HRC Blog

Pro Bowler is First Openly Gay Male Athlete Nominated for an ESPY Award

Post submitted by David McCabe, HRC Digital Media Intern

This year has been full of milestones for LGBT athletes. Jason Collins became the first out NBA player, and soccer player Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to take the field in a major American sports league when he signed on with the MLS's L.A. Galaxy. Former Baylor star Brittney Griner, who is openly gay, was the first pick in this year's WNBA draft. Now, there's another first for gay athletes.

Scott Norton, a professional bowler, is the first gay male athlete to be nominated for an ESPY award — the annual honors handed out by ESPN.

"I am so excited to be the first of what I hope will be a long line of world-class openly gay male athletes nominated for this prestigious award," he told Outsports.

Earlier this year, ESPN aired footage of Norton and his husband kissing after the bowler won a tournament. It was the first time the network had shown a celebratory kiss between an athlete and their significant other of the same gender.

Griner is also nominated for two awards, though she is not the first openly gay female athlete to be nominated in the contest, including tennis players Martina Navratilova and Amelie Mauresmo. The public can vote for all of the awards online.

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