and Disney to share this very personal story because of its incredible potential to inspire hope around the world and their proven ability to do just that.” The deal also involves a televised sit-down interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts. Griner was arrested with a small amount of cannabis. A reported doctor’s note about her use was apparently not enough for Russian authorities, who threw the proverbial book at her with a (ridiculous) nine-year prison sentence. Griner was released last December in a prisoner swap that involved the return of arms dealer Viktor Bout to Russia. “From the circumstances that led to her playing outside the U.S. despite being one of the best players in the sport to her harrowing detainment and the unwavering determination to secure her freedom,” Disney said, “as well as her subsequent advocacy for the release of other wrongful detainees, the documentary will feature exclusive footage, recordings and letters to and from Griner during her time in prison.” Now home with her wife, Cherelle, who will serve as executive producer on the projects, the two women are reflecting on a year of horror, and the last year of gratitude for being reunited. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cherelle T. Griner (@cherelletgriner) Meanwhile, we’re already getting our popcorn ready for what should be some incredible storytelling.

HEAT Bar & Nightclub. (Wilkes-Barre, PA) © 2023. All Rights Reserved.