Showing posts with label basketball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label basketball. Show all posts

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Footnotes: Jason Collins On Hate

As previously featured here, Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), is now signed to the Brooklyn Nets franchise. Here's an update on how he's coping with homophobia within the NBA. 

 Jason Collins

Jason Collins recently revealed in an interview with the New York Times that since he has signed on with the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, he has encountered at least one other player who shouted an anti-gay epitaph during a game. Jason refused to identify the offending opponent, but kept his cool during the incident. 

From the moment he embarked down this trailblazing path in the NBA, Jason Collins has said that he'd turn the other cheek when faced with ignorance, accepting that he can't control the actions and words of idiots. 

"One player, one knucklehead from another team," is how Jason referred to the bigot. "He's a knucklehead. So I just let it go. Again, that goes back to controlling what you can control. That's how I conduct myself: just being professional." 

It's a pity the verbal abuser and hater doesn't have the same sense of professionalism and sportsmanship. Good job, Jason! 

Collins Nets jersey number is "98." It's in honor of Matthew Shephard, the year of his murder being 1998.

To read more of Collins' slur incident, a link is provided to: The Grio. Click to view. 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Madness Is Underway!

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) annual basketball playoffs, March Madness, is currently underway at selected venues all across the country. The tip-off for this event happened this past weekend and media broadcast began last night. This tournament is televised throughout the world. 

For the first time, these collegiate hoops athletes have an openly gay role model in the world of professional basketball. Jason Collins, of the National Basketball Association (NBA), came out as same gender loving late last Spring. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

JC Back In The NBA!

The above image is for illustrative purposes and NOT Jason Collins

Jason Collins To Returns To The NBA!

Jason Collins made history this past Spring by becoming the first active player in the National Basketball Association (NBA) to openly acknowledge his being gay. For that matter, he became the first athlete, current on roster, for any major professional sports franchise to come out. At the time, Collins was playing for the Washington, DC Wizards organization. As a free agent, he wasn't picked up by any team for the current season. 

Bad press for the NBA: homophobia rumors flew both left and right. 

Late last week, both CNN and ESPN reported that Jason Collins is seriously under consideration for a spot on the NBA's Brooklyn Nets team. The Nets have two open roster positions and General Manager Billy King confirmed that Jason is being looked at for one of them. Collins is an obvious candidate for one of those slots and was flown out to Los Angeles, California, for a recent training event. He's a natural target for the organization given his defensive know-how, his history with the franchise and his reputation as a great team-player. 

This past weekend, Jason Collins was offered and signed a temporary, short-term contract with the Brooklyn Nets. His return to the NBA was welcomed by the Brooklyn teams management and coach Jason Kidd. Best wishes and welcome back, Jason! 

Below are some images of Jason "JC" Collins on the court and one of him at Boston Pride, 2013. The final photo shows Jason Collins signing his 10-day contract with Brooklyn Nets head coach and former NBA star, Jason Kidd. 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

NBA Commissioner Slam-Dunks Putin!

David Stern, Commissioner (Czar) of the National Basketball Association (NBA) - pictured below- , is both hated and/or loved by all, often at the same time. However, he is very outspoken and is vocal in his support of the GLBT community. You may not like his abrasive and brazen attitude, but you have to admire his courage in stepping in, knee-deep, when necessary. 

Two weeks ago, at the Beyond Sports Summit, he was openly critical of Russian President Putin and that country's anti-gay laws, particularly in regards to the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympiad in 2014. For the record, Stern and the NBA have, at least publicly, committed their organization to full equality for all. Period. That alone, in the world of professional sports, is highly unusual.  

Here's what Stern had to say:
"I'm gonna behave myself, for the record here, which is unlike me. But you know, the first phone call to the new head of the Olympics was from President Putin, and everyone wants to talk about the Russian law on homosexuality. Think about the opportunities that sports have to make a continuing statement, and the only thing that we're saying in that context is ' Shhh! No one say anything!' "
Stern has publicly proven, once again, that he has balls. And not just the kind dribbled on the court.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

 NBA Commissioner David Stern/ UPI

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Madness Begins!


If you can't play naked, you can watch it naked ! 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Let The Games Begin...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - Monday, April 8, 2013 



Get Ready! The 75th Year of the Hoops of Hoops
begins in a little over two weeks!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nude Hoops: A New Shirts And Skins Game

Here are the new rules and the new name for the game: a queer naturist/nudist twist on the tired old court scrimmage of Shirts & Skins! It's now known as Shirtless and Skins. One team plays wearing no jersey or shirt; the opposing team plays totally nude! The rules are essentially the same. Now, we all know for certain which team I'll be playing on! That one is a no-brainer!

No basketball court has ever seen the action that this innovative take on the stand-by competition will generate! The spectator bleachers will surely be packed to capacity. What better sight to behold than bouncing balls dribbling balls down the court?

The truth is, I have played nude B-ball before. It wasn't the modest Shirtless & Skins variety, but honest-to-goodness bare-assed naked basketball. All players were hanging loose and hanging free. The means we used to distinguish the teams was by wearing a bandanna around our necks. Reds versus blues, yellows versus greens, etc. Five man teams and ten men racing nude all over the court. That, my brothers, is basketball the way it was intended to be played!

And, while we're on the topic of hoops, how about a new makeover for the National Basketball Association (NBA) logo? Take a look at the proposal below! Got game?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gay And The NBA

This is one major step in the right direction! A positive direction for professional hoops to stay on top of their game! Players at the National Basketball Association (NBA) Rookie Transition Program last week watched an educational video designed to teach new pro athletes respect and tolerance for gay fans and teammates. The seminar also included a workshop on how to deal with the issue on social media outlets and live media interviews. Outsports reports that the video featured GLAAD's Aaron McQuade and Athlete Ally founder Hudson Taylor exchanging advice, personal insights and thoughts on bullying, homophobia, sensitivity and related GLBT concerns.

The queer curriculum of the Rookie Transition Program was scheduled to begin in 2011. Due to last year's NBA lockout which resulted in an abbreviated professional season, there was no transitional training. The 2012 session included candidates for the past two years. Therefore, the effect was double the impact it otherwise would have been.

The NBA educational program isn't the first in professional sports. The National Football League (NFL) instituted a similar training on homophobia and gay sensitivity several years ago. Esera Tuaolo, from American Samoa and a retired NFL player who came out as gay upon his retirement, facilitates the sessions for the NFL.

Both the NBA and the NFL are to be applauded for initiating these seminars for their recruits. Even if it only changes the attitude of one person, it does mark a positive beginning. We all know that a two or three hour forum isn't going to completely erase years of ingrained learning, it does raise awareness. That such efforts exist reiterates the message to all professional athletes within these organizations that hateful and disrespectful actions and comments are incompatible and unwelcome in the professional environment and will not be tolerated.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Congratulations, Dr. O'Neil

Congratulations Shaquille O'Neil, PhD.!

On Saturday, May 5, 2012, Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neil, four-time NBA champion and a giant among men, earned his doctorate in education from Barry University, Miami, Florida.

Dr. O'Neil left Louisiana State University early when drafted into the NBA. After 19 years on the court, he retired. He has completed requirements and earned first his bachelors, then masters and now his doctorate in education. Please note, all of his awards are earned and not honorary. His final GPA for his PhD is 3.8.

Is there anything this man cannot do?

By the way, Shaq was naked under his suit and robes.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

NBA Playoffs...Nude

The 2012 National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs are now underway.
Games are currently played nightly throughout the USA.
I propose we rename the NBA the Nude Basketball Association and change the rules to reflect the requirement that all players, coaches, staff and spectators must be naked at all times.
This should really spark a renewed interest in the game, especially as the players strike at the beginning of the season has hurt attendance for this season.
What are your thoughts on this suggestion/proposal?
While you ponder this thought, watch the hoops action. 
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Ballers: Final Four

It's the final weekend of March Madness and the race for the NCAA Basketball Champion is in full swing. The Final Four games are tomorrow, March 31.

Kentucky vs. Louisville

6:00 pm

Kansas vs. Ohio State

9:00 pm

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nudists Embrace March Madness

Uncover the connection between nude recreation enthusiasts and college hoops jargon.

March, originally from the Latin word Martius, named for Mars, the Roman god of war, has new meanings in modern society. For gardeners it's the start of the spring planting season. For college basketball fans, March means only one thing...March Madness!

Nudists, however, think of March Madness a little differently. Here are the top 10 March Madness words and their meanings to nudists:

1)  NCAA: No clothes allowed anytime (no clothes at all)

2)  March Madness: a nudist's state of mind after having been bundled up all winter long. Some northern nudists have even been known to have March Madness set in so bad, they run outside naked and make snow angels.

3)  Free Throw: Throwing your friend into the pool without them knowing it

4)  Point spread: The distance you have to walk from your nudist resort hotel room to the pool.

5)  Guard: Covering your skin with lots of sunscreen.

6)  Rebound: Regaining your sanity by relaxing, restoring and rejuvenating your mental well-being by taking a nakation.

7)  3 Point Play: Getting to play volleyball, tennis and play in the sand naked all day long.

8)  Foul: Having to wear clothes all week long (at work) while waiting to get away to your favorite nudist resort.

9)  Fouling Out: Having to cancel your nakation because your boss says you have to work overtime.

10) Tip Off: Telling all your friends about the fun nakation you just came home from. And this will be the first time ever your friends will really want to see your vacation photos. Source: American Association for Nude Recreation

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Get Naked For March Madness!

March Madness is the basketball frenzy that grips the nation from mid-March through early April. It is the culmination of the collegiate basketball season and is sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The name is equally applied to both men's and women's tournaments but is almost universally used exclusively for men's basketball.

The NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, the official name for March Madness, is a single elimination collegiate tournament held annually. Games are not played in any one location but are spaced throughout the country. This year, 2012, the competition begins on Tuesday, March 13.

The term, March Madness, wasn't used to identify the NCAA men's championship tourney until the 1980s. At that time, Bruce Musburger, a sportscaster for the CBS Network, utilized the term throughout the telecast of the contest. The media and fans adopted the moniker and it has been with us ever since.

As an avid hoops fan, both as participant and spectator, I've always advocated for totally nude March Madness games. Let's all hang out all over the court, players and fans alike. As a matter of fact, I've felt that all NCAA events should be nude. I favor changing the association's name to: No Clothes Allowed Anytime!

Here's the 2012 March Madness Tournament Schedule:

First Four:          March 13-14

Second Round:   March 15-16

Third Round:      March 17-18

Sweet 16:           March 22-23

Elite 8:               March 24-25

Final Four:          March 31

Championship:    April 2

Unfortunately, neither the rest of the world nor the NCAA are interested in my innovations for either the March Madness tournament or for the NCAA name change. It's indeed a pity but rest assured, I'm not giving up the fight! In the meantime, I'll be happily watching the games from the comfort of my home; conveniently naked, of course!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NFL Stands Strong And Romney Shrinks


The National Football League (NFL) has decided to broadcast an "It Gets Better" segment to the expected 83,000 fans in the stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana this Sunday, February 5, 2012, as part of the Super Bowl. The airing, which will be shown inside the facility to fans only and not broadcast, is said to feature the anti-bullying message of NBA (National Basketball Association) headliner Grant Hill. Despite threats by the religious extremists, this is a courageous move by the NFL in a heroic effort to combat the rising incidence of teen suicide due to bullying. Their stand for justice, tolerance and peace cause us to wonder what message the religious extremists would prefer.


Fresh from his victory in the GOP Florida primary, Romney once again proves that he's far better off keeping his mouth shut else he sidelines his own political aspirations. Already suffering due to his comments that he has no problem firing people, he now publicly states that he's not concerned about the poor. They have a safety net.

Right, Romney. Remind us all that you only really care about the one-percent that includes you. The rest of the ninety-nine percent of us can all drop dead/self-destruct. We're unimportant. Please, sir, continue to engage your mouth and not your brain.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Will Sheridan, Unsung Hero: Part 2: Open and Finding His "Unsung" Voice

As is the case with some of us, Will Sheridan, Jr. never really viewed himself as being "in" the proverbial closet. Rather, he was content with being himself, the man that he is, and revealed his sexuality in his own time and at his own choosing. After all, it really is no one's business besides our own, right? How many heterosexuals announce their orientation (unless they are rumored or suspected of being gay)? This is, ultimately, an individual decision that each one of us have to make for ourselves.

Each of us must "find and locate" our own special place in this world. The life of our brother, Will, is no different. It is unique and extraordinary in that not only does it parallel ours as much as that it also opens doors and guides the lives of those who follow after us. He offers himself and his experiences as a roadmap for future same gender loving men. He is pictured above from his music video, Welcome To The Jungle.

Coming Out:

By the time he was a college freshman, Sheridan was already comfortable with himself and his sexuality that he began sharing with friends on a "need-to-know" basis. One of the first to learn about Will was his roommate and teammate, Mike Nardi. He recalls: "I just said, 'I need to tell you something...I'm gay.'"

Nardi responded by making a joke: "I just said, "Don't go putting a hit on me or sniffing my underwear or nothing.'" Mike then adds: "I had never really experienced anything like that, but it's not like it mattered. I don't know. I mean, we're friends. Who cares?" They both continued to live as roommates for three of their four seasons together playing for the Wildcats. They remain close friends even today and are shown in the photo on the right.

Over the years, Sheridan came out to most of his teammates on an individual level. The team accepted him for who he was and the fact that he's gay wasn't an issue. There was never, "a team meeting to discuss Will being gay," Mike offers. "Your personal life is your personal life." No one bothered to tell Coach Wright about Sheridan. He didn't learn about Will until after he had graduated. "After I found out, I was like, 'Did you know?' And all the guys, they were like, 'Yeah, Coach, we knew," Wright states.

Although Sheridan wasn't publicly out during college, he didn't disguise nor deny his sexuality, either. He even dated a man from a different university in the Philly area. On campus, he remained popular and was rarely ridiculed by his fellow students.

In contrast to the generally supportive atmosphere on the Villanova campus, during basketball games, the courtside climate at times was rough and negative. Rumors and gossip existed; there were slurs and disrespectful comments and gestures from both the opposing teams and their fans. Sheridan accepted all this in his own stride and refused to let it get the best of him.

Will, Jr. came out to his parents at the end of his freshman year of college. This news wasn't initially welcome to Will Sheridan, Sr. and Josie Sheridan. It created a tense environment between them and their son that took time and effort for all three to work through. Although proud if their son and his accomplishments, who he was proved difficult for the older Sheridans to accept.

The younger Sheridan sums up the reaction of his parents: "To them, this was just no way. Denial. It didn't fit with who I was, or who they thought I was. I was perfect. This didn't work." Josie Sheridan adds: "Devastated. I was devastated. I mean, I was disappointed. Not in him, but in the things that were taken away, not having a daughter-in-law, grandchildren, things like that."

Mother and son soon were able to overcome the pain, heal and move on with their lives. Mrs. Sheridan again remarks: "I never loved him any less. In fact, I think I love him more. I've always been proud of him, but he has such courage. This takes courage."

Will Sheridan, Sr. wasn't quite as resilient as his wife. In fact, it was almost a full year before the older Will and the younger one ever spoke to each other. He took away his car and ceased auto insurance payments. His father now admits: "I just did these things to make him realize, "I'm not playing, son. You let this thing go. You stop. I honestly almost lost it.'"

Father and son eventually resumed speaking to one another; however, it took longer than a year before they were completely reconciled. In fact, the older Sheridan decided not to attend Will, Jr's. senior year team banquet and university graduation. Eventually, both Sr. and Jr. resumed their closeness and are now past the heartache and pain. "We are closer now than we've ever been," Will, Jr. says. "We talk all the time, but I know it's hard. I know it's still really hard for him."

As already noted, Will Sheridan, Jr. publicly announced that his is same gender loving in an interview with Dana O'Neil on May 16, 2011, at the age of 26 years. Following this article, he also appeared on ESPN's Outside The Lines and he gave an interview on

Current Activities:

Life after graduating from Villanova University and participating in the Italian Basketball League has been interesting and unique for our queer brother Will. Not only has he gained experience from living in Europe, he's volunteered in a development initiative in East Africa as well. He spent time in Nairobi, Kenya (at his own expense) in restoring the kitchen at the Ruiru Rehabilitation Center. It was while there that he was inspired to create the lyrics for his first EP, released through Royal Advisor Records (RAR) entitled Ngoma. The title translates from Swahili into the English "music." The tracklist includes original works: Fundamentals, You Know I Got It, Welcome To The Jungle (Morsy's Original Mix) and Welcome To The Jungle (Morsy's Go-Bop Mix). To visit his musical blog, click on this entry title above or go to:

While he awaits proverbial fame and fortune in his music, Sheridan supports himself by working as businessman and manager in the fashion industry in New York City. Always a realist, Sheridan acknowledges that he may not become famous through his spoken word lyrics, "although I wouldn't mind it," he quips. As of this summer, he is in negotiations with MTVs VH1 Channel for a reality TV show about gay and/or bisexual basketball players.

What Now?

As for myself, I believe that Will Sheridan, Jr., is in a pivotal position within our same gender loving (SGL) culture. Obviously, he is creative, innovative and talented; these traits will serve him well in whatever path he chooses to travel. This young man has more than earned my admiration, respect and support solely based on what he has achieved thus far. In my humble opinion, he's already a contemporary hero, in every conceivable sense of the word.

He's the personification of the new meaning for the GOP: that's Gay, Out and Proud, the total opposite of the old meaning of the politics of bigotry, exclusion, hatred and violence. Please note that this is my own interpretation and not representative of Will Sheridan, Jr. The image to the left here is of our subject as he appeared earlier this Spring, 2011, during a televised interview when going public concerning his true life.

Mr. Sheridan, Jr., now has a special opportunity to reach millions of vulnerable youth. Given his multitude of abilities, he is able to relate and bond with most of our GLBT teens who may be experiencing conflicting periods in their personal lives. He is in the position to bridge and mentor them as they explore and assimilate into our community.

This potential is especially essential in this national crisis of suicides among our teenagers and young adults. Our youth desperately need a positive role model relative to their age and lifestyles. Our brother, Will, Jr., posesses the credentials to save lives and deliver hope. He can make a major difference in the lives of others.

To Will Sheridan, Jr., I offer my congratulations on the confidence and the fortitude to be yourself. I wish for you all the best that life offers you. I appreciate all that you've contributed to our community!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sources:,, Wikipedia,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will Sheridan, Unsung Hero: Part 1: Background And Early Life

On Sunday, May 15, 2011, the media was ablaze with the coming out headlines of the likes rarely seen. Don Lemon, CNN news anchor, acknowledged being gay on the eve of the release of his autobiography, Transparent. That same day, Rick Welts, president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns franchise of the National Basketball Association, publicly announced that he's gay in an interview in the New York Times. The following day, a third celebrity stepped outside the proverbial closet in an exclusive interview on Will Sheridan. Unfortunately, his story didn't generate the media attention of the former two. He simply lacked the widespread recognition of both Mr. Lemon and Mr. Welts.

That's the main reason why I'm focusing on Mr. Sheridan in a two-part feature here. Personally, I feel his story and achievements deserve attention and need to be shared. He shows great potential as a prospective leader and mentor for our same gender loving community. Simply the fact that he doesn't currently enjoy that status is no basis for not giving him the props that he obviously has earned. In honoring Sheridan, I am not in any way disparaging either Mr. Lemon nor Mr. Welts. All three are courageous in stepping forward and being completely and publicly honest.

I've already published here regarding the stories of Don Lemon and Rick Welts (see the blog entry for May 16, 2011). Originally, I'd planned to focus on Will during Pride Month this year. Circumstances prevented that from happening until now. I hope the time for additional research enables me to give his story the credit it so richly deserves.

Early Life:

Will Sheridan, Jr. was born on January 12, 1985, in Bear, Delaware (a suburb of Wilmington). He is the youngest child of Will Sheridan, Sr. and Josie Sheridan, both professional police officers. His older siblings are a brother, DeVaughn and a sister, Chaleoa. He attended Sanford High School where he began playing basketball and graduated in 2003. While a junior, his team won the state tournament title. During his senior year in high school, he was ranked among the top fifty secondary school players, nationwide, by Basketball Times. Growing up, his nickname was "Bump."

Ironically, Will never harbored any dreams of an NBA career. A tall teen, he was 6'4" in only the eighth grade, basketball was something he did, not a professional ambition. In his own words, he remembers: "I was never a guy who watched the NBA or loved the NBA or any of that." Despite this indifference towards professional basketball aspirations, during high school, he was twice named Delaware's player of the year.

Sheridan, Jr. was a bright student and performed well academically. In addition to his life on the court, he also served as a student leader. He was president of his class during his freshman and sophomore years and was elected treasurer as a senior. These accomplishments and his ability to steer free from trouble as a teeneger were a source of pride for his parents.

Collegiate and Semi-Pro Basketball:

Will Sheridan, Jr. was recruited by Villanova University (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) with a basketball scholarship and he enrolled there, majoring in Communications, upon graduating Sanford, in 2003. He played the Forward position for the Division I Villanova Wildcats until his matriculation from there in 2007. He started for all four seasons. At 6'8" in height, he towered above many of his team and their opponents. His jersey number was "50" throughout his time with the Wildcats.

Under the guidance of Villanova's then-head coach, Jay Wright, Will perfected his hoop skills. He became a force to be reckoned with and it was during his university sports tenure that the Wildcats emerged as a national basketball powerhouse. In all, the team would make three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament appearances and hold a 92-41 record while Sheridan and Wright were working together. Over the course of four years, the two developed a close relationship although they never broached the topic of Will's sexual orientation. When he learned about Sheridan being gay, Wright remarked: " I feel foolish now, but he was the perfect student, the perfect student-athlete, the perfect teammate. He never gave me an ounce of worry. He was so low maintenance. You could ask him to do anything, and he'd do it. I don't know. It sounds weird , but it never came up."

As a member of the team at Villanova University, Will, Jr. participated in its first NCAA tournament appearance in his sophomore year. While a junior, the Wildcats were seeded Number 1 and advanced into the Elite Eight in the NCAA tourney. His efforts in these endeavors received national recognition in all media outlets. During the Villanova 2006 NCAA March Madness (tournament) playoff, Will Sheridan wrote a daily journal for the Philadelphia Daily News.

After graduating from Villanova University in May, 2007, Will Sheridan moved to Italy where he briefly played in the Italian Basketball League. Upon his return to the USA, he settled in New York City, New York, where he continues to reside.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sources:,, Wikipedia

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just Rewards For Brother John Amaechi

Congratulations and bravo are offered to our same gender loving brother from the UK, John Amaechi. Mr. Amaechi, to date, is the first and only professional basketball player to ever publicly acknowledge that he is gay. He came out in February, 2007, in an interview on ESPN-TV and in his autobiography, Man In The Middle, released that same month. Now, he has received the honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from his sovereign, H. M. Queen Elizabeth II. He is now permitted to add the ambiguation, OBE, after his full name. This honor was bestowed upon him with the publication of the Queen's Birthday Honours List, 2011.

Amaechi, a British-Nigerian subject, is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor degree in psychology. During his NBA career, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic and the Utah Jazz. Additionally, he played for several European club teams. He retired from pro basketball in 2003. In 2006, he led the British team to victory securing a bronze medal during the British Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia.

John was granted the chivalry distinction for his services to sport and charity. The honor was based upon nomination by Her Majesty's Government. Since his retirement from the NBA, he has built a sports center for youth in Manchester, England and worked with disadvantaged teens. He serves as a leader in the British Big Brothers mentoring scheme. His political activities include government appointments surrounding social inclusion and as an advocate for gay rights. He currently works as an ambassador-at-large for Amnesty International.

John offered: "I was once an overweight bookworm who hid in the corner of my school library and wished I was invisible. My mother told me I could do better and I hope to use this platform to convince other young people just how true this can be for them too."

John Amaechi, OBE, was DQNs Black History Month Queerstory Man of the Month in February, 2010. Congratulations and best wishes to our brother on both this distinguished honor from the Crown and for a job well done. Positive proof that our same gender loving brother continues with what it takes to make queerstory (queer+history)! Outstanding honor for an outstanding man during Pride Month!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Justice On The Court...

The NBA clearly is not about playing games when the players aren't following the rules. The National Basketball Association is about rendering justice when one of its own runs afoul of policy. In the aftermath of the recent public coming out of the association's Phoenix Suns franchise President and CEO Rick Welts, the profession is enforcing the very public policy of zero-tolerance for intolerance. Hopefully, the message will reach those who obviously missed it last week.

In Sunday nights' Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat playoff, Bulls center Joakim Noah got into a shouting match with a fan an uttered the slur, "Fuck you, faggot!" Unfortunately, this exchange was caught on camera and broadcast live. To Noah's credit, immediately after the game, he apologized for the incident saying: "The fan said something that I thought was disrespectful, I got caught up in the moment and I responded. I was frustrated and I didn't mean any disrespect to anyone." Joakim, in his fourth season with the Bulls, added that he regretted the remark and would accept any NBA consequences. Not the most sincere apology but in all fairness, it was delivered in an impromptu postgame interview and not a staged, preplanned and scripted press conference.

Monday morning, the NBA announced the verdict. Noah was fined $50,000 for the offense. One month ago, LA Lakers Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for uttering the exact same words. A league official said Bryant's punishment was higher "because it included a sanction for verbally abusing a game official." The same official continued: "Noah apologized again for the remark and says that he will accept the consequences."

In a postgame panel commentary, broadcast live, former NBA star Chris Webber shared his opinion of the entire scenario: "There is no place for those words in sports or in life." True that, Mr Webber! Ironically, Joakim is the son of Yannick Noah, the French-Cameroonian tennis star who was the subject of gay rumors in the Cameroon press in 2005 and 2006.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Everybody In The NBA Has Had Gay Teammates"

Leave it to Charles Barkley, nicknamed "Sir Charles" and "The Round Mound of Rebound," to tell it like it really is! The former NBA power forward and two-times Olympic gold medalist put it out there last week in an interview with The Washington Post. Responding to questions concerning gays in pro sports in the wake of last weeks coming-out of Phoenix Suns president and CEO, Rick Welts, Barkley, who played for the Philadelphis 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets during his pro career, had this to say: "Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin' idiot. I would even say the same thing in college. Every college player, every pro player in any sport has probably played with a gay person." Yes, Sir Charles does it once again as he has the balls to come forward with what most of us already know to be true. Queers have been participating in athletics since the ancient Greek Olympics and probably long before then.

Barkley then disclosed that he knew for a fact that he had gay teammates on at least two of the three NBA franchises that employed him throughout his career. It was never a big deal to him. The 1993 NBAs Most Valuable Player Award recipient added that it's time for people to quit believing the myth that gays face bigger obstacles in sports than elsewhere.

Since his retirement from professional basketball in 2000, Charles Barkley currently works as a TV commentator on pro games. During the interview, he stated that: "First of all, every player has played with gay guys. It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say: 'Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.' First of all, quit telling me what I think. I'd rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can't play." Now, that makes complete sense. In professional athletics, it's the individual talent and not the personality that really counts. The ultimate goal is to win games and keep the fans happy.

The 2006 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee concluded the interview with this comment: "First of all, society discriminates against gay people. They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I've been a proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a Black person, I can't be in for any form of discrimination at all." Well done, Sir Charles! Give the homophobes their walking papers!

In addition to his NBA career records and honors, Mr. Barkley has two Olympic gold medals as a team member in mens basketball for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Both times, he was a player on the USA "Dream Team." He is also the author of the best-selling book, Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man? Now, he's posed nude several times and evidently isn't modest about his body. Can we next get him to come forth with his thoughts about naturism/nudism?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Does Get Better...

Not even a full week since the NBAs Rick Welts, President and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, came out as gay in a New York Times article and the world of major league sports is slowly and belatedly responding to the issues of bullying and homophobia. Now that professional athletes have absorbed the idea that at least one of their bosses is queer (and proud), the players themselves have gotten the message and are taking their own steps to confront and address antigay sentiment in the sports fraternity. In only a few days since Welts' announcement and already personalities in pro baseball, basketball and football have come on board with messages condeming hatred based on sexual orientation.

The NFLs Donte` Stallworth, a wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens franchise, sent out a message from his Twitter account to his more than 67,000 followers explaining his support of inclusion and equality. In his tweet, Stallworth denounced both homophobia and the abuse of religion in denying marriage to same-sex partners. Donte` supported Rick Welts, Don Lemon and Will Sheridan (see Tuesday, May 17, 2011 entry here) in their coming out and, at the same time, was highly critical of politicians for their antigay stance. Donte` Stallworth, a lay person, exhibits a better understanding of the Divine Truth than many of our seminary-educated clerics. He concluded his message with: "God loves all." I salute you, Mr. Stallworth!

Phoenix Suns forward and NBA superstar Grant Hill recorded an anti-homophobia psa with teammate Jared Dudley. In it, Grant states: "It's wrong. We are in 2011. We need to understand that words have meaning. And, as parents, we need to teach our children this." Asked about the coming out of his boss (Welts) and the issue of gays in pro sports, Hill added: "Some guys who play sports think they have to be 'manly' and say these things. But, they don't have to." Thank you Mr. Hill and Mr. Dudley for your initiative!

In a first for any major sports franchise, the San Francisco Giants team (yes, the team, not an individual) will post a message for the anti-bullying "It Gets Better" campaign. Now, that's exactly what teamwork is all about!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!