Greg Louganis, Ben Cohen Among First Inductees Into G&L Sports Hall Of Fame

Greg_Louganis-Dive-5_2Olympic 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, and the Chicago Cubs, which is the first major league ball team owned by an LGBT person, Laura Ricketts.

Also a stand-out is the inclusion of Anheuser-Busch, presumably for doing this with Bud Light. For the full list of the honored LGBT athletes and allies announced so far, go here.

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.


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  • yaoming

    Ben Cohen? Shouldn’t you have to be gay (or lesbian) to get into the Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame?

  • courthousedoc

    If you are including Ben Cohen, don’t you think you should have included Gareth Thomas, who actually is gay as well. And if you are including Ben Cohen who isn’t gay, shouldn’t Hudson Taylor, founder of Athlete Ally also be included.

    It’s great that this organization that is being started, but these two glaring omissions (at least to me) should be corrected.

  • Homophile

    I love Ben Cohen, he’s an amazing ally. However I think you should have to be LGBT to be in the LGBT hall of fame.

    Perhaps an “honorary” category for straight allies?

  • oilgun

    @yaoming: Ben Cohen does great work for the gay community through his Stand up Against Bullying Foundation. He definitely deserves do be inducted.

  • oilgun

    @courthousedoc: And your fine with a Beer company being nominated, lol!

  • wombat

    What about Matthew Mitcham from Australia 2008 Olympic gold medalist. He is certainly not in the closet !!

  • Homophile


    Holy shit I just caught that.

    This is a joke.

  • mz.sam

    Exactly…Ben Cohen but not Gareth Thomas? Who’s running this Hall of Fame joint??? No donations from me!

  • oilgun


    From the website:
    To be considered for nomination for the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, an individual, either amateur or professional, must be in the sports arena that has demonstrated athletic achievements beyond compare. Nominees for consideration can be either a LGBT member or heterosexual and exhibited advancement for the LGBT community. Additionally, any corporation or company that had shown support for the LGBT community is eligible for nomination.

    The nominating committee will look for any individual or organization that has put forth the effort to preserve the history of gays and lesbians in the sporting world. Likewise, the nominee has worked to instill and promote a safe and tolerant environment so that gay and lesbian youth across the nation feels welcomed to participate in any and all athletic related activities.

    They are still accepting nominations so go ahead and nominate Gareth Thomas. He’s my fantasy boyfriend btw. ;-)

  • Eiswirth

    Good for Ben Cohen. Now induct Chris Kluwe for his pro-gay marriage work.

  • Tackle

    BEN COHEN!!! (alomost fell out of my seat) What! Over Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King… This is a good way for an orginization not to be taken seriously…

  • oilgun

    @Tackle: Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King are also nominated so I don’t understand your objection to Ben Cohen being included. Perhaps you didn’t read the first sentence of the article.

Comments are closed.