Is Softball a Lesbian Sport?

Kagan photo starts brouhaha
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2010 12:20 PM CDT
Is Softball a Lesbian Sport?
In this 1993 photo provided by the University of Chicago Law School, Elena Kagan, an assistant professor, plays softball at the university in Chicago.   (AP Photo/University of Chicago law School)

The Wall Street Journal is taking heat for putting Elena Kagan's softball photo on its front page because, gay-rights activists complain, the game is so closely associated with lesbianism that the photo read as an insinuation that the Supreme Court nominee is gay. That's set off a national discussion, according to fellow News Corp paper, the New York Post, on just how gay softball, a sport popular with both genders, really is.

“Throughout history, softball has been a focal point for lesbian women,” says Pat Griffin, author of a book on lesbians and homophobia in sports. “There's a kernel of truth to the stereotype.” When it gained popularity after WWII, it became one of the first place lesbians could go for respite from a hostile world. “It's an issue we deal with,” says the lesbian who coaches Harvard's team. “People jump to conclusions.” (More softball stories.)

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