Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Local, state politicos get in the Warriors spirit with friendly wagers

Political leaders from Oakland and California got into the spirit of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers being in the NBA finals by making friendly wagers with their Ohio counterparts.

(Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf)

(Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf)

The Warriors, with the best record in the league and MVP Stephen Curry and All-Star Klay Thompson in the starting lineup, take on LaBron James and the Cavaliers beginning Thursday (June 4) at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

It’s the Warriors’ first appearance in the finals in 40 years.

Mixing it up from her earlier bets with fellow mayors in the playoff series, in lieu of a friendly wager with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has joined the Oakland-based Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to promote a friendly fundraising competition supporting families in need.

Each food bank has set a goal of $5,000 for the challenge, although there is no limit. The fan base that raises the most funds for its food bank by the end of the series will be declared the winner. The executive director of the food bank that has raised less money has promised to don the opposing team’s apparel and post a congratulatory video on Facebook.

“I’m excited to join the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank in a spirited competition designed to bring awareness to the struggle faced by low-income residents in our respective cities,” Schaaf said in a statement.

Officials noted that Oakland and Cleveland both share proud blue-collar roots and passionate sports fans to match.

To donate to Alameda County Community Food Bank (Warriors), visit

To donate to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (Cavaliers), visit

Every dollar raised will remain local. For every $1 donated, the Alameda food bank can provide $6 worth of food. In Cleveland, the same donation to its food bank provides four meals.

Other political leaders are taking the more traditional approach.

(Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

(Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Photo: Jane Philomen Cleland)

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) has a friendly wager with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Cleveland). If the Warriors win, Fudge will offer Lee chocolates, peanuts, and pastries made in the heart of Cleveland. If the Cavaliers win, Lee will offer Fudge local favorites: Clif bars, Ghirardelli chocolates, Peet’s coffee, and an autographed photo of Curry in an Oaklandish tote bag.

On the Senate side, both of California’s senators have placed friendly wagers with their Ohio colleagues.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) has a bet with Senator Rob Portman (R) – fine California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon against Ohio’s Great Lakes beers ride on the outcome of the seven-game series.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D) has a bet with Sherrod Brown (D). Boxer is wagering Peet’s “Warriors Grounds” coffee and a case of Linden Street Brewery’s “New Oakland Glow” pilsner against beer that Brown will provide from Hoppin’ Frog Brewery.

A news release added that the loser will deliver the bounty to the winner’s office while wearing a jersey from the victor’s team.

— Cynthia Laird, June 3, 2015 @ 7:58 pm PST
Filed under: News,Politics,Sports

Giants LGBT Night set for May 29

Tickets are on sale for the San Francisco Giants LGBT Night Out at the Ballpark. The night comes months earlier this year and, because of the record number of season tickets sold following the team’s 2010 World Series championship, it will not offer designated seating sections.

LGBT Night at AT&T Park will be Tuesday, May 29, with a 7:30 game between the Giants and the defending National League West division champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Doug Litwin, the marketing officer for the Federation of Gay Games who has worked with community leaders and the Giants the past few years on LGBT Night arrangements, told the Bay Area Reporter that the Giants said they were unable to offer group seating sections to any special event groups this year because of the record number of season tickets sold.

“There’s not going to be an LGBT section, just like there won’t be a special section on German Heritage Night and so on,” Litwin said.

The beanie giveaway for the Giants LGBT Night

The Giants use “dynamic pricing” in which prices for games fluctuate depending on how great demand is for any given game. At the start of this week, the LGBT promotion tickets ranged from $13 to $95.25. The tickets are $5 higher than non-promotional tickets and include a $10.25 convenience fee. LGBT promotional tickets give the holder access to a 5 to 7 p.m. pre-game party in Seals Plaza and a commemorative LGBT Giants beanie (pictured at right). Partial proceeds will benefit LGBT nonprofit groups. Last year’s recipients were the scholarship funds of Team San Francisco and the FGG and the Gay Straight Alliance.

Litwin said he was still working with the Giants to firm up plans for how the LGBT community will be recognized and incorporated into the night’s events. He said the San Francisco Gay/Lesbian Freedom Band, which has performed previously at games, will not perform this time because Tuesday is a rehearsal night, “but I’m still hoping for some musical presentation. And they are also seeing if they can have San Francisco Gay Softball involved as well.”

Tickets can be ordered by visiting

– Roger Brigham

— Cynthia Laird, April 23, 2012 @ 9:56 am PST
Filed under: Sports

Gay Softball World Series settles with bisexual players

The National Center for Lesbian Rights announced today that a San Francisco softball team’s second-place finish in the 2008 Gay Softball World Series has been reinstated as part of a settlement with the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance on behalf of three bisexual players.

“It means a lot to me that NAGAAA is going to recognize our second place finish in 2008,” said D2 player/coach LaRon Charles, one of the plaintiffs in the case. “I am happy NAGAAA has also made rule changes to let players like me know they are welcome. I look forward to continuing to play ball with my friends, teammates, and community in NAGAAA’s tournaments.”

San Francisco’s D2 (team pictured at right) was playing in the championship game in Kent, Washington against the Los Angeles Vipers when the game was repeatedly stopped for an ad hoc panel to review an eligibility challenge filed by another team. The challenge said that D2 was in violation of NAGAAA’s Rule 7.05, which restricts teams in the series to a maximum of two heterosexual players. According to papers filed in the lawsuit, five players fro D2 were questioned. Even though players say they gave similar answers to detailed questions about their personal lives and preferences, two Caucasian players were ruled “gay,” but three players – Charles, Steven Apilado and Jon Russ – were ruled “not gay.” All three are men non-Caucasian.

Earlier this year, NAGAAA amended its rules to be more inclusive of bisexual and transgender athletes, eliminating any restriction on the number of players who identify as bisexual or transgender.

UC Berkeley law professor Russell K. Robinson, one of the experts whose research was used by NCLR, said. “Hopefully NAGAAA’s rule changes will help make the league more welcoming of LGBT people of color. A number of studies have shown that men of color are more likely to identify as bisexual as opposed to gay. By explicitly including all bisexual people in its revised definitions, NAGAAA’s rule changes reduce the likelihood that men of color will disproportionately face exclusion from its tournaments.”

In a statement published Monday, NCLR said that as part of the settlement, “NAGAAA recognized that disqualifying the players from the 2008 tournament was not consistent with NAGAAA’s intention of being inclusive of bisexual players. NAGAAA now recognizes the players’ team-D2-as a second-place winner of the 2008 Gay Softball World Series, and will award the team a second-place trophy. In the settlement, NAGAAA also expressed regret at the impact the 2008 protest hearing process had on the players and their team. NAGAAA confirmed that its records will be amended to reflect the players’ participation in 2008, including the results of all games played by their team.”

NAGAAA, NCLR, and law firm K and L Gates LLP, which represented the plaintiffs, also agreed to participate to continue discussions about making sports more inclusive and to co-sponsor a panel discussion at the 2012 Gay Softball World Series in Minneapolis about different ways to create and sustain inclusiveness and fight homophobic discrimination.

“This case has helped shine a light on the continuing negative effects of pervasive, historic homophobia and discrimination in sports at all levels and the continued need to combat negative perceptions and stereotypes about LGBT athletes,” said attorney Suzanne Thomas.

The lawsuit had challenged the invasive and subjective process by which the disqualifications were made and the unconstitutionality of an LGBT organization being allowed to bar straights from an activity in a public park protected by non-discrimination laws. An earlier court ruling on the case found that NAGAAA as an “expressive group” like the Boy Scouts of America had the right to discriminate. Chris Stoll, senior staff attorney for NCLR, told the Bay Area Reporter that ruling will stand despite this settlement.

“The decision does remain on the books, but because it is so inconstant with other court rulings it will not be cited much,” Stoll said. “The ruling is kind of confusing. I think the judge just has the law wrong. We were pretty confident that if we continued with the litigation that ruling would have been overturned.”

– by Roger Brigham

— Cynthia Laird, November 28, 2011 @ 9:49 am PST
Filed under: News,Sports

Gay Games IX lawsuits resolved

Settlements have been reached in dueling lawsuits over who has the rights to stage the Gay Games IX, scheduled to be held in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio in 2014.

“I don’t think all of the parties have fully signed off on all of the paperwork, but yes, it has been settled,” said Chicago’s Kurt Dahl (pictured at right), co-president of the Federation of Gay Games. “The terms of the settlement cannot be disclosed. There are confidentiality agreements all across the board. Basically the lawsuit that was filed by Cleveland Synergy Foundation and the countersuits by the FGG and others will be dismissed.”

Dahl did say the settlement signaled the end of CSF’s efforts to stage the event.

“CSF will not be involved going forward,” Dahl said. “They will not be part of the host organization.”

CSF was award the right to host the quadrennial global LGBT multisport and cultural festival over bids from Boston and Washington, D.C. in late 2009. The FGG then terminated CSF’s license in early summer 2010, citing CSF’s failure to submit required information in a timely fashion. In September 2010 CSF sued the FGG, the city of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Sports Foundation, and Valarie McCall of the mayor’s office to retain the rights to stage the event; and the FGG named Cleveland Special Events Corporation as the new host entity. Thomas Nobbe, a founder of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and an active swimmer and volleyball player, was named executive director of CSE in May.

In the months of preparations for the trial, which had been scheduled for July, allegations were raised by CSF of homophobic behavior and comments by members of the groups that were moving forward with Gay Games IX.

“It’s very important to say that the accusations of homophobia in the straight people that are taking up some of the leadership roles with the host organization are exaggerated and misguided,” said Robby Davis, the FGG officer of development who has helped oversee Cleveland operations. “I have not encountered any disrespect or disregard for LGBT people or blatant homophobia. I see the folks we are working here whether they are out or not to be the most incredible allies. They are so proud that Akron and Cleveland are going to be hosts of these games.”

– by Roger Brigham

— Cynthia Laird, July 25, 2011 @ 4:40 pm PST
Filed under: Sports

Gov taps gay judge for SF court seat

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today picked Ronald E. Albers for a judgeship on the San Francisco County Superior Court.

It is believed to be the first time the Republican governor has selected an openly gay person for a judge seat.

Albers, 60, of San Francisco, has served as a commissioner for the Superior Court since 2002. He will earn $178,789.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on Albers’s selection in next week’s issue Thursday, June 18.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 11, 2009 @ 3:20 pm PST
Filed under: News,Sports

Out diver wins Olympic gold

Out gay diver Matthew Mitcham of Australia won the gold medal in platform diving at the Beijing Olympics today (Saturday, August 23). The victory came as an upset in the men’s finals.

In women’s events, the handball team from Norway, which includes lesbian couple Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg, won the gold medal.

More on the Olympics will appear in next week’s Bay Area Reporter.

— Roger Brigham, August 23, 2008 @ 1:23 pm PST
Filed under: Sports

2006 Gay Games breaks even

Chicago has become the first host of a Gay Games in 20 years not to be a financial bust.


— Roger Brigham, July 11, 2007 @ 11:11 am PST
Filed under: News,Sports

Amaechi in SF Tuesday

Former NBA player John Amaechi, who disclosed earlier this month that he is gay, will be in San Francisco Tuesday, January 20 to sign copies of his new book “Man in the Middle.” Amaechi and co-author Chris Bull of San Francisco will appear at Borders bookstore in Union Square, 400 Post Street at 7 p.m.

Amaechi played in the NBA for six seasons, including stints with the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Utah Jazz. His recent coming out has made headlines around the world, and sparked former NBA player Tim Hardaway’s anti-gay rant on a Miami radio station Tuesday in which he said, “I hate gay people.” [See earlier blog post.]


— Cynthia Laird, February 15, 2007 @ 5:20 pm PST
Filed under: Sports

Ex-Warrior Hardaway: ‘I hate gay people’

Former Golden State Warriors basketball player Tim Hardaway on Wednesday used the occasion of John Amaechi’s coming out to insert his foot in his mouth.

On a Miami radio show, Sports Talk 790 The Ticket, Hardaway said he believed there were other gay players in the National Basketball Association, he would give such players a cold shoulder, and would support actions to deny them the right to earn a living in the NBA.

“You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known,” Hardaway said. “I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States.


— Roger Brigham, @ 11:07 am PST
Filed under: Sports

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