Orlando Cruz is the first professional boxer in history to say, I am “a proud gay man,” while still active in the sport. Cruz is 31 and was born in Puerto Rico. “Iâ€™ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myselfâ€ said Cruz, according to Blabbeando. â€œI want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. Â I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. Â I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.â€
Cruz also made the announcement on Twitter, and linked to the article in Blabbeando:
As a boxer, I am proud to tell the World that I have always been and always will be a proud Puerto Rican gay man: bit.ly/T1VN7T
â€” Orlando Cruz (@ElFenomenoCruz) October 4, 2012
Cruz came out, because “I want to be free and not carry this on and on with myself,” according to the L.A. Times who spoke with the boxer by phone.Â â€œI want to let the people see who I really am, to be free, to let people understand.â€
He said since his announcement that heâ€™s received â€œunconditional, 100% support,â€ including text messages and Twitter and Facebook notes of endorsement from his 2000 Olympic teammate and former multi-division world champion Miguel Cotto and Puerto Rican singerÂ Ricky Martin.
â€œI was physically and mentally prepared for whatever the reaction would be before this, and I can tell you from the response, this will never bother me again,â€ Cruz said. â€œI feel comfortable with myself.â€
Cruz lost twice within a five-month stretch in 2009 and 2010 to respected fighters Cornelius Lock, who was trained by Roger Mayweather, and current world champion Daniel Ponce De Leon.
He said he hopes his openness breaks down some walls and erases some stereotypes.
â€œIt should show something for itself: that I have courage, Iâ€™m a warrior in the ring,â€ Cruz said. â€œIt should not diminish me. Iâ€™ve fought with the best, and I want to be a world champion.â€
The Huffington PostÂ adds:
AÂ former Olympian who competed for Puerto RicoÂ at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Cruz has been fighting professionally since December 2000. His next fight is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Kissimmee, Fla., but he willÂ reportedly sit down for an exclusive Telemundo interviewÂ before that.
A number of publications have noted that while Cruz is not the first gay man to fight professional, his revelation makes him the first to speak openly about it while being active in the sport.Â AsÂ USA TodayÂ noted, Emile Griffith, a welterweight and middleweight champion who fought in the ’50s and ’60s, told Sports Illustrated he was bisexual years after his athletic career had ended.
Among those to praise Cruz’s decision wasÂ Bleacher Report columnist Michael Walters. “For Cruz to come out while still actively participating in what has to be considered one of, if not the, most macho sports is truly brave,” Walters wrote.
“I wish I could shake Cruzâ€™s hand. This took a lot of guts,” Cyd Zeigler, Jr., founder of OutSports, the definitive site for news related to LGBT athletes, wrote today:
To be honest, I hadnâ€™t heard of Cruz before last night. But his coming out says a lot. While we hear about athletes in other sports like baseball, basketball and soccer being â€œafraidâ€ to come out, hereâ€™s a guy who literally takes punches to the face finding the courage to be who he is. No one should be more afraid of coming out than a professional boxer whose opponentsâ€™ goal is to knock him out cold.
Cruz also has a lot to lose (or be prevented from gaining). Endorsement deals are lucrative, and for someone whose income comes from those deals and winning fights, he has more to lose than many other gay pro athletes.
You can congratulate Cruz via Twitter, where his bio now reads, “Boxeador profesional, ex olÃmpico, CampeÃ³n Latino y cuarto en divisiÃ³n pluma a nivel mundial de WBO. Soy y siempre serÃ© un orgulloso hombre gay puertorriqueÃ±o,”Â and Facebook.
Image via Facebook
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Watch: Nunes Stunned When State Dept. Official Knocks Down His ‘Black Ledger Isn’t Real’ Conspiracy Theory
Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes Thursday afternoon appeared stunned when he questioned a U.S. State Dept. official during the impeachment hearings and did not get the answer he anticipated.
Rep. Nunes has been spewing far right wing conspiracy theories during each impeachment hearing over the past two weeks, including the thoroughly debunked lie that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked the U.S. 2016 election.
(Earlier one of today’s witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill, publicly lambasted the spreading of the false Ukraine conspiracy theory as she sat just feet away from Nunes. The video is here.)
Nunes asked David Holmes, who is the State Dept.’s counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine about the “black ledger.”
That line of questioning did not go well for Nunes.
Nunes asked if Holmes had “ever heard of the black ledger.”
“I have,” Holmes replied.
“The black ledger – is that seen as ‘credible’ information?” Nunes asked.
“Yes,” Holmes responded without hesitation.
Surprised, Nunes repeated his question.
“The black ledger is credible?”
“Yes,” Holmes again replied.
Nunes did not look pleased.
“Bob Mueller did not find it credible. Do you dispute what Bob Mueller’s findings were? – They didn’t use it in the prosecution or in the report.”
“I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible. I think it was evidence in other criminal proceedings. Its credibility was not questioned in those proceedings, but I’m not an expert on that.”
As Nunes goes back to the well of Ukraine 2016 conspiracy theories, Holmes shoots down his nonsense regarding the black ledger that exposed Manafort’s corrupt dealings in Ukraine: pic.twitter.com/JIo1mvl3Kt
— The Moscow Project (@moscow_project) November 21, 2019
Holmes is correct – it was used as evidence in prosecutions (see below).
The black ledger is a register of off-the-book payments made by the corrupt now-former ruling party of Ukraine – not today’s ruling party.
It contains details of 22 payments allegedly made to Paul Manafort, totaling $12.7 million, by his former client, the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort later became Donald Trump’s election campaign chairman. When the ledger was exposed Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. He is now in prison, serving a 90-month federal sentence.
Mueller actually did find the black ledger credible, as The Washington Post reported one week ago. It was used as evidence in Mueller’s indictment against Manafort.
Rep. Nunes appears to believe the existence of the black ledger and its authenticity are conspiracy theories. He is the one spreading conspiracy theories. The black ledger is real.
RNC Chair Attacks ‘Progressive Liberal’ Pete Buttigieg – Says Trump Would Beat Him for Lack of Foreign Policy Experience
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is targeting Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, apparently seeing his rise in the polls as a threat to President Donald Trump.
McDaniel Thursday told reporters at a breakfast meeting the South Bend, Indiana mayor who currently is polling in first place in Iowa is not a moderate but a “progressive liberal,” and insisted President Trump would beat him should he become the Democratic nominee, The Hill reports.
“Pete is a progressive liberal in moderate clothing,” McDaniel said at the event for members of the media which was hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “He is somebody who raised his hand to give health care to illegal immigrants. He is somebody who has said he wants to stack the Supreme Court up to 15 judges.”
“This is not somebody who is a moderate,” McDaniel added. “Just because he’s from South Bend, Indiana, doesn’t make him that.”
Claiming the 37-year old former Navy Reserves Lieutenant who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an intelligence officer is not a “strong” candidate, McDaniel declared, “I think the president wins against Pete Buttigieg.”
“I think he wins big. He doesn’t have any foreign policy experience, he has not been successful,” she added, incorrectly, “he hasn’t, as an executive, had the task of sending people to war.”
Before becoming president Donald Trump had less foreign policy experience than Buttigieg does today, and has never served in the U.S. Armed Forces – except for his title of Commander-in-Chief.
Trump also waited nearly two years into his term before visiting troops overseas.
‘This Is a Fictional Narrative’: Dr. Fiona Hill Delivers Damning Slam Against Nunes’ Lie Ukraine Attacked US Election (Video)
Dr. Fiona Hill, the former Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council, delivered a scathing bombshell opening statement Thursday morning before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearing (video below).
Hill’s statement directly targeted Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes’ lie that Ukraine, not Russia, attacked the U.S. 2016 election.
“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did,” Dr. Hill said in her statement before Congress. “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”
“I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016,” Dr. Hill continued. “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed for purely domestic political purposes.”
MUST WATCH: Fiona Hill SLAMS @DevinNunes and Republicans trafficking in the same wacky conspiracy theories being pushed by Russian intelligence to undermine the United States. pic.twitter.com/N8fokP8g7J
— Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) November 21, 2019
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