Also.Also.Also: Sports Are Back! But Are We Supposed to Cheer?

feature image of Tierna Davidson from Chicago Red Stars

Welcome back, Straddlers! Carmen’s taking some time to plot the next phase of Autostraddle’s world domination and she’s graciously lent me the keys to Also.Also.Also kingdom. I hope I can offer a few links to make the countdown to the weekend go a little quicker!

Queer as in F*ck You

+ Stonewall Inn, in Danger of Shuttering, Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

+ The Future Sounds Like Raquel Willis

+ How queer clubs are handling the first pandemic Pride

+ Fresh off the Bostock win at the Supreme Court, the ACLU’s Chase Strangio writes for The Atlantic: The Trans Future I Never Dreamed Of

+ Strangio isn’t the only one: After landmark Supreme Court ruling, transgender workers stand up for their rights

+ Black Lives Matter forces LGBTQ organization to face its history of racial exclusion

+ How Loud Capital’s Pride Fund 1 is uplifting LGBTQ startups

+ ‘Straight TikTok’ vs. ‘Alt TikTok’: How queer users built ‘Alt TikTok’

+ Welcome to Chechnya: the harrowing film about the regime’s gay purge

Saw This, Thought of You

+ Why Our Gender Identity Language Isn’t Enough

+ The indispensable Nikole-Hannah Jones: What Is Owed: Without Economic Justice, There Can Be No True Equality

+ The Question: Where Bail Funds Go From Here? The answer, I hope: end cash bail.

+ This is awesome:

+ The People’s Bodega Is the Mobile Mutual Aid Site Serving Sustenance to New York and L.A. Protests

⚽🏀Saw This, Thought of You: Sportsball Edition 🏀⚽

Back in March, the coronavirus brought professional sports to a screeching halt but now, as states start to reopen, sports are preparing to follow suit. I’ve missed sports immensely but it’s been hard for me to muster up enthusiasm for its return. I keep thinking, “they’re risking their lives for our entertainment,” and it hardly seems worth it. Plus, even though athletes will be sequestered, I wonder what message the return of sports sends to everyday people: How do we convince people that things are not back the normal when sports — a hallmark of normalcy — have returned? I’m not sure.

+ Earlier this week, two women’s fast-pitch professional softball teams took the field for their first game since the shutdown. Unfortunately, the excitement was short lived: during the game, the general manager of the Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs sent out a tweet referencing Colin Kapernick’s anthem protest and, as you might expect, shit hit the fan. How bad did it get? The ENTIRE TEAM quit. ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿

+ After a helluva hiccup earlier this week, the NWSL’s Challenge Cup kicks off in Utah this weekend. The league will be without some of its biggest names — Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and Christen Press are sitting out due to coronavirus concerns — but there will still be plenty of star power out on the pitch. Saturday’s opening matches:

All games will be available on CBS All Access and re-air on CBS Sports Network. Fans outside the US and Canada can stream games live via Twitch.

+ Today’s the deadline for WNBA players to inform their teams about whether they’ll participate in this year’s abbreviated 22 game season. Public details are still scant but, according to Mechelle Voepel, players just received details about their IMG Academy accommodations on Wednesday to help them make the decision.

Some players, like Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Washington’s LaToya Sanders are opting out over coronavirus concerns, while others, like Atlanta’s Renee Montgomery and Washington’s Natasha Cloud, are devoting their energies to fighting for social justice.

+ Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready to Play: Jacqueline LeBlanc highlights some WNBA Free Agents who may get the call to substitute for WNBA players that opt to sit out.

+ Las Vegas Aces star Angel McCoughtry — that’ll never not be weird to say — is asking the league to allow players to put the names of victims of police brutality on their jerseys.

+ Also? They’re apparently letting dudes play sports too? Weird. [ MLB | MLS | NBA | NHL ]

Political Snacks

+ Some great news from Tuesday’s New York primary: Two New Yorkers Poised to Become First Black Gay Men in Congress. Ritchie Torres’ win is especially sweet, as he defeated the notoriously homophobic/transphobic Rubén Díaz Sr.

+ Barack Obama to Deliver Message in Stonewall Day Livestream

+ Not sure that this piece offers any new information but I am perpetually annoyed by the credit Biden’s given for the Obama administration’s progress on gay rights: Behind Joe Biden’s Evolution on LGBTQ Rights

+ Pompeo’s Human Rights Panel Could Hurt LGBT and Women’s Rights, Critics Say

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 396 articles for us.


  1. Bless you for this sentence: “Also? They’re apparently letting dudes play sports too? Weird.” I don’t think they’ve earned the right to play sports again yet (not that I feel comfortable with anyone playing right now….

  2. As much as I love the WNBA and watching WNBA games has helped me survive incredibly terrible times in my life, no one should be playing sports in 2020 (and likely not in 2021, given how things are going).

  3. Also ambivalent. I adore our soccer players, but not only do I feel uncomfortable abut their risking their health for our entertainment, I’m also just not much in the mood for sports these days.

  4. I’m excited to see the NWSL back. I worry about safety, too (especially injury from being under-prepared), but there are a few things to think about.

    First, players were given the option to opt out and keep their salary. Of course, that doesn’t mean they didn’t feel pressure for their career and missing out on an opportunity others were taking. But at least they were not financially obligated in the moment.

    Second, looking at how gutted the Orlando players are not to be able to participate, it’s clear these players are passionate about getting back out on the field. It’s not *just* for our entertainment. This is what they have worked their asses off their whole lives to do, whether we’re watching or not.

    There’s definitely a risk, but the players and staff are also adults who have a right to decide for themselves, to an extent. With the frequent testing and isolation, the risk that they become infected because of the tournament AND spread it to the wider community seems extremely low. For me the risk of spreading it to others is where the right to decide for yourself ends, but there is no risk 0 and the protocols seem to be as solid as you could hope for during the tournament.

    Yes, Orlando players tested positive. They were not isolating, as players on-site are required to do.

    Everything is uncertain and I understand people who argue it’s too early and sports aren’t necessary etc. But people are going back to the office for any number of jobs that aren’t strictly vital. It’s hard to know how to balance risk (personal and public) and living.

    The point about the message it sends is fair. A big issue here (France) has been the mixed messages the government has sent(don’t go out, but do go vote, go back to work but don’t go to the park, etc.). But if you’ve watched a game played in an empty stadium it does also reinforce that things are definitely NOT normal.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!