Hero of the Week Award: March 8, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)

8 Mar
Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week

This week the NCAA provided much-needed leadership in the treatment of LGBT people in college athletic programs. Recognizing the rapid change in LGBT acceptance in all aspects of college life, the NCAA sought to provide a single, comprehensive resource for campuses. The elegantly titled Champions of Respect: Inclusion of LGBTQ Student-Athletes and Staff in NCAA Programs is a welcome guide. It provides Best Practices, Policicies, and Legal Resources along with sample discussions, resources for allies, and more detailed recommendations for all aspects of the recruitment-to-graduation process.

The guide’s introduction sets the stage clearly:

Athletics departments have a responsibility to ensure that all student-athletes have an opportunity to participate in a safe, inclusive and respectful climate where they are valued for their contributions as team members and for their individual commitment and character, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Given the increasing focus on LGBT issues in professional and collegiate athletics, this single resource is very welcome indeed. Thank you, NCAA, for taking this important step. (The guide is available free of charge on the NCAA website.)

It’s been a good week for social justice, giving us two solid honorable mentions. The first goes to some performers who backed out of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree. Citing the Boy Scouts of America’s rabidly homophobic membership policy, pop-rockers Train derailed their participation on Monday. The very next day, singer Carly Rae Jepsen told the Scouts “Call me? No way.”

As an artist who believes in equality for all people, I will not be participating in the Boy Scouts of America Jamboree this summer.

Big thanks to GLAAD and Eagle Scout Derek Nance for bringing the Scouts’ practices to the attention of these performers.

Finally, some good news on a not-so-super situation at DC Comics. For a new digital-to-print series featuring Superman, the publisher contracted with crazed homophobe Orson Scott Card to write the first issue. Many comic shops have refused to order the issue and the push-back against DC has been strong, so far to no avail. Enter artist Chris Sprouse. Slated to pencil the Card story, Sprouse announced this week that he was not willing to be associated with the writer. The timing of his decision has forced DC to back-burner the story and rush out later issues to fill the gap. Hopefully Sprouse’s ethical stand will help the publisher to rethink their whole arrangement with Card.

5 Responses to “Hero of the Week Award: March 8, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)”

  1. Christine Noble March 8, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    All excellent news Michael. It is always good to see sports organizations come forward for LGBT equality since sports has always been such a nest of homophobic behavior.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 8, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Let us hope this is a sign of great momentum in shifting norms and thus a loud voice saying enough of discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters.

  2. Jay March 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Thanks for educating me regarding Orson Scott Card. I read Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead years ago, and while I was aware he was Mormon, I was unaware that he’d made so many deeply offensive and homophobic comments.

    His whining histrionics regarding society redefining marriage is particularly ironic, given that his own church redefined marriage out of political expediency (albeit courtesy of a highly convenient ‘revelation’).

    Keep up the good work, Michael. Best to you and Robert–even if I haven’t been commenting as often of late, I’m continuing to read you regularly.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 9, 2013 at 6:57 am #

      Sadly, I was surprised that Card was such a bizarre homophobe in the 21st Century in his field of work. I can only speculate there things in Card’s closet he has not yet dealt with and thus the manifestation of his hate.

      I’m so grateful you are reading the blog and enjoying it. And I am always grateful for your thoughtful comments.

      Robert and I send you lots of love and good energy,


  1. Hero of the Week Award: March 8, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) | The Solipsistic Me | Central Oregon Coast NOW - March 8, 2013

    […] Hero of the Week Award: March 8, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) | The Solipsist…. […]

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