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Team DC gearing up for busy fall

Tennis, football, diving and much more on tap

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DCGFFL, D.C. Gay Flag Football League, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League starts its new season Sept. 7, while so much more awaits Team DC teams this fall. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

As the summer cools down, many LGBT sports leagues are just heating up. From Flag Football to Diving, Team DC has a wide array of LGBT sports opportunities this fall.

The Federal Triangles, D.C.’s LGBT soccer organization, kicks off its Rehoboth Beach Classic tournament over Labor Day weekend today (Friday) through Sunday. Participants are still needed. Members can register for $87.26 and non-members for $97.49 at federaltriangles.org.

The Triangles have indoor and outdoor coed, women’s and men’s teams over the fall. The Turkey Bowl, an annual tournament for all skill levels, is held each year the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with a potluck dinner party afterward.

FIND MORE OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE SPORTS ISSUE HERE.

Membership dues are $50 each year. Visit federaltriangles.org to become a member and find other ways to get involved.

The Capital Tennis Association has a fall league that runs from Sept. 17 through Dec. 29. The Capital Classic XXI Tournament is Sept. 13-15, with doubles and singles tournaments at the Rock Creek Tennis Center (16th and Kennedy streets, N.W.) and the East Potomac Center (1090 Ohio Dr., S.W.). Registration ranges from $70-130. For more information and to register, visit capital-tennis.org.

The Capital Tennis Association has six leagues that play weekly and three remain open, including Saturday Singles at Hains Point (972 Ohio Dr., S.W.), Saturday Faixfax Doubles and Sunday Fairfax Singles (9860 Lee Hwy., Fairfax, Va.). All skill levels are encouraged. Registration ranges from $165-330. Visit capital-tennis.org for more information and to register.

The Washington Wetskins water polo team hosts its annual Columbus Day Classic tournament on Oct. 12 at the Takoma Aquatic Center (300 Van Buren St., N.W.). Teams can register for $100 before Sept. 17, or for $450 afterward.

The Wetskins practice each week on Monday and Wednesday nights at the Takoma Aquatic Center. New members can register monthly for $30, quarterly for $90 or annually for $300. For more information on the tournament and to register, visit wetskins.org.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League kicks off its seventh season on Sept. 7. The teams play every Sunday from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Carter Barron Fields (16th and Kennedy streets, N.W.) and on Friday nights at Randall Field (820 South Capitol St., S.W.). All skill levels are welcome.

The game schedule for the fall is TBA. Registration is full, but those interested can be put on a waitlist. For more information and to be waitlisted, visit dcgffl.org.  

The Chesapeake and Potomac Softball league starts its fall season on Sept. 7, with registration through Sept. 2. The group plays every Saturday through Oct. 12, with teams playing at 10 or 11 a.m., or noon or 1 p.m., at the Tucker Road Complex (1771 Rucker Rd., Fort Washington, Md.). Registration is $30. For more details and to register, visit capssoftball.leagueapps.com.

The Lambda Links Golf Club continues membership through Oct. 31. The league hosts two fall tournaments, including the Club Championship on Sept. 7 and the Oct. 27 Halloween Tournament, with times and locations to be announced.

Lambda Links play at a variety of courses in the area, such as the Poolesville Golf Course (16601 West Willard Rd., Poolesville, Md.). Membership is $20 after Aug. 15. All skill levels are welcome, but members are expected to have played 18-hole rounds of golf and know “golf etiquette.” For more information and to register, visit lambdalinks.org.

The Lambda Divers, an LGBT scuba diving group, host a diving trip to Curacao, an island in the Caribbean, from Sept. 21-28. The trip is part of the International Gay and Lesbian Diving Jamboree, and requires a minimum deposit of $515.

Two-year membership dues for Lambda Divers range from $30-67.50. To register and for more information on the Curacao trip and the group, visit lambdadivers.org.

The D.C. Front Runners start back up their regular fall Saturday “fun run” on Sept. 7 from 10 a.m.-noon at 23 and P Streets, N.W. The “Fun Run” is their most popular weekly run, and includes 3-, 4- or 6-mile runs through scenic Rock Creek Park.

The Front Runners will also be participating in the “Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K” run on Sept. 7 at the Crystal City Double Tree Hotel (300 Army Navy Dr., Arlington, Va.) at 6 p.m. The 9-11 Memorial 5K draws over 25,000 participants each year, and raises up to $400,000 for 9-11-related charities, like the American Red Cross and Wounded Warrior Project. Registration is $40.

The group will have a lot of races during the fall and participate in many more marathons in locations all over D.C. and as far as Baltimore and Philadelphia. For more information and to register for events, visit dcfrontrunners.org.

The Washington Renegades rugby league start their season on Sept. 7, which lasts through Nov. 23. Practices are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:45 p.m. at Cardozo High School (1300 Clifton St., N.W.).

Matches will take place each Saturday, with times and locations TBD. Membership for fall recruits is $50, and full-year membership is $100. For more information and to register, visit dcrugby.com.

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Sports

Gay men challenge Qatar death penalty for homosexuality

Country to host 2022 World Cup

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Dr. Nasser Mohamed (Photo courtesy of Instagram)

Gay men are blowing the whistle now, two months before the World Cup, demanding the host nation of Qatar change its anti-LGBTQ ways.

The Middle Eastern country where Islam is the state religion will welcome soccer players, coaches and fans from all around the planet, beginning Nov. 20, for matches that will pit nation against nation.

Qatar has promised to welcome LGBTQ foreigners, even as its own people are tortured and put to death for being who they are. 

On Monday, Qatar’s ambassador to Germany got an earful from one of those men at a human rights conference in Frankfurt, hosted by the German Football Association, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Fan representative Dario Minden spoke in English directly to Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, about who he is and who he loves, Minden told him to “abolish the death penalty” for homosexuality. 

“I’m a man and I love men. I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal,” Minden told Al Thani. “So, please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is, football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between. 

“So, abolish the death penalty. Abolish all of the penalties regarding sexual and gender identity,” he said. 

Although organizers promised Al Thani an opportunity to respond, the Associated Press reports that portion of the conference was closed to the public and the news media and was not televised. 

Earlier, Al Thani reportedly complained to those assembled that the issue of human rights was a distraction from the World Cup, even though the event was titled, “Sport and Human Rights.” 

“We all care about human rights,” said Al Thani. “But I would have enjoyed (it) more if I saw some concentration not only on just one subject, but the enjoyment of football and the football effect on people around the world.” 

More than 5,000 miles away in San Francisco, a gay Qatari physician has organized a petition to tell the land of his birth: Love Is Not A Crime. 

Doctor Nasser Mohamed decided to come out in 2010 following a visit to the U.S., and spent his residency in Connecticut before moving to California in 2015. 

Mohamed wrote in an op-ed published by Outsports last month that he has spent the last decade caring for the LGBTQ community in outpatient settings and growing as an activist. 

“Being an LGBT person is a criminal offense in the legal system in Qatarm as is sex between two men. There are state-sponsored conversion-therapy practices, and LGBT-affirming psychotherapy is not offered.” He wrote how law enforcement uses media and chat rooms to find, jail and punish people for being LGBTQ. 

“Visibility of the local LGBT community in Qatar, and the exposure of their treatment, are absolutely essential,” Mohamed wrote. “I am doing my part by speaking up.”

Editor’s note: Find out about Mohamed’s petition by clicking here. He is also raising money through a GoFundMe account to provide him with funding for his activism as well as security and protection.

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Sports

Carl Nassib returns to Tampa

Former Las Vegas Raiders defensive end came out as gay in June 2021

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Carl Nassib (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube/KUVV Fox 5 in Las Vegas)

Carl Nassib, who made headlines in June 2021 when he became the NFL’s first out gay active player, reportedly has signed a one-year contract with his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

The 29-year-old defensive end was released by the Las Vegas Raiders in March, and became a free agent. NFL sources said that was due to his contracted salary amount — $7.75 million — and not any reflection on his sexual orientation.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news with a tweet

When Nassib came out last summer, he announced he was donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project, and for Pride Month this year he made a new pledge to help LGBTQ youth. He promised to match donations to the Trevor Project, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.

Will Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady welcome Nassib?

As Outsports reported, he’s never made any comments about playing with someone gay. Brady’s former New England Patriots teammate Ryan O’Callaghan recalled that before he came out in 2017, following his retirement, there was one time that he missed the team bus and Brady gave him a ride in his car to that day’s practice.

O’Callaghan told Outsports he believes Brady would have “absolutely” accepted him if he had come out at that time.

“Being married to a super model I’m sure he’s met a few gay people in his life,” said O’Callaghan.

Brady wed Brazilian fashion model Gisele Bündchen in 2009.

Legendary Boston sports columnist Steve Buckley of the Athletic came out as gay in 2011 while at the Boston Herald. He told Outsports that Brady has always been friendly and cooperative, even after Buckley came out.

This is the second time around at Raymond James Stadium for Nassib. He played for the Buccaneers for two seasons prior to joining the Raiders in 2020. His NFL career began in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns. 

As Jason Owens reported for Yahoo! Sports, Nassib was far more productive in Tampa as a part-time starter, recording 6.5 sacks in 2018 and six sacks in 2019. The NFL’s website shows he played just 242 defensive snaps and earned 1.5 sacks last season. 

In 86 games including 37 starts, Nassib’s recorded 22 career sacks, 164 tackles, 53 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles.

In addition to Brady, Nassib’s new teammates are Akiem Hicks and William Gholston at defensive end and outside linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. Given that the Buccaneers finished seventh in the NFL in sacks last season with 47, Nassib will be expected to improve Tampa Bay’s chances when their season begins on Sept. 11 in Dallas.

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Federal judge temporarily blocks anti-trans youth sports law in Indiana

The injunction requires that A.M., a 10 -year-old trans girl, must be allowed to rejoin her school’s all-girls softball team

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On Tuesday Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana issued an preliminary injunction that blocked an Indiana law that prevents trans youth from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

The injunction requires that A.M., a 10 -year-old trans girl, must be allowed to rejoin her school’s all-girls softball team while litigation continues.  

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit in April, on behalf of A.M., challenging House Enrolled Act 1041, which bans transgender girls from participating in school sports. 

Ken Falk, legal director at the ACLU of Indiana, issued the following statement: 

“When misinformation about biology and gender is used to bar transgender girls from school sports it amounts to the same form of sex discrimination that has long been prohibited under Title IX, a law that protects all students – including trans people – on the basis of sex.  

“We are pleased that Judge Magnus-Stinson has recognized this and required that A.M. be allowed to play on her school’s softball team.  

“If other students are being denied the right to join a sports team at their school due to their transgender status, we encourage them to contact the ACLU of Indiana immediately.” 

This past May, the Indiana Legislature had voted to overturn Republican Governor Eric Holcomb’s March veto of HB 1041, a measure that bans transgender girls from competing on girls’ K-12 sports teams in the state.

The vote to override the veto means that this law makes Indiana the 8th state to ban trans youth from playing sports in 2022 by legislative action — and the 16th in the country.

In his veto message sent to House Speaker Todd Huston’s office, Holcomb said the bill presumed a problem already existed that required the state to intervene and it implied the goals of consistency and fairness in girls’ sports were not being met.

“After thorough review, I find no evidence to support either claim even if I support the overall goal,” Holcomb wrote.

“Governor Holcomb was the second governor this year to uphold the dignity of transgender and nonbinary youth, and veto an attempt by lawmakers to write them out of existence. While those young people continue to face unrelenting political attacks, the Indiana legislature voted to override his act of courage and compassion, pushing these marginalized youth even further to the sidelines,” said Sam Ames, Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project.

“This bill claimed to solve a problem of ‘fairness’ in school sports in Indiana that didn’t exist, but its negative impacts on the mental health and well-being of trans and nonbinary youth — young people who already face disproportionate rates of bullying, depression, and suicide — are very real. To the young people in Indiana watching tonight: you are stronger than they know. We are here for you, we will fight for you, and we are not going anywhere.”

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