Most Influential LGBTQ Sports activities Stars of All Time. The LGBTQ neighborhood is traditionally under-represented on the planet of sport. Immediately – and though there may be nonetheless an extended method to go – the world of sport is opening up, and it’s thanks partly to among the nice LGBTQ ambassadors who’ve damaged down limitations and damaged stereotypes.
As we have fun world pleasure this month, we wished to look at the Prime 10 LGBTQ sports activities Stars & ambassadors of all time who actually pushed this system and tried to make the world of sport a extra welcoming place for all.
10 Most Influential LGBTQ Sports activities Stars of All Time
- Renée Richards – Tennis
Dr. Renée Richards isn’t probably the most well-known identify on this record, however she was a pioneer. Greater than 40 years in the past, she gained a authorized battle to play on the 1977 U.S. Open as a girl after a sex-change operation. The next yr, she reached the ultimate of the ladies’s doubles event on the US Open.
Richards would then change into the spokesperson for transgender athletes, and she or he would finally coach the nice tennis participant Martina Navratilova, which you will see later on this record.
- Megan Rapinoe – Soccer
Megan Rapinoe is the present captain of the U.S. nationwide staff, in addition to the winner of the Ballon d’Or and Golden Boot awards on the 2019 FIFA Ladies’s World Cup – a event she gained together with her staff.
Rapinoe works alongside a lot of LGBTQ organizations and has earned a spot on the board of the Los Angeles Homosexual and Lesbian Heart. She can also be a spokesperson for Athlete Ally, which goals to finish homophobia and transphobia on the planet of sport.
- Ian Thorpe – Swimming
The Australian Ian Thorpe – identified by many because the “Thorpedo” – is likely one of the most profitable swimmers of all time and is ranked 3rd within the record. He gained 5 Olympic gold medals, the very best quantity gained by an Australian athlete. He additionally gained 11 gold medals on the World Championships. Thorpe was launched in 2004 in a British tv present.
In 2017, he was a number one supporter of the Australian Marriage Regulation Postal Survey, campaigning for same-sex marriage to be legalized in Australia, which occurred the identical yr.
- Justin Fashanu – Soccer
Justin Fashanu was the primary British skilled soccer participant to change into homosexual, which he did in 1990 through an interview with the British tabloid The Solar. Eight years later, Fashanu tragically dedicated suicide following allegations of sexual assault by a young person in the USA. Regardless of the tragic finish of its historical past, Fashanu has change into a logo of the wrestle for acceptance by LGBTQ gamers and supporters.
- Billie Jean King – Tennis
Billie Jean King is a tennis icon, having gained an unbelievable 39 Grand Slam titles. She was, and nonetheless is, an important advocate for the LGBTQ neighborhood, in addition to somebody who pushed the problem of gender equality.
King is a member of the Nationwide Homosexual and Lesbian Sports activities Corridor of Fame. She lately spoke brazenly about Margaret Courtroom’s homophobic and transphobic feedback and believes the Margaret Courtroom Enviornment – one of many courts used on the Australian Open – must be renamed.
Learn Extra: Prime 10 Horse Jockeys of All Time
- Brian Boitano – Determine Skating
Brian Boitano was an enormous identify within the sport within the Nineteen Eighties and early Nineties, and the top of his profession got here when he gained gold on the 1988 Olympic Video games in Lillehammer. He has additionally gained the World Championships twice and the U.S. Nationwide Championships 4 instances. Boitano didn’t come out homosexual in competitors.
As a substitute, he revealed his sexuality in 2013, when he was appointed to the U.S. delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He stated that till then he had by no means wished to exit.
- Tom Daley – Diving
Tom Daley is an English diver with two world championship medals. The primary of those medals got here on the age of 15. He’s additionally the youngest diver to compete in an Olympic remaining.
Daley got here out bisexual in 2013 through his YouTube channel, stating that he had been in a relationship together with his accomplice Dustin Lance Again for the reason that starting of the yr. They married in 2017. He has been lively within the marketing campaign in opposition to anti-gay legal guidelines in Commonwealth nations and can also be a patron of the LGBT-Switchboard charity (UK).
- Orlando Cruz – Boxing
Boxing may most likely be thought of probably the most macho sport, which makes Orlando Cruz much more outstanding. The Puerto Rican grew to become homosexual in 2012, whereas nonetheless an lively boxer, and continued to problem the WBO Featherweight title in 2013 and the WBO Light-weight title in 2016, shedding each fights.
In 2013, Cruz married his accomplice in Central Park – the identical yr he was one of many first to be inducted into the Nationwide Homosexual and Lesbian Sports activities Corridor of Fame. In 2018, he was additionally Grand Marshall for the Chicago Satisfaction Parade.
- Michael Sam – NFL
Michael Sam is a former defensive finish who was drafted in 2014 by the St. Louis Rams. When Sam was drafted, he grew to become the NFL’s first homosexual public participant, having been unveiled just a few months earlier. Sadly, Sam’s profession has not been lengthy.
After being reduce from the Rams, he was taken over by the Dallas Cowboys however by no means overtook their apply squad. He would then spend a yr within the CFL. He retired in 2015 for psychological well being causes and is now a motivational speaker and writer.
- Martina Navratilova – Tennis
Lastly, the record involves an finish with Martina Navratilova, who is taken into account one of many biggest tennis gamers of all time. She has gained an unbelievable 59 Grand Slam titles, together with 18 singles, and has spent 332 weeks because the world’s primary tennis participant. Navratilova is now often called a powerful advocate for LGBTQ rights. She has already spoken on the Washington March for the Rights and Liberation of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals. Navratilova additionally helps animal rights and humanitarian causes.