Tag Archives: Women in sports

ILD: Julie Bindel: “Martina remains a role model for all lesbians. She set a standard, and she made a difference, by breaking barriers and being brave.”

By Julie Bindel

I will never forget watching Martina Navratilova play at Wimbledon the year after she came out as a lesbian. It was the 1982 tournament and the backlash against her had been brutal.

Very deeply courageous and principled, Martina once estimated that she lost around US$10 million in endorsement deals as corporate executives rushed to distance themselves from her at a time when anti-gay bigotry was sky high within the context of the AIDS crisis.

Martina was the very first lesbian role model of my generation. I was 20 years old during that tournament, and I heard from lesbians of all ages about the pride they felt at being able to tell those friends and family members that were not comfortable about lesbianism that Martina was one of them. The only other lesbians I had seen on TV were the characters in The Killing of Sister George, portrayed as twisted and damaged individuals, so having a sports superstar on our team was amazing.

Clearly not everyone felt the same. The Australian retired tennis player Margaret Court, who had won at Wimbledon three times, said in 1990 that although Navratilova is a “great player” she would like to see somebody win, “to whom the younger players can look up to”. Court, a born again Christian, said that as far as she was concerned, “it is very sad for children to be exposed to homosexuality.”

Continue reading: https://lesbianandgaynews.com/2021/07/julie-bindel-martina-remains-a-role-model-for-all-lesbians-she-set-a-standard-and-she-made-a-difference-by-breaking-barriers-and-being-brave/ (source)

ILD: Lesbian Olympian rocks the basketball court

July 16 2021: TUCSON, Az. – The global audience of the It Gets Better Project received a glimpse into the lives of LGBTQ+ athletes who won’t let setbacks keep them from achieving their dreams in its new series “Passion. Power. Performance,” which streamed last month.

The docu-series shares inspirational stories behind proud LGBTQ+ athletes who are out and training for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which episode one featured Arizona-based paralympic basketball player for Team USA, Courtney Ryan.

“I want to be an inspiration because you see me on the court doing some crazy tricks, tilting in a chair, doing all of this stuff that you wouldn’t expect,” Ryan said. “That’s what I love about wheelchair basketball — we get the opportunity to change perceptions and change ideas of what disability should look like. We aren’t fragile. We are competitors, and we’re ready to prove that,” she added.

Out and Training for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: Sports have always been part of Ryan’s life – and that didn’t change after she became paraplegic. Watch how with the support of her sister, she came out, and is changing perceptions of disability.

Continue reading and watch Courtney’s account: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2021/07/16/lesbian-olympian-rocks-the-basketball-court-while-doing-wheelies/ (source)

ILD: Meet Portia Modise, Africa’s highest goalscorer and lesbian icon

Former South Africa striker Portia Modise doesn’t care if the football community loves her. She doesn’t care if you like her outspoken manner, or the way she dresses, or that she loves women.

She’s the only African footballer to score 100 international goals, and represented her country for 15 years from the age of 16. But if you don’t want to give her respect for that, or her countless achievements on the field, she’s not too fussed about that either.

One of the first openly gay [sic] players in the global game, Modise says she only cares about furthering women’s football in South Africa, protecting female players from harassment, and being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community in her country.

Today, 21 years after her debut in 2000, the out footballers in Africa can be counted on one hand, but interestingly include her captaincy successor for Banyana Banyana, Janine van Wyk.

Despite hard-earned legal freedoms and constitutional rights won since apartheid [same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006], much of the LGBTQ+ community in South Africa lives in perpetual fear of violence.

Murder and ‘corrective rape’, during which women are violated to ‘fix’ their queerness [sic], are still an epidemic for Black women in particular. There have been over 20 recorded LGBTQ+ hate crime murders locally since February 2021.

For Modise, the especially brutal rape and murder of national teammate and fellow activist Eudy Simelane in 2008, who was stabbed 25 times, further spurred her on in her fight for fair treatment, and was a factor in her exit from the team for four years.

Continue reading: https://www.espn.co.uk/football/south-africa-rsaw/story/4417448/meet-portia-modiseafricas-highest-goalscorer-and-defiant-gay-icon (source)

Sporza journalist dismissed for sexist and lesbophobic comments about Belgian Basketball Team

On Saturday afternoon, a video circulated on the internet showing Eddy Demarez making homophobic remarks towards the Belgian Cats as they arrived at the airport. The reporter said “there is only one straight on the team.”
Not knowing he was on the air, he continued to say revolting things, comparing Billie Massey to “a mountain. Have you ever looked at her? She’s a colossus,” he said to a colleague before continuing his inappropriate monologue by making an inappropriate joke about Emma Meesseman and continuing to attack other players.

“The Mestdaghs, one is a lesbian, the other is not. Carpréaux is a man.”

Sporza and VRT have announced the immediate suspension of Eddy Demarez who will no longer comment until further notice.

(Translated)

Ce samedi après-midi, une vidéo a circulé sur internet. On y voit Eddy Demarez tenir des propos homophobes envers les Belgian Cats alors qu’elles arrivaient à l’aéroport. Le journaliste prétend “qu’il n’y a qu’une hétéro dans l’équipe.”
Ne se sachant pas à l’antenne, il continue ensuite à tenir des propos nauséabonds en comparant Billie Massey à “une montagne. Tu l’as déjà bien regardée ? C’est une colosse”, déclare-t-il à l’un de ses confrères avant de poursuivre son monologue malsain en réalisant un jeu de mots douteux sur Emma Meesseman ou en continuant à attaquer d’autres joueuses.

“Les Mestdagh, une est lesbienne, l’autre pas. Carpréaux est un homme.”

Sporza et VRT ont annoncé la suspension immédiate d’Eddy Demarez qui ne commentera plus jusqu’à nouvel ordre.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.lalibre.be/culture/medias-tele/2021/08/07/un-journaliste-de-sporza-ecarte-pour-des-propos-homophobes-sur-les-belgian-cats-les-joueuses-reagissent-AB5PC3TH3BDJLISL4BEJKWGMQU/?fbclid=IwAR1aXxO_vszHtcgaqihDA_zrVoK8cy0WaFwQNPrU16khpnCmf-aRjjbLSkc (Source)

China: Lesbian Soccer Star’s Coming Out Weibo Post Met With Abuse

9 July 2021: During this year’s Pride Month, soccer star Li Ying made history as China’s first female athlete to come out publicly as gay, in a candid series of celebratory photos posted on social media, showing her posing happily alongside her partner.It’s increasingly common worldwide for celebrities and high-profile sports stars to come out, often to widespread public support. But in China, Li’s announcement received a very different reaction.

Her post, uploaded on June 22 onto Weibo, China’s heavily censored version of Twitter, immediately went viral, becoming one of the top trending topics on the platform. And while much of the reaction was positive, with people sending their congratulations, Li’s account was also inundated with a wave of homophobic abuse. The post was later deleted without explanation.

Li has not posted on Weibo since. Chinese state-run media, meanwhile, did not report on Li’s announcement, nor the subsequent reaction it generated.

Continue Reading: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/09/china/china-pride-month-lgbt-weibo-intl-mic-hnk/index.html (source)

South Africa: The footballer raped and murdered for being a lesbian

An international footballer, coach and aspiring referee, Eudy Simelane dedicated her life to the sport.

She was one of the first openly gay [sic] women to live in her township of Kwa-Thema in South Africa and was a well-known LGBT+ activist.

But because of her sexuality, Simelane was brutally raped and murdered in 2008, aged just 31.

This is the story of her life and how the legacy of her death is still impacting South African society.

A campaigner for equality rights and social change, she was one of the first women to come out as a lesbian in South Africa.

On 27 April 2008, Simelane’s body was found in a stream just a few hundred metres from her home in Kwa-Thema.

Reports stated she was approached after leaving a pub, raped and then stabbed repeatedly.

Despite her death shocking many, activists claimed many lesbians in South Africa were targeted for ‘corrective rape’, a crime where the perpetrator aims to ‘cure’ the victim of their sexuality, converting them to heterosexuality.

Thato Mphuthi pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Simelane in February 2009 and was sentenced to 32 years in prison. The following September, Themba Mvubu was also found guilty of the crimes and was sentenced to life in prison. When questioned by reporters in court, he responded: “I’m not sorry.”

Simelane’s sexuality put her in a vulnerable position, something her mother recognised, telling the BBC, “the whole of South Africa knew Eudy was a lesbian”.

The unfortunate reality is Simelane’s story isn’t unique – she is one of many victims of similar, horrific crimes in South Africa.

A year prior to her death, Sizakele Sigasa, a women’s and gay rights activist, and her friend Salone Massooa were heckled outside a bar and called ‘tomboys’. The women were then gang-raped, tortured, and shot dead.

Just a few years after Simelane’s murder, Noxolo Nogwaza, a 24-year-old lesbian, was found beaten and stoned to death in the same township Simelane lived.

Continue reading: https://www.modernghana.com/sports/1061337/the-footballer-raped-and-murdered-for-being-a-lesb.html (source)

Kazakhstan: Lesbian activist receives threats after responding to homophobic MMA fighter

nurbibi

A professional MMA fighter in Kazakhstan has unleashed attacks on LGBTQ people. Now a gay [sic] soccer player and her girlfriend are afraid for their safety.

Kuat Khamitov, also known as Naiman, attacked an LGBTQ-supportive video in Instagram, saying in the comments that LGBTQ people are “worse than dogs,” adding that dogs should be offended by such a comparison. His supporters followed up with comments about LGBTQ people being worse than pigs.

LGBTQ activist Nurbibi Nurkadilova responded with an open letter to Khamitov, criticizing him for his disturbing statement.

“Why do you compare my human rights, the rights of a citizen of this country, with those of a dog?” She asked. “Do you consider me powerless? Or do you compare my mental development with the canine? Or maybe you wanted to draw a parallel between the fact that we also need to put on a chain like dogs? I do not fully understand your ridiculous and stupid statement!”

Nurkadilova said the response from Khamitov’s fans and others in her home country has been swift and deeply disturbing.

“I have received thousands of messages with threats and insults,” she told Outsports in an exclusive interview. “They are all in Russian and Kazakh but say, ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ ‘I will kill you,’ ‘You’re worse than an animal,’ ‘I’ll rape you,’ ‘You don’t belong in this country,’ ‘Go to America,’ ‘You’re the shame of the country,’ and other ugly comments. A normal person would be shocked.”

Nurkadilova told Outsports she is particularly afraid for her girlfriend, who is a soccer player who has represented Kazakhstan on the national team as recently as last year.

“I’m afraid for her,” she said.

Continue reading: https://www.outsports.com/
2020/6/3/21277511/kuat-khamitov-gay-lgbt-pride-homophobia-flag-dogs-nurbibi-nurkadilova-soccer-player
(source)

Australia: Moana Hope reveals toll of AFL fans’ homophobic abuse

afl

Former AFLW star Moana Hope has opened up about the disgusting homophobic abuse she’s seen as both a footy player and an AFL fan.

Hope, who played in the AFLW for Collingwood and North Melbourne, said the abusive taunts even drove her away from attending AFL matches.

She told the Herald Sun during one 2017 match she played for Collingwood against Fremantle, a spectator called her a “stupid d*ke” from behind the fence.

“I don’t normally hear the crowd because I’m so drawn into the game. But when I heard that I was blown away,” she said.

“And I was hurt and a little bit scared because I thought, ‘Why are you calling me that? I’m a person.’

“Why are you using such a negative term? [After the game] I was a little bit scared, hesitant, to walk off the field because I was worried he’d be there to abuse me.”

“Who we fall in love with has nothing to do with these names. This is why kids in school are scared to be who they are whether they are gay or not, because you get picked on if you’re different.”

Hope said she and wife Isabella Carlstrom had “lost count” of the lewd comments they’d copped when in public together.

“I’ve had things said to us like, ‘One night with me will make you realise you need a man in your life,’” she said.

“I’ve been there when guys have grabbed Bella’s arse and said ‘You need an actual man’. Those things happen all the time.

Continue reading: https://qnews.com.au/moana-hope-reveals-toll-of-afl-fans-homophobic-abuse/ (source)

Australia: Allegations of “lesbian mafia” unfounded

Sam_Kerr_playing_against_USWNT_2012.jpg

An independent panel has found there was no bias or agenda behind the controversial sacking of Alen Stajcic as Matildas coach and dispelled the notion that a “lesbian mafia” wanted him out of the job.

“The panel was unable to uncover any evidence supporting the existence of any formal ‘lesbian mafia’ or that the decision to terminate the Matildas head coach contract was driven by personal bias against Mr Stajcic or in pursuit of other agendas,” the report said.

Continue reading: https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/more-sports/no-evidence-of-lesbian-mafia-plot-against-stajcic-report-finds/ar-BBY8vFC?li=AAgfYrC&ocid=iehp (source)

Update: FIFA Bars Afghan Soccer Chief guilty of sexual assault and intimidation

Afghanistan (via Lonely Planet)

Image copyright of Lonely planet

FIFA on Saturday barred the president of Afghanistan’s soccer association from the sport for life, months after reports emerged that he had sexually assaulted players and had threatened them when they went public with their accusations.

Women who rebuffed his advances were labeled lesbians and expelled from the team, according to eight former players who said that it had happened to them. Those who went public said they faced intimidation.

Continue reading: https://www.nytimes.com/2019
/06/08/sports/soccer/afghanistan-soccer-sexual-abuse.html
(source)

Original article: Afghanistan: abused soccer players silenced by claims of lesbianism

Discrimination against lesbians in Polish Volleyball

Znam osoby, które nie mogą powiedzieć o swoim homoseksualizmie, bo boją się, że stracą miejsca w swoich reprezentacjach narodowych. W siatkówce działa agent który zapowiadał, że przygotuje listę lesbijek i osób biseksualnych. Ja pytam w jakim celu?! Przecież to jest patologia – mówi siatkarka Katarzyna Skorupa.
(Original)

 

Afghanistan: abused soccer players silenced by claims of lesbianism

 

Afghanistan (via Lonely Planet)

Image copyright of Lonely Planet

“They were pushing and forcing the girls. Coercing them.”

Popal also accused [President of the Afghan Football Federation (AFF) Keramuudin] Karim himself of beating a girl with a snooker cue and calling players lesbians to stop them speaking out.

“If they spoke out, no one would listen to them because being accused of being lesbian or gay in Afghanistan is a topic you don’t speak about and puts you and your family in a lot of danger,” she said.

Continue reading at: https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1073150/afghan-football-federation-president-suspended-amid-allegations-of-sexual-abuse-against-female-players (Source)

Update: Update: FIFA Bars Afghan Soccer Chief guilty of sexual assault and intimidation

Chinese women’s basketball team wants lesbians away from sports

What exactly did the banner say? The New York Times had a translation:

“Protect traditional Chinese morals. Defend core socialist values. Resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts. Keep homosexuality far from campus.”

 

Continue reading at: Chinese women’s basketball team wants to keep gays ‘far from campus’ – Outsports (Source)

Taylor Emery, lesbian player wins top award in women’s junior college basketball

Emery feels ready to return to Division I, and her three finalists are Mississippi, Oklahoma State, and Virginia Tech. She is making campus visits this month, and her final visit is Virginia Tech on April 29. Emery said she plans to make her choice during the first week of May.

That all three of her finalists are in conservative-leaning regions is not a concern for her.

“When you’re in athletics, it’s a lot different than being in society,” Emery said.

Continue reading at: Openly gay player wins top award in women’s junior college basketball – Outsports (Source)