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Pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva condemned homosexuality Thursday after criticizing fellow competitors who painted their fingernails in rainbow colours to support gays and lesbians in the face of a new anti-gay law in Russia.

The Russian, who won her third world title Tuesday in front of a boisterous home crowd, came out in favour of the law which has drawn sharp criticism and led Western activists to call for a boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi.

“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people,” Isinbayeva, a two-time Olympic champion, said in English. “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys.”

At least two Swedish athletes — high jumper Emma Green Tregaro and sprinter Moa Hjelmer — competed Thursday at Luzhniki Stadium, the same venue that hosted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, with their fingernails painted different colours. (Photos: Moa Hjelmer/Instagram, Emma Green Tregaro/Instagram, Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty Images)

NBA veteran centre Jason Collins has become the first male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay. Collins wrote a first-person account posted Monday on Sports Illustrated’s website.
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” he wrote in the magazine.
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.” (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NBA veteran centre Jason Collins has become the first male professional athlete in the major four American sports leagues to come out as gay. Collins wrote a first-person account posted Monday on Sports Illustrated’s website.

“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” he wrote in the magazine.

“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.” (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NHL is ahead of its time after partnering with You Can Play
"This is evolution for us,” says Gary Bettman from his office in New York, after an afternoon spent running the media gauntlet. The National Hockey League and the NHLPA had formally announced a partnership with You Can Play on Thursday, becoming the first league to partner with a group dedicated to fighting homophobia in sports, and the commissioner had toured the major networks. Now, Bettman sounds happy. He sounds proud.

“The way it will do the league good is it will create the right environment for the league and our fans,” Bettman said. “We have been very clear in terms of what we believe is the right thing.” He’s on speakerphone, and he says to hold on for a second so he can look up and read aloud the anti-discrimination language in the 2005 collective bargaining agreement. It included sexual orientation. This is a bigger step, though.

It’s been a little more than a year since You Can Play was launched in the wake of the death of Patrick Burke’s younger brother Brendan (pictured above with the rest of the Burke family, far right), who had come out to ESPN a few months before he died in a snowy car accident in Indiana. It has been a year of patience, even as things moved fast. Burke has been very careful not to shame sports into changing for the better, but instead has worked to convince them that YCP could be trusted. No angry press releases, no PR stunt. Just methodical work.

You Can Play already had a significant presence in the NHL, with over 60 players in its PSAs, from Zdeno Chara to Steven Stamkos to Carey Price. But now it’s part of the playbook, and that’s progress. (Photos: PNG/Files/Matthew Sherwood for National Post)

FINALLY: Condoleezza Rice shows off her green jacket ahead of the Masters.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited the former secretary of state and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets last August when the club opens for a new season in October.
A debate about membership intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations urged the club to include women among its members.
Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, “but not at the point of a bayonet.” (Photo: Ron Williams/The Associated Press)

FINALLY: Condoleezza Rice shows off her green jacket ahead of the Masters.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited the former secretary of state and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets last August when the club opens for a new season in October.

A debate about membership intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations urged the club to include women among its members.

Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, “but not at the point of a bayonet.” (Photo: Ron Williams/The Associated Press)

A U.N aid agency canceled the Gaza marathon on Tuesday after the Palestinian territory’s militant Hamas rulers banned women from participating in the annual sporting event.UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced that plans for the race next month have been scrapped because of the Hamas demand that women be barred."We regret this decision to cancel the marathon but we don’t want men and women running together," Abdessalam Siyyam, a Hamas government official, told Agence France-Presse."We did not tell Unrwa to cancel the marathon and we haven’t prevented it, but we laid down some conditions: We don’t want women and men mixing in the same place." (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.N aid agency canceled the Gaza marathon on Tuesday after the Palestinian territory’s militant Hamas rulers banned women from participating in the annual sporting event.

UNWRA, which assists Palestinian refugees and also sponsors and organizes the event, announced that plans for the race next month have been scrapped because of the Hamas demand that women be barred.

"We regret this decision to cancel the marathon but we don’t want men and women running together," Abdessalam Siyyam, a Hamas government official, told Agence France-Presse.

"We did not tell Unrwa to cancel the marathon and we haven’t prevented it, but we laid down some conditions: We don’t want women and men mixing in the same place." (Photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Canadian tennis player Rebecca Marino quits after cyberbullyingMarino announced on Wednesday she has decided to “step away from tennis.” While the former world No. 38 did not give specifics about the departure, she recently revealed part of the reason why she went on a seven-month hiatus last February was because of cyberbullying.
The 22-year-old told the New York Times last week she has found the Internet criticism that often comes with being a pro athlete overwhelming at times, and it played a role in her deciding to take a seven-month hiatus from the game about a year ago.
“They’ll say, ‘You gave that match away, you cost me such-and-such amount of money, you should go burn in hell,’ or ‘You should go die,’” she told the Times. “And oh, my gosh, that is really scary.” (Photo: Peter J. Thompson/National Post)

Canadian tennis player Rebecca Marino quits after cyberbullying
Marino announced on Wednesday she has decided to “step away from tennis.” While the former world No. 38 did not give specifics about the departure, she recently revealed part of the reason why she went on a seven-month hiatus last February was because of cyberbullying.

The 22-year-old told the New York Times last week she has found the Internet criticism that often comes with being a pro athlete overwhelming at times, and it played a role in her deciding to take a seven-month hiatus from the game about a year ago.

“They’ll say, ‘You gave that match away, you cost me such-and-such amount of money, you should go burn in hell,’ or ‘You should go die,’” she told the Times. “And oh, my gosh, that is really scary.” (Photo: Peter J. Thompson/National Post)

A little extra attention: San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday for anti-gay comments he made to a comedian during Super Bowl media day, saying “that’s not what I feel in my heart.”

“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments,” Culliver said during an hour-long media session. “Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation.”

He said he would welcome a gay teammate to the 49ers, a reversal of his remarks to Artie Lange two days earlier during an interview at the Superdome.

“I treat everyone equal,” Culliver said. “That’s not how I feel.” (Photo: Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

A little extra attention: San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday for anti-gay comments he made to a comedian during Super Bowl media day, saying “that’s not what I feel in my heart.”

“I’m sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments,” Culliver said during an hour-long media session. “Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation.”

He said he would welcome a gay teammate to the 49ers, a reversal of his remarks to Artie Lange two days earlier during an interview at the Superdome.

“I treat everyone equal,” Culliver said. “That’s not how I feel.” (Photo: Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)

The women’s basketball team at Mission College expected the bleachers to be full and the hecklers ready when its newest player made her home court debut.

In the days leading up to the game, people had plenty to say about 6-foot-6-inch, 220-pound Gabrielle Ludwig, who joined the Lady Saints as a mid-season walk-on and became, according to advocates, the first transgendered person to play college hoops as both a man and a woman.

Coach Corey Cafferata worried the outside noise was getting to his players, particularly the 50-year-old Ludwig.

A pair of ESPN radio hosts had laughed at her looks, referring to her as “it.” And online threats and anonymous calls prompted the two-year college to assign the Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm a safer parking space next to the gym and two police guards.

Last week, Ludwig gathered her 10 teammates at practice and offered to quit. This was their time to shine, she told the group of 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds. She didn’t want to be a distraction for the team. The other women said if Ludwig, whom they nicknamed “Big Sexy” and “Princess,” didn’t play, they wouldn’t either.

Didn’t she know she was the glue holding the team together?

“Then let’s just play basketball,” she replied solemnly, looking each teammate in the eye.

Read the full story. (Photos: Noah Berger/The Associated Press)

The young man whose claims of abuse began the criminal investigation that put Jerry Sandusky in prison said he contemplated suicide because authorities took so long to prosecute the former Penn State assistant football coach.
Speaking out publicly by name for the first time, Aaron Fisher said in an interview airing Friday on ABC’s 20/20 that the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office had told him it needed more victims before Sandusky would be charged. He was known during the trial as “Victim 1.”
Fisher first reported the abuse in 2008. Sandusky was arrested last November. Fisher said the delay made him increasingly desperate.

“I thought maybe it would be easier to take myself out of the equation,” he told ABC. “Let somebody else deal with it.”

Read the full story.

The young man whose claims of abuse began the criminal investigation that put Jerry Sandusky in prison said he contemplated suicide because authorities took so long to prosecute the former Penn State assistant football coach.

Speaking out publicly by name for the first time, Aaron Fisher said in an interview airing Friday on ABC’s 20/20 that the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office had told him it needed more victims before Sandusky would be charged. He was known during the trial as “Victim 1.”

Fisher first reported the abuse in 2008. Sandusky was arrested last November. Fisher said the delay made him increasingly desperate.

“I thought maybe it would be easier to take myself out of the equation,” he told ABC. “Let somebody else deal with it.”

Read the full story.

The Toronto Blue Jays suspended Yunel Escobar for three games on Tuesday after he wore eye-black tape inscribed with a homophobic slur during Saturday’s game at the Rogers Centre. Escobar’s lost pay will be donated to Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and he will undergo sensitivity training.
“I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I have friends that are gay,” Escobar said at a news conference through a translator.
"The person who decorates my house is gay, the person who cuts my hair is gay"

The Toronto Blue Jays suspended Yunel Escobar for three games on Tuesday after he wore eye-black tape inscribed with a homophobic slur during Saturday’s game at the Rogers Centre. Escobar’s lost pay will be donated to Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and he will undergo sensitivity training.

“I don’t have anything against homosexuals. I have friends that are gay,” Escobar said at a news conference through a translator.

"The person who decorates my house is gay, the person who cuts my hair is gay"