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Exclusive: Fallon Fox responds to BBC apology over its attack on her

Trailblazing trans MMA fighter responds to BBC apology for so-called ‘boast’ that she ‘loves smacking up’ TERFs

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Courtesy of former Mixed Martial Arts fighter Fallon Fox

LOS ANGELES – Trans former Mixed Martial Arts fighter Fallon Fox, who has not competed in the octagon since retiring in 2014 due to knee injuries, has some fighting words for the BBC and The Daily Mail after a June radio interview about transgender athletes. 

For weeks, British media outlets have been bashing Fox, the first out trans MMA fighter and a resident of Los Angeles, calling her a “biological male” who boasted “about the physical harm committed against their political opponents.” 

Fox tells the Los Angeles Blade she stands by her words and vows to never talk to the BBC again. The retired “Queen of Swords” also defended her decision to trash talk about trans exclusionary radical feminists, known as TERFs. “It’s part of MMA culture to talk smack about opponents. You see it all the time,” a fact borne out by the millions of views of YouTube videos featuring smack-talking MMA fighters. “Only when I do it people take issue with it.” 

On June 20, Fox was interviewed by telephone for a BBC radio show alongside former swimmer Karen Pickering of the U.K. The day before, Pickering was among those at a FINA conference voting to ban trans women who had experienced male puberty from competing with cisgender athletes, as the Los Angeles Blade reported

But it’s what happened after the radio program ended that’s sparked controversy. 

The very next day, a British anti-trans athlete organization called Fair Play For Women shared a screengrab of a 2020 tweet by Fox, asking the BBC what it was thinking in booking her on its show. 

The BBC formally apologized to the trans inclusion opponents group last week in a letter reported by The Telegraph

According to the report by the British newspaper, a representative of the BBC Complaints Unit said it was “unaware of previous comments made by Fallon Fox” and if it was, “we would have conducted the interview differently.” The rep added, “We have discussed your concerns with the team responsible and we’d like to apologize for this oversight.”

In response, Dr. Nicola Williams, director of Fair Play For Women, told The Telegraph: “If you knew that Fallon Fox was a trans fighter, you’d also know what Fallon Fox had said. It’s either that the woke producers didn’t do the basics with research, or they didn’t care. This apology means nothing unless they also issue an on-air clarification—they must do due diligence on this topic by bringing on true experts, not just trans people for the sake of it.”

The BBC has not responded to our request for a response to the group’s demand as of press time. 

Courtesy of Fallon Fox

“They frame it as I’m a ‘transgender athlete who boasted of violence against women’ as if I was talking about fighting all women in the MMA cage,” Fox told the Los Angeles Blade in a private online conversation on Facebook Messenger Saturday. “I specifically mentioned TERFs. And I had good reason to call them that and feel that way about it. Especially since our jobs were to actually try to beat each other up.”

Fox said in her 2020 tweet, she was referring specifically to MMA fighters Erica Newsome and Tamikka Brents, both of whom called it “unfair” for Fox to compete against cisgender women. Both Newsome and Brents lost to Fox, and false rumors about those bouts have been swirling ever since, such as the claim she broke Brents’ skull.  

As Fox and others have pointed out, an orbital fracture is common in MMA. 

The BBC’s apology comes weeks after their interviewer, Justin Webb, responded to criticism of the program by insisting that he had “no idea” of Fox’s 2020 comments “and the producers didn’t either.” He added, “We need to tackle these issues fairly but not from the ‘everyone calm down’ perspective that fails to note who is violent and who is not.” Webb’s statement on Twitter, the tweet by Fair Play For Women and a sensational reaction by British feminist Helen Saxby were more than enough anti-trans fodder for a one-sided tabloid report by The Daily Mail on June 21. 

Among its claims: “Miss Fox has since claimed to enjoy beating up women who oppose transgender rights, known derogatively as ‘Terfs’.”

Fox responded on Twitter the next day. 

As for her statement about “enjoying smacking up” TERFs, she tweeted, “You bet! And why wouldn’t I when we both sign a contract to beat each other up? I suppose I should’ve been depressed about the prospect of doing my job.” She concluded the thread with an eyeroll emoji, and moved on.

Courtesy of Fallon Fox

On Saturday, Fox responded to the BBC’s apology in her interview with the Blade: “So, I’m ‘violent’ because I talked about hitting other women in MMA? What does that make my cis opponents or any other woman who fights?” 

Noted out trans writer and author Aiden Comerford came to Fox’s defense, noting the hypocrisy of how the BBC stood by its “journalism” despite days of complaints about a controversial October 2021 article. A reporter interviewed cisgender lesbians who claimed trans women pressured them into having sex, and quoted an anti-trans activist who called for trans women, including Fox, to be “lynched.” 

“It’s not like I’m Lilly Cade calling for the literal killing of trans women and interviewed on the BBC,” Fox told the Blade. “That should be focused on. Not an MMA fighter talking smack about what they legally do in MMA. It’s silly.” Comerford called it proof of “absolutely ridiculous bias.”

The BBC ultimately removed Cade’s comments but that article stands; Its other examples of transphobic coverage has led to protests and other complaints. Yet the net effect of this kind of reporting is that Fox and other trans people, as well as allies, are bombarded with hateful messages, most of which say something along the lines of, “You’re not a woman, you’re a man.” 

There’s no denying, said Fox, the terrible toll of all that hate. 

“Of course they get to me. It’s probably why I came off snarky in my original comment in the first place, which was a response to transphobic nonsense,” she said. “It does become annoying to be repeatedly called a man. I think it’s human for anyone to get upset about being called outside their gender.”

And these attacks are not limited to mean tweets. “They changed my voice,” Fox told me in another interview, back in May, about some nasty videos posted to YouTube. “They altered my voice to sound more deeper in order to make me sound like a man.” 

And what if the BBC comes calling again?

“Given that the BBC is clearly biased and their representative said it was ‘a mistake’ to have me on there, I would certainly not talk to them again,” said Fox. “They easily caved to the TERFs pressure likely because they cater to that transphobic demographic. After all, they are based on TERF island.”


Follow Fallon Fox on Twitter and on Instagram

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Trailblazing Scots pro soccer athlete comes Out and inspires others

Murray, 30, came out during an interview posted on the website of his club, saying “the weight of the world is now off my shoulders”

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Screenshot/YouTube

EDINBURGH – Two weeks after making headlines as the first-ever senior Scottish pro soccer player to come out as gay, Zander Murray is revealing the impact his courageous decision has had on at least one closeted player. Murray tweeted a message he received that shows the difference an athlete coming out can make. 

“I just wanted to tell you that you’ve been a massive inspiration for me to come out to teammates and family,” the anonymous player told Murray, according to the tweet. 

“As a young footballer I find it difficult to be myself as it is but being gay and keeping it secret was so challenging. It felt amazing when I told my teammates, they were super supportive.” 

Murray shared the message with a heart emoji and the words: “Makes it all worthwhile young man.”

Murray, 30, came out during an interview posted on the website of his club, the Gala Fairydean Rovers, on September 16, explaining “the weight of the world is now off my shoulders.”

Screenshot/YouTube

As the Los Angeles Blade has reported, Jake Daniels of Blackpool came out as gay in May, the first U.K. male pro soccer player to come out in more than 30 years. Justin Fashanu was the first in Britain men’s soccer to come out back in 1990. Homophobic and racist media reports drove Fashanu to suicide eight years later. 

Reaction to Murray’s coming out last month has been “incredible,” he’s told reporters. One of those reaching out to congratulate him was Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley. The U.K. diver sent him a DM, Murray told a British interviewer. 

“He messaged me while I was on my way back from football training in a car with four boys. I had tears in my eyes seeing his direct message, and I messaged him back.

“I said, ‘Look I am in a car on the way back from football with four boys and I’ve got tears in my eyes and I don’t even care.’”

Prior to coming out, Murray had been “living in fear 24/7,” he told Sky Sports. “I can’t explain it. You’re hiding your phone in case you get messages from friends, constantly double-checking if you have a team night out, you’re cautious with what you’re saying.

“It’s very hard, especially for myself, I’m a character in that dressing room. I’m not quiet in that dressing room, I like to have the banter and to get stuck in, so very challenging.”

But Murray said he couldn’t have decided to come out “at a better time, at a better club.” So why now? He posted the answer on Instagram with several bullet points, including:

  • “Gay male footballers in the UK need role models. 
  • Majority are terrified to come out to friends/family/teammates (trust me a few have reached out already!).”

STV Weekend News Sunday, September 18, 2022 Zander Murray

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Gay men stand up to Qatar & denounce its death penalty

In advance of World Cup: “I’m a man and I love men,” a representative of soccer fans told Qatar’s ambassador

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Dr. Nasser Mohamed/Instagram

FRANKFURT, Germany – Gay men are blowing the whistle now, two months before the World Cup, demanding the host nation of Qatar change its anti-LGBTQ ways.

The Middle Eastern country where Islam is the state religion will welcome soccer players, coaches and fans from all around the planet, beginning Nov. 20, for matches that will pit nation against nation.

Qatar has promised to welcome LGBTQ foreigners, even as its own people are tortured and put to death for being who they are. 

On Monday, Qatar’s ambassador to Germany got an earful from one of those men at a human rights conference in Frankfurt, hosted by the German Football Association, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Fan representative Dario Minden spoke in English directly to Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, about who he is and who he loves, Minden told him to “abolish the death penalty” for homosexuality. 

“I’m a man and I love men. I do — please don’t be shocked — have sex with other men. This is normal,” Minden told Al Thani. “So, please get used to it, or stay out of football. Because the most important rule in football is, football is for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re lesbian, if you’re gay. It’s for everyone. For the boys. For the girls. And for everyone in between. 

“So, abolish the death penalty. Abolish all of the penalties regarding sexual and gender identity,” he said. 

Although organizers promised Al Thani an opportunity to respond, the Associated Press reports that portion of the conference was closed to the public and the news media and was not televised. 

Earlier, Al Thani reportedly complained to those assembled that the issue of human rights was a distraction from the World Cup, even though the event was titled, “Sport and Human Rights.” 

“We all care about human rights,” said Al Thani. “But I would have enjoyed (it) more if I saw some concentration not only on just one subject, but the enjoyment of football and the football effect on people around the world.” 

More than five-thousand miles away in San Francisco, a gay Qatari physician has organized a petition to tell the land of his birth: Love Is Not A Crime. 

Dr. Nasser Mohamed decided to come out in 2010 following a visit to the U.S., and spent his residency in Connecticut before moving to California in 2015. 

Mohamed wrote in an op-ed published by Outsports last month that he has spent the last decade caring for the LGBTQ community in outpatient settings and growing as an activist. 

“Being an LGBT person is a criminal offense in the legal system in Qatarm as is sex between two men. There are state-sponsored conversion-therapy practices, and LGBT-affirming psychotherapy is not offered.” He wrote how law enforcement uses media and chat rooms to find, jail and punish people for being LGBTQ. 

“Visibility of the local LGBT community in Qatar, and the exposure of their treatment, are absolutely essential,” Mohamed wrote. “I am doing my part by speaking up.”

Editor’s note: Find out about Mohamed’s petition by clicking here. He is also raising money through a GoFundMe account to provide him with funding for his activism as well as security and protection.

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Tom Brady’s new out gay teammate: Carl Nassib returns to Tampa

Carl Nassib returns to Florida as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly sign the NFL free agent to a one-year deal

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Carl Nassib speaks publicly for first time since coming out as gay in August 2021 (Screenshot/YouTube KUVV Fox 5 Las Vegas)

TAMPA – Carl Nassib, who made headlines in June 2021 when he became the NFL’s first out gay active player, reportedly has signed a one-year contract with his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

The 29-year-old defensive end was released by the Las Vegas Raiders in March, and became a free agent. NFL sources said that was due to his contracted salary amount—$7.75 million—and not any reflection on his sexual orientation.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news with a tweet

When Nassib came out last summer, he announced he was donating $100K to The Trevor Project, and for Pride Month this year he made a new pledge to help LGBTQ youth. He promised to match donations to The Trevor Project, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000.

Will Bucs quarterback Tom Brady welcome Nassib? As Outsports reported, he’s never made any comments about playing with someone gay. Brady’s former Patriots teammate Ryan O’Callaghan recalled that before he came out in 2017, following his retirement, there was one time that he missed the team bus and Brady gave him a ride in his car to that day’s practice.

O’Callaghan told Outsports he believes Brady would have “absolutely” accepted him if he had come out at that time.

“Being married to a super model I’m sure he’s met a few gay people in his life,” said O’Callaghan. Brady wed Brazilian fashion model Gisele Bündchen in 2009.

Legendary Boston sports columnist Steve Buckley of The Athletic came out as gay in 2011 while at the Boston Herald. He told Outsports Brady has always been friendly and cooperative, even after Buckley came out.

This is the second time around at Raymond James Stadium for Nassib. He played for the Bucs for two seasons prior to joining the Raiders in 2020. His NFL career began in 2016 with the Cleveland Browns. 

As Jason Owens reported for Yahoo! Sports, Nassib was far more productive in Tampa as a part-time starter, recording 6.5 sacks in 2018 and six sacks in 2019. The NFL’s website shows he played just 242 defensive snaps and earned 1.5 sacks last season. 

In 86 games including 37 starts, Nassib’s recorded 22 career sacks, 164 tackles, 53 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles.

In addition to Brady, Nassib’s new teammates are Akiem Hicks and William Gholston at defensive end and outside linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. Given that the Bucs finished seventh in the NFL in sacks last season with 47, Nassib will be expected to improve Tampa Bay’s chances when their season begins Sept. 11 in Dallas.

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