Coming out of the locker
by Scott A. Drake
May 02, 2013 | 907 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>A PERFECT 10:</b> Gryphons RFC president Phil Cochetti (right) presented a plaque of appreciation to John McMullen for his 10 years of coaching and mentoring the team. The Gryphons celebrated the anniversary with nearly 100 people packed into the upstairs of Square Peg on April 27. The event also rasied around $1000 to go towards the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, Australia. Contributions can be made on the team’s website, <a href="http://www.philadelphiagryphons.org">philadelphiagryphons.org</a> <i>Photo: Scott A. Drake</i>
A PERFECT 10: Gryphons RFC president Phil Cochetti (right) presented a plaque of appreciation to John McMullen for his 10 years of coaching and mentoring the team. The Gryphons celebrated the anniversary with nearly 100 people packed into the upstairs of Square Peg on April 27. The event also rasied around $1000 to go towards the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, Australia. Contributions can be made on the team’s website, philadelphiagryphons.org Photo: Scott A. Drake
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I’m sure many of you have read by now that Wizards center Jason Collins came out of the locker-room closet during an interview for the May 6 Sports Illustrated.

This brings to mind a couple of items from previous columns — one from almost a year ago when I spoke with out former NFL player Wade Davis and author of “My Two Moms” Joe Valentine. I asked each of these two about out players and, without repeating the entire June 1 column, the pertinent question about which sport would have the first out gay player was agreed to be hockey. Basketball, the two agreed, was too entrenched in American conservatism to be a likely candidate. Yet, here we are.

The other column was just two weeks ago, when I reported that Nike had announced that it would sponsor the first out actively playing athlete in the majors. Nike already endorses Collins, so the questions now are, Is this the guy? Or will it be the first guy who comes out who does not have Nike on his side?

Nike’s only response to my questions was the scripted statement given by spokesperson Brian Strong: “We admire Jason’s courage and are proud that he is a Nike athlete. Nike believes in a level playing field where an athlete’s sexual orientation is not a consideration.”

Whether Nike has yet to sort this out or they just are not answering, I can’t say, but they should consider making this clear as soon as possible before the floodgates of gay players opens and they have to make good on their word.

Making flag-football history

The National Gay Flag Football League announced that Philadelphia will be the host city for the 2014 Gay Bowl. Congratulations and good luck to Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League for an outstanding proposal that expects to bring more than 600 players to compete in October over OUTFest weekend. (You can read the details of the Gay Bowl on page 1.)

GPFFL’s competitive team, the Revolution, will have ample time to get its best game on with several tournaments around the country before fall 2014. Coming up first is the Chicago Pride Bowl during that city’s Pride festival next month. Gay Bowl 2014 is an expensive venture, needing almost $100,000 to execute, so join the committee, players, partners and fans from 2-6 p.m. April 4 at Pennsylvania6 for a Kentucky Derby kickoff party to wish them well and offer your support.

Short stops

• GPFFL is winding down its spring season with days of competition May 5 and 11, playoffs May 18 and championships June 1. The delay of the championships is due to two rain-postponed weeks of play early in the season.

• Enrollment for Memorial Day Weekend tournaments is underway. The CBLSL Liberty Bell Classic is that weekend and, if you want to play but don’t have a team, you can enroll as a pickup player. More info at libertybellclassic.org. Falcons soccer has its Liberty Bell Classic the same weekend. More info at falcons-soccer.org.

Countdown to Gay Games 9: 462 days. Email your game, tournament and fundraising info to scott@epgn.com.

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