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Winter growth means many local Team D.C. leagues at capacity for spring

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Team DC Fashion Show, gay news, Washington Blade
Team DC Fashion Show, sports, gay news, Washington Blade

Team D.C. Fashion Show (Washington Blade photo by Jonathan Ellis)

The LGBT sports community of Washington continued to grow over the winter months.  The leagues are all at full capacity and new teams are popping up every few months. Most of the groups are in training for Gay Games 9 to be held in Cleveland/Akron in August. Several of the teams are offering Gay Games scholarships for those in need.

The Team D.C. Fashion Show & Model Search will be held on Saturday at Town with the doors opening at 7 p.m. Clothes will be auctioned off the models to fund the Team D.C. College Scholarship Program which grants awards to local, openly gay student athletes. This year’s show features fashions from Tattee Boy, Mensuas, UnderBriefs, T Christopher New York, Fireboy, Adam & Eve, Skiviez, Body Aware and Universal Gear.

The Team D.C. SportsFest is coming on April 10 at 6 p.m. at Room & Board. This is a great opportunity to meet and greet with members of about 30 LGBT sports teams from the area and enjoy cocktails on the outdoor deck.

Team D.C. will host Night OUT at the Wizards on March 28 as the Wizards take on the Indiana Pacers at the Verizon Center. Tickets are $20 (normally $36 at the box office).

Stonewall Dodgeball kicked off its inaugural season this week with play on Tuesday nights at the Cleveland Elementary School. Registration for the league sold out fast and was capped at 100 players.

Also new in town is TriOut, an LGBT offshoot of the D.C. Triathlon Club. The group will target regular triathlon races along with LGBT-themed events such as Pride Run, Swim for Life and the Gay Games.

The D.C. Sentinels basketball team is wrapping up its third season of the Washington, D.C. Gay Basketball League. On April 5, members will be sending teams to compete in the Coady Roundball Classic in Chicago.

The Capital Area Rainbowlers Association is hosting its Crazy Bowling Tournament, a singles event, on March 8 at the AMF Annandale Lanes in Annandale, Va. On March 29, they will host the CARA Championship Tournament at AMF Centreville Lanes in Centreville, Md.

The D.C. Gay Flag Football League will kick off its eighth season with 20 teams vying for the spring championship title. Registration capped out at 260 players, but you can still sign up for the supplemental draft, which begins after week three.

The Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club began its spring season last week with league play scheduled to run through May 10.

Charm City Volleyball will host the Charm City Invitational 29 on March 29-30 at the Volleyball House in Elkridge, Md. Recreational volleyball is hosted on Wednesday nights and competitive play on Sunday mornings.

The D.C. Strokes Rowing Club is hosting Winter Erg Training through March 13. Their Learn to Row Program begins registration in early March and offers an introduction to the sport of rowing and the opportunity to advance to their Novice Program. The XXI Stonewall Regatta will be held on June 1 on the Anacostia River.

Registration events for the 2014 summer season of the Chesapeake and Potomac Softball League begin this month. The season begins on May 4 and their MAGIC Tournament will be contested on July 5-6.

The spring league of the Capital Tennis Association will run from March to May and the spots filled up quickly. Registration for the summer league will open on April 1 and will run from May to September.

The Federal Triangles Soccer Club with be holding the fifth annual FTSC Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup on March 23 at the Dulles Sportsplex. Registration for the Summer of Freedom League will open in late April.

Season six of Stonewall Bocce will begin on March 20 at Logan Circle. Registration is closed but you can still get on the waiting list.

The North American Gay Volleyball Championships XXXII will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from May 22-25. The event will be co-hosted by New York’s Gotham Volleyball and Capital City Volleyball.

UltimateOUT Frisbee is offering Frisbee play for members of the LGBT community at all levels including beginners on Saturdays starting in March.

The spring season has also begun for Washington Scandals Rugby. Practices are being held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Garrison Elementary School.

Stonewall Kickball begins its spring season which runs from March 23 to May 11 at Stead Field on Sundays. The group also offers Thursday night play in conjunction with D.C. Kickball.

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Sports

Las Vegas Raiders head coach resigns after homophobic emails surface

Discovery made during misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team

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Courtesy of ESPN

LAS VEGAS — The head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, Jon Gruden resigned his post Monday after an article in the New York Times reported that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the National Football League, (NFL).

The emails were discovered in a workplace misconduct investigation into the Washington Football Team the Times reported, but ended up costing Gruden his job when they also showed Gruden denounced the drafting of a gay player and the tolerance of players protesting during the playing of the national anthem among other issues.

In a statement released by the team late Monday, Gruden said; “I have resigned as Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff, and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”

The sequence of events started last Friday when the Wall Street Journal reported that Gruden used a racist term to describe NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith in a 2011 email to the Washington team’s former executive Bruce Allen.

According to the Associated Press, Gruden apologized for his “insensitive remarks” about Smith, saying they were made out of frustration over the 2011 lockout. But the latest emails sent from between 2011-18 when Gruden was an analyst for ESPN show his use of derogatory language went well beyond that.

A league source confirmed the accuracy of the emails to the Associated Press and said they were sent to the Raiders last week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league hasn’t made the emails public.

The New York Times and the Associated Press both noted that Gruden used a gay slur to insult Goodell and said he was “clueless” and “anti-football.” He also said Goodell shouldn’t have pressured the Rams to draft “queers,” a reference to Michael Sam, who was the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

Gruden’s abrupt resignation was announced live on the Colts/Ravens “Monday Night Football” broadcast when the NFL ran multiple LGBTQ-inclusive advertisements, including one featuring an NFL logo wrapped in the colors of the Trans Flag and Rainbow Flag Gay City News Editor Matt Tracy reported.

Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement which only said that he accepted Gruden’s resignation. In a separate statement the Raiders announced that special teams and assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia will serve as Interim Head Coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, effective immediately.

“Coach Bisaccia will meet with the media at the regularly scheduled media availability on Wednesday,” the team said.

According to ESPN and the Associated Press, Bisaccia has been a special teams coordinator in the NFL for 19 seasons with the Raiders, Chargers, Dallas and Tampa Bay. He has no head coaching experience but his elevation will allow other assistants in the Raiders organization such as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to stay in their current roles.

Jon Gruden resigns as Raiders head coach | SC with SVP

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New Zealand university names trans athlete ‘sportswoman of the year’

Laurel Hubbard is first out trans woman to compete in Olympics

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Screenshot via CBS Sports

DUNEDIN, New Zealand — Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was named “sportswoman of the year” at the prestigious 113-year-old University of Otago and OUSA Blues and Golds Awards event this past week.

The 43-year-old Queenstown, South Island, native was the first openly transgender woman to compete in an Olympics when she competed in the women’s 87kg weightlifting event at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

In a statement to the local newspaper, the Otago Daily Times, Hubbard said she was ‘‘grateful for all of the support and kindness received from the teaching staff and students at Otago University.’’

‘‘It is not possible for athletes to complete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha [a Māori word meaning “love”] of friends, family and supporters.

‘‘This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey,’’ she told the paper.

Hubbard’s participation at the Tokyo Games had provoked controversy as she had prepared for competing as the world’s first out transgender woman Olympian. The director of medicine and science for the International Olympic Committee, Dr. Richard Budgett, directly addressed those who had attacked and mocked the New Zealander and claimed she shouldn’t be competing with cisgender women, saying  “everyone agrees that trans women are women.”

“To put it in a nutshell,” he said, “the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015. There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation. So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, is competing under the rules of her federation and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games.”

Otago University Students’ Association president Michaela Waite-Harvey told the Otago Daily Times that the Blues awards aim to highlight Otago students excelling in their chosen sport.

‘‘We could think of no-one more worthy of sportswoman of the year than Laurel Hubbard who represented Otago and New Zealand incredibly well at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.’’

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Gold medalist Tom Daley battled COVID in hospital prior to Tokyo games

An x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs, and he was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels

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Tom Daley (Photo by sportsphotographer.eu via Bigstock)

LONDON – British Olympic champion diver Tom Daley acknowledged in an recent interview with British newspaper The Times, that he had been secretly rushed to hospital seven months prior to the summer Tokyo Olympic games after contracting the coronavirus.

Daley told the paper “[my] lungs felt pressurised, as if they had sacks of rice around them”, and added: “Every time I stood up, I felt the room spinning and a blinding white light, as if I was going to faint, and as if I couldn’t get enough oxygen into my body.”

He went on to describe his ordeal in graphic details telling Times journalist Jane Mulkerrins that he gave specific instructions to his husband, screenwriter D. Lance Black one night as he headed off to sleep, what to do in the event he quit breathing.

He also told Mulkerrins he was frightened for their son Robbie if he and his husband both contracted the COVID-19 coronavirus, especially after he was rushed to hospital by ambulance unable to breath correctly.

When his head began to feel like it had “a vice tightening around it” and his “oxygen levels were dropping,” it was at that point Daley said he decided to call 111. [The UK’s emergency phone number]

‘My oxygen levels were dropping’

He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and put on oxygen. An x-ray revealed “blotches” on his lungs, and he was kept at the hospital for 10 hours to increase his oxygen levels, The Times reported.

“I understood how quickly things could potentially go downhill,” said Daley.

“I had flashes of fear about whether I would be put on a ventilator, and my time being up. I was really terrified.”

He also described his reasons for keeping his ordeal secret so that his rivals in his sport wouldn’t know.

The episode kept the Olympian diver out of training for nearly seven months although Daley along with his British teammate diving partner Matty Lee won the gold with a score of 471.81 in the men’s synchronized diving on at the Tokyo 2021 games.

After tough competition in the Men’s 10m platform diving from China’s Cao Yuan who picked up the Gold Medal and his teammate Yang Jian cinching the number two spot with a Silver Medal, the 27-year-old Daley secured a Bronze Medal win with a score of 548.25.

It was the second Olympic Bronze Medal for the Plymouth, England native, in individual diving completion since he won bronze at the London Games in 2012. Daley and his teammate Daniel Goodfellow won a Bronze Medal in the 10m synchronised at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The Times interview comes as the paper’s magazine is serializing Daley’s new book, Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, Fame and Fatherhood, which is due to be published by Harper Collins on October 14.

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