Olympic gold medal-winning diver Greg Louganis (pictured), tennis champs Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, newly out basketball star Jason Collins and longtime straight ally, former rugby player Ben Cohen are among the first inductees into the Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago.
The goal of the non-profit foundation is to honor people and organizations that have “stood up to stereotypes” and embraced out athletes, Bill Gubrud, executive director and board chairman, said to the Chicago Tribune last month.
While there are several of the expected sports figures who made the first draft, there’s a commendable nod to transgender athletes with the inclusion of tennis champ Renee Richards. Other honorees include boxer Orlando Cruz, sports commentator LZ Ganderson, the founders of the website OutSports.com, and the Chicago Cubs, which is the first major league ball team owned by an LGBT person, Laura Ricketts.
The Center on Halsted will host the first induction ceremony August 2, the day before Out at Wrigley, the country’s largest gay day at a major league sporting event.