In 1997, Brian Sims helped lead his high school (and, in the interest of full disclosure, mine) to the Pennsylvania State AAAA football Championship. In 2000, he was named an All-American defensive lineman and helped lead Bloomsburg University to its first ever national championship game.
Somewhere along the way, he became the first openly gay college football team captain.
Brian’s since graduated from law school and has become a practicing lawyer in Philadelphia who serves on the Board of Directors for Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia. Since first telling the story of playing football as an openly gay man to OutSports.com, Brian’s received thousands of emails from both out and closeted athletes, all wanting to talk about the terrifying concept of not only coming out, but doing so in arguably the most macho setting possible.
And really, it’s hard to downplay how intimidating and downright discouraging it must be for a gay athlete to even contemplate coming out to their teammates. For every Brendan Ayanbadejo (a vocal supporter of gay marriage equality) there’s Larry Johnson. For every survey that finds that nearly 3/4 of professional baseball players would have no problem with a gay teammate, there’s bigoted assclowns like Todd Jones. (Seriously. Ugh.)
So how did Brian Sims’ teammates handle it? By not giving a damn.
Ok, I don’t know that for sure, but I do have images of Prince Fielder throwing darts at a board with Albert Pujols’ face on it – let’s be honest, we’d all probably be doing the same thing.
Because at just 25, Fielder is having a career season that almost no fans know about – and that will go unrewarded because Pujols is having a better one.
Each week this Hot Stove season, we’ll look at some done deals and juicy rumors involving our favorite MLB hotties, and the occasional not-really-a-hottie, but still worth talking about.
Before we get to the Hot Stove, let’s take a moment to appreciate the piece of history the NFL world bore witness to yesterday. Click on the picture for a very short, very apt summary of the Lions’ season.
Click the pic and turn the volume up...
Baseball stuff after the thingie.
First off, the Ladies… wish a heartfelt congratulations to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek on collecting hits #1999 and 2000 tonight. Grudz looked much younger than his 38 years as he cruised into first base, unable to hide a boyish grin as the crowd, fountains, and fireworks erupted. Though he was soon erased in a double play, the hat-tip and ovation made for a really sweet moment for a very likeable ballplayer.
More sweet baseball moments after the jump! Continue reading
Dustin Nippert of the Oklahoma RedHawks threw a no-hitter today, and I saw it happen in person. This was my first no-no, and I would be a lot more happy about getting to cross that off my “To See” list if it hadn’t happened against my team.
Dustin Nippert, the thrower of a no-hitter.
But I did just realize that “Nippert” sounds really funny if you say it out loud a bunch of times in a row. Try it with me…Nippert, Nippert, Nippertnippertnippert. Hm, I think I have been out in the sun too long, and my brain should not be anywhere near your Internets. Sorry, I’ll show myself to the door now…
Ken Griffey Jr. joined a pretty elite group of baseball players tonight by hitting home run #600 in the first inning against the Florida Marlins. There are 6 men to do it: Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Griffey. Imagine what kind of records Griffey could’ve set if he hadn’t been hurt so much. I was there when Griffey hit #500, wish I could’ve been there for this one too. I always liked Griffey. Plus, he’s adorable. The Ladies… salute you!