Jury awards former Fresno State women’s volleyball coach .8 million settlement in sex discrimination case: This case was a huge victory for Lindy Vivas, a successful coach who dared to challenge athletic department officials’ failure to enforce Title IX at Fresno.Vivas claimed that her treatment was retaliation for complaining about sex discrimination in the athletic department.Though the focus of outrage against Imus was on the racism and sexism embedded in his comments, they were also homophobic.I wish this had received more attention in the reactions to Imus’ comments, but silence on this point makes it clear that we must do a better job helping folks make the connections between sexism and homophobia.I decided it would be fun to look back over the year and identify some stories and people who have had an impact on LGBT issues in sport for good or ill. Some of the stories were widely covered, others not so much, but all of them have had an impact on making sport a safer and more respectful place (or not) for LGBT people because they draw attention to homophobia in sport and the on-going work needed to make sure that everyone such be treated with respect in sport. I ranked this the number 1 LGBT sports story of 2007 because I think Portland’s resignation was a huge victory for fairness and respect in collegiate sport.The Penn State team has been competing under an ugly cloud for years.Vivas’ case was a landmark victory because the ruling protects coaches of women’s teams who point out sex discrimination in athletics from retaliation by spiteful administrators.It also highlighted the unethical use of the lesbian label to intimidate women coaches and administrators who challenge sex discrimination in athletics. USTA names National Tennis Center after Billie Jean King: What a well deserved honor for the grand dame of tennis and women’s sport.
LSU women’s basketball coach Pokey Chatman resigns after allegations that she had an “inappropriate” relationship with a player.The team, under new coach, Coquese Washington, deserves a fresh start and I wish them well in 2008. Ex-NBA player John Amaechi comes out: Because so few former male professional team sport athletes have come out (no active player has ever come out), this story got a lot of play in the media.Even though John was not a household name, his coming out brought important attention to homophobia in sport and he turned out to be a terrific, intelligent and willing spokesperson for social justice in sport.Many are frustrated that the university received ongoing complaints dating back 14 years and found some of them valid, but never removed him.Connecticut College Nadav Assor, art Waed Athamneh, classics/Arabic studies Chris Barnard, art David Chavanne, economics Denis Ferhatovic, English Priya Kohli, mathematics and statistics Mónika López-Anuarbe, economics Princeton University Medieval studies groups say a major conference is trying to limit the number of diverse voices and topics.For her audacity, Vivas was harassed and discriminated against based on “perceived sexual orientation” and then fired.Her case was the first of three sex discrimination cases successfully brought against Fresno State by women in the athletic department over the last six months.Conservative talk show host says Sacha Baron Cohen posed as Reed professor for comedy show on politics.Reed says ploy demonstrates a misunderstanding of what it's about, but that it's honored -- sort of. Professor at Taylor University has stepped down after accusations he kissed a former advisee and inappropriately touched other women.The school’s reputation was damaged by months of negative publicity in response to their chicken-hearted wrist slap to Portland after their own internal investigation of the allegations found that she had indeed violated their discrimination policy.Nonetheless, the world can never be the same for other school administrators who choose to ignore or condone a coach’s personal prejudice.