NEW YORK -- Years before Michael Sam was born, gay-rights activists Kate Kendell and Paul Guequierre were already die-hard Natio
NEW YORK -- Years before Michael Sam was born, gay-rights activists Kate Kendell and Paul Guequierre were already die-hard Natioin News 18.03.2019 08:59
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NEW YORK -- Years before Michael Sam was born, gay-rights activists Kate Kendell and Paul Guequierre were already die-hard National Football League fans. Nike Shoes For Sale Uk . Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, grew up in Ogden, Utah, far from any NFL city, and became a fan of the Los Angeles Rams because shes an Aries and liked their uniforms. For Guequierre, raised in Whitewater, Wisconsin, and now a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, it was a family affair. Treasured season tickets for the Green Bay Packers were acquired by his grandfather, passed on to his father, and now are his. The cover photo of his Facebook page shows the towering statue of a Packers wide receiver. For Kendell, Guequierre and other gay fans of the NFL, their passion for pro football was rewarded May 10 with a moment they describe as thrilling: the decision by the Rams -- now of St. Louis -- to make Sam the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team. "I feel like my support for the NFL now doesnt have an asterisk come with it," Kendell said. "Its now truly Americas game." The milestone has made gay fans more enthusiastic and already is drawing newcomers into the fold. Many may become Rams fans or -- like Guequierre -- henceforth consider St. Louis "my second favourite team." The NFL says it hasnt done any marketing research to gauge the size of its gay and lesbian fan base. Gay sports fans surveyed by Outsports said pro football was their favourite sport by far. Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler said that Sam -- if he makes the Rams roster -- will further boost the NFLs popularity among gays. "People who have never liked football are buying Michael Sam jerseys," he said. "People who have never watched a game watched the draft." As of midweek, Sams Rams jersey was the No. 2 seller among rookies at NFLShop.com, trailing only Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Sam -- although drafted 249th out of 256 players -- also was among just 10 draftees selected by the league to be featured on special bronze and silver commemorative coins, according to NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. Howard Bragman, a public relations expert who has been working with Sam, expects the NFL and advertisers to capitalize on fans excitement over Sams debut. "The first time he plays, youre going to have huge numbers watching," said Bragman, the vice chairman of Reputation.com. "The NFL is a business," Bragman added. "It understands very well that LGBT fans are passionate, they have good incomes, theyre concentrated in NFL cities." Sam already has done a nationally televised ad for Visa. "The tide has turned," Bragman said. "Martina Navratilova said she lost endorsements after she came out. Youll find that Michael will do very well." That doesnt mean the NFLs advertisers will shift their focus away from heterosexual young males, nor are sexy female cheerleader squads likely to disappear. But gay fans may be all the more at peace with such things. "We know who theyre marketing to with those ads," said Guequierre. "Most (gay) people I know are OK with that. We dont feel like were being left out." Now based in Washington, D.C., Guequierre, 36, tries to attend at least one Packers home game per year, and makes his tickets for the other games available to relatives and friends, including a lesbian couple who are devoted fans. Guequierre said gay fans, like gay athletes, increasingly feel less pressure to conceal their sexual orientation while at games. He recalled an incident at a Packers game a few years ago, when he stood up and vocally scolded a fan behind him who had called a Chicago Bears player a homophobic slur. "No one else gave me a hard time," Guequierre said. "The guy looked embarrassed. ... He came across as the bad guy." Guequierres passion for football extends to the playing field -- hes an avid competitor in the D.C. Gay Flag Football League, which has 20 teams and about 275 players. One of the main sponsors is Nellies Sports Bar, one of a wave of gay sports bars that have opened up in cities nationwide. Doug Schantz, co-owner of Nellies, says there are now 25 TVs in the bar, all tuned to sports, with pro baseball and the NFL neck-and-neck as the most popular. "With the Redskins, it doesnt matter if theyre bad or good," Schantz said. On the other side of the country, Kate Kendell has settled into San Francisco, and is a zealous 49ers fan -- though her girlhood love of the Rams is now rekindled. She has raised her 17-year-old son to share her football passions. "On Monday nights, we break with tradition of sitting around the table as family," Kendell said. "We all watch the game. I leave office early to make sure were there for kickoff." Kendell expressed delight that gay youths would now be able to grow up with openly gay sports stars as role models. "Many of my gay male friends are not sports fans -- not because of lack of interest, but because their earliest introduction to sports made them feel stigmatized and shamed," she said, evoking epithets such as "You throw like a girl." "While surely there will continue to be homophobic remarks, there is a sense of a corner being turned," she said. "What I feel more than anything is a sense of elation and joy, that the game I loved since I was a kid I can now embrace without reservations." Nike Outlet Uk Online .A. Happ? Happs seven wins are second on the staff to Mark Buehrles 10. Win-loss record is an antiquated stat, sure, but win total is generally an indication of a pitchers ability to work deep into games, enough to be personally affected by the result. Wholesale Nike Shoes Uk . Forward Iker Muniain scored the winner in the 70th minute after Bilbaos incessant pressure recovered the ball and sparked a counterattack inside Barcelonas half. Neymar was once again tagged to pick up Messis goal-scoring duties, but when he wasnt frustrated by slippery footing Bilbaos defence got the better of him. http://www.wholesalenikeshoesuk.com/ . In a matchup of teams battling head-to-head for the final playoff spot in Major League Soccers Western Conference, the Whitecaps run to the post-season took a hard hit when FC Dallas blew open a tie game with two goals in the final minutes for a 3-1 victory Saturday night.(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings seek to bounce back from a rough road trip as they return to the Staples Center on Thursday night to take on the New York Islanders. The Kings ripped off a perfect six-game homestand before hitting the road for five straight. They ended up getting outscored 14-6 in losing the first four contests of the swing, one in overtime, before salvaging the finale on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars. Dustin Brown netted the go-ahead tally early in the third period and Jonathan Quick made 33 saves for a Kings club that is 6-1-0 at home compared to 1-3-2 on the road. Trevor Lewis (short-handed) and Kyle Clifford also lit the lamp for the Kings. I thought our forecheck was a lot better tonight, said Brown. As a result, we scored more goals. Forward Justin Williams wont play tonight after suffering a facial injury on Tuesday. Williams was struck under his face shield by the blade of Stars defenseman Brenden Dillons stick. Williams is day-to-day as he got some stitches above his eyelid, but thankfully avoided a series eye injury. The Kings are set to play two straight and six of their next seven at home. They swept their two-game set with the Islanders last season and have won eight of the past 10 meetings overall while taking four in a row as the host. Quick is 4-1-1 with a 1.64 goals against average and .932 save percentage in six meetingss with New York. Cheap Nike Shoes UK Outlet. The Islanders will try to build off of last nights big 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks, made possible when John Tavares scored his second goal of the game 2:18 into overtime. The Islanders went on a power play in the extra session after Anaheims Sami Vatanen elbowed Calvin de Haan, and Tavares fired a wrist shot along the ice from the high slot that deflected in off the right pad of Jason LaBarbera. Kyle Okposo also scored a power-play goal and Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for the Islanders, who snapped a three-game losing streak that included defeats in Colorado and San Jose that opened this five-game road trip. New York, which ends its trip on Saturday in Arizona, rebounded against a Ducks team missing both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry due to flu-like symptoms and after blowing a 2-0 lead. Anaheim got a power-play goal at 9:15 of the second period and another tally with 1:09 left in the frame. I thought we were really dictating the play until we gave up that power-play goal, said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. Halak snapped a personal four-game skid with his first victory since Oct. 16 and it is unknown if he will start again tonight or if backup Chad Johnson will get the call to face the Kings for the first time in his career. Halak is 6-6-2 with a 2.37 GAA and .915 save percentage with two shutouts in 14 games against Los Angeles. ' ' '
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