Who Should Be Inducted Into The Gay And Lesbian Sports Hall Of Fame?

Greg LouganisIf the public acceptance of NBA’s Jason Collins is any indication, the tide has definitely turned in favor of out professional athletes. If you need even more evidence, there’s the just-announced launch of a National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

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.

And you know there’s always going to be room for someone like Chris Kluwe.

“We’re not just going to honor gay athletes, but other athletes who helped those gay athletes along and provided a safe haven,” Gubrud added.

The non-profit will accept nominees beginning this summer with an induction ceremony scheduled for August 2 at the Center of Halsted, Chicago’s LGBT community center.

While Jason Collins is likely a slam dunk and we can’t forget the splash made by Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis (pictured), the nominations are open to athletes from any sporting level, from youth leagues to professional sports.

Who do you think should be among its inaugural inductees?

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  • Homophile

    Louganis obvs.

    Billie Jean King, and Renée Richards are also obvious choices. Billy Bean, Johnny Weir, and Ed Gallagher would also get my vote.

  • blueshirt409

    Martina Navratilova, Gareth Thomas, Hudson Taylor, Ben Cohen, Earvin Magic Johnson, Sheryl Swopes, Brittney Griner, Robbie Rogers, John Amaechi, Justin Fashanu, Dave Kopay, Megan Rapinoe, Seimone Augustus, Glenn Burke, Billy Bean, Orlando Cruz, Mark Tewksbury, Anja Paerson, and Matthew Mitcham, too!

  • Homophile


    I left a lot off because I assumed they had to be American – but ya, all those sportys too!

  • Homophile

    Oh and Ben Cohen isn’t gay, just a hawt straight guy who does more for the community than most LBGTs.

  • AxelDC

    Bill Tilden, Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo.

  • Polaro

    Navratilova should be the first second and third inductee. Head and shoulders the best – top of her sport and unrepentant. Followed by Louganis (possibly most screwed for being gay), Bean (first team sport athlete I am aware of), Tilden (first gay athlete I am aware of, but I think everything with him was pretty hush hush until after he was dead), Weir (biggest queen in sports), Mitcham (came out while still competing), Billie Jean King (this low only because she waited so long, but arguably one of the greatest women tennis players ever) Jason Collins (too late to be a trial blazer, but first in the next wave of guys with big balls) in that order. Not to say the rest are not also valid – they just aren’t as high up on my list.

  • gayprofesseur

    Robbie Rogers recently came out as gay, and left Leeds FC in UK at the same time. He may go for a come back because of all the support he has got.

  • Alan down in Florida

    Here’s a choice from left field – Patricia Nell Warren who wrote the book “The Front Runner” which was the first mainstream novel about a gay athlete and a gay coach. Definitely a story ahead of its time and well worth placement in a LGBT Sports Hall Of Fame.

  • Lefty

    Lady Gaga.
    Clifton Webb? :/

  • alterego1980

    I assume they would start with just a few at a time, to kind of keep it going a while. The list isn’t real long. There should also be a special section dedicated to “friends of” honoring people such as Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo.

  • IJelly

    Scott Norton
    John Curry
    Toller Cranston
    Rudy Galindo
    Esera Tuaolo
    Rosie Casals
    Conchita Martinez
    Lisa Raymond
    Rosie Jones
    Muffin Spencer-Devlin
    Nancy Lieberman

  • Derek Williams

    Many names are being posted here without the sports they are professional in being listed with them, or whether they are still competing. Moreover, some don’t actually seem to be sports people, e.g. Ellen Degeneres and Lady Gaga.

    Is it possible for someone with the necessary depth of knowledge to reorganise all the names above next to their associated sports, and whether they are a supporter or an actual player, and whether they are retired or still active, or indeed, still alive?

  • Kieran

    Former NFL player Dave Kopay definitely has to be inducted by coming out back in the dark ages……1975. Being honest about his sexuality cost him any hope of getting coaching gigs.

  • marc sfe

    Dave Kopay
    Rudy Galindo

  • marc sfe

    @Kieran: Beat me to it – Mr Kopay that is.

  • johnmil33

    Are there really that many out options to constitue an entire article? How about all of them?

  • Caleb in SC

    @blueshirt409: @IJelly: These two posts combined are it.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Don’t forget rugby star Ian Roberts, Olympic boxing champ Mark Leduc, and figure skating champs Rudy Galindo and Brian Orser.

  • Niall

    Definitely Martina. By far the biggest and most successful out player there is. No one can make a greatest ever female tennis players of all time list without her being at least in the top 4

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