June is Pride Month and we’re very pleased about it. Wherever you land on the straight-LGBTQ spectrum, it’s so important to celebrate the diversity of people, culture and their sexuality. And that’s why we’re taking the time today to shout about our favorite LGBTQ sports stars.
When we talk about LGBTQ sports stars, there are a whole lot to choose from across any range of sports. So whether you’re into niche sports or just like the mainstream ones, we’re sure you can find LGBTQ sports stars to celebrate in your chosen persuit.
Of course there are a whole load of LGBTQ sports stars out there, so we’re going to just run through a few of our favorites from the past and present.
Billie Jean King
Arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time (sorry Serena), Billie Jean King has taken down 39 Grand Slam titles in her 24-year career. She is a true legend, breaking records in big name tournaments such as Wimbledon. She dominated the court throughout the 1960s and 1970s and her name will surely go down in history.
After relationships with women in the 1960s and 1970s, Bilie Jean King finally came out of the closet in the late 1980s. As well as her glittering tennis career, she’s promoted equality for women and advocated for LGBTQ rights across the world.
Adam Rippon is one of those LGBTQ sports stars that really shine. He’s America’s first openly gay figure skater, coming out in 2015. His prowess on the rink has seen him smash competitions both at home and abroad, including his proudest moment of winning a medal during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
After that win, he retired from figure skating. But that’s not to say he’s been quiet. That same year he went on to win Dancing with the Stars. You can also spot him in RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Taylor Swift video You Need To Calm Down. Never afraid to stand up for what he believes, he’s spoken out against US politicians’ backwards views on LGBTQ rights.
This 275lb defensive football player has played for some of the biggest names in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buffalo Bills have all had Ryan Russell on their roster.
Just last summer, he took the decision to come out as bisexual in an essay he wrote for ESPN. This is a brave move for someone still actively in their career. There are currently no LGBTQ players in the NFL, or even the MLB, NBA or NHL.
The issue of transgender people in sports is a tricky one. Some people argue that people currently in transition should not be allowed compete in their chosen gender. We say there’s a whole lot easier ways to compete in sport without going through gender reassignment! Trans people should be allowed compete in whatever gender sport they choose.
Anyway, because of this, many trans people come out after their career has ended. One high profile instance of this happening is with Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner came out as trans during an interview with Diane Sawyer in 2015.
Jenner’s sports career is really something that would bowl you over. She swapped football for decathlons and became an Olympic gold medal winner. Jenner has also smashed world records and has even been dubbed the world’s greatest athelete.
Pride Month at DraftKings
There are plenty of online sportsbooks celebrating LGBTQ sports stars and sports fans this Pride Month.
For instance, DraftKings are pledging to donate $25,000 to the LGBTQ community. Specifically, they’re giving to American Veterans For Equal Rights, who advocate for LGBT service members.
If you’re interested in joining DraftKings, here’s some good news for you. You can avail of this amazing welcome offer when you join today…
Just remember that to sign up and place wagers, you’ve got to be within the borders of Pennsylvania state. And, of course, you have to be at least 21 years of age.