Prayers for Damar Hamlin
The NFL player who collapsed during Monday Night Football is in critical condition following a hit that stopped his heart. Plus the UFC's Dana White rings in the New Year with domestic violence
Thanks for rising up this Tuesday, Jan. 3, the 20th birthday of climate activist Greta Thunberg. More about her after Today’s Big Story.
THIS HASN’T HAPPENED IN 51 YEARS: Monday Night Football was suspended and the game postponed when one of the players collapsed on the field and had to be rushed to a hospital, ESPN reports. According to a tweet by the Buffalo Bills, safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest following a play in which he collided with a Cincinnati Bengals player:
Journalist David Shuster tweeted that after witnessing Hamlin get CPR, the coaches and players made the call to halt the game. As of press time, Hamlin was in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. My prayers are with him, his family, teammates. coaches and fans.
P.S. The last time something even remotely like this happened was in October 1971, when Chuck Hughes of the Detroit Lions died on the field of Tiger Stadium during a game against the Chicago Bears. Another key difference: That game resumed, as medics tried to save Hughes’ life on the sidelines.
A bonus segment that someday soon only paid subscribers will have access to lies in wait at the bottom, but don’t scroll down just yet. First, get caught up, with stories including the transgender woman suing an app that claims it’s for cisgender women only, wedding plans for a famous lesbian TV anchor and a new health battle for Martina Navratilova. Here now the rest of the news:
KEVIN HOME ALONE: Republicans take control of the House of Representatives today but Politico reports Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) still doesn’t have the 218 votes he needs to serve as Speaker. Far right conservatives are demanding concessions beyond what McCarthy has already made. If not him, who? The New York Times provided this list of potential Speakers in waiting.
REP. GEORGE “PANTS ON FIRE” SANTOS: As of press time, Republicans appear ready to seat the Long Island congressman-elect who lied about, well, just about everything to get elected. But according to The New York Times, George has something new to worry about besides the GOP: Brazil is reportedly reviving an investigation into fraud from 2008 that was dropped because they couldn’t find him. Hey, Brazil! You’ll find him at this address: U.S. Capitol, Room H154, Washington, D.C. 20515. That is, at least, today.
CANCER “DOUBLE WHAMMY:” Tennis legend and lesbian icon Martina Navratilova revealed she is battling throat cancer and, for the second time, breast cancer. A rep for the 66-year-old released a statement saying the prognosis is good and she will start treatment this month, according to ESPN: "This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I'm hoping for a favorable outcome," Navratilova said. "It's going to stink for a while but I'll fight with all I have got." I met Martina this past summer, and despite her rudeness toward me and her opposition to trans inclusion in sports, I will be rooting for her to beat cancer once again. Nobody’s tougher.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The autistic Swedish climate activist burst upon the world stage five years ago at the age of 15, calling for her government to cut carbon emissions. Her “School Strike for Climate” in 2018 inspired more than 20K students from the U.K. to Japan to skip classes and demand action to save our changing world.
In 2019, she sailed across the Atlantic to scold world leaders at the United Nations: “How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
It’s 2023 and today Europe is finally emerging from an unusual heat dome that created an unprecedented warm spell in cities from France to Russia. The Washington Post reports temperatures smashed thousands of records from Saturday to Monday.
At least seven countries saw their warmest January weather on record: Denmark hit 54° Fahrenheit, Lithuania recorded 58°, the Netherlands saw 62° and in Poland it was 66.2°, or in Celsius, 19°… just as Greta turns 20 today!
By the way, Greta’s school strike is now in week 228. “The climate crisis doesn’t go on holiday,” she tweeted last week.
If you missed it, Greta’s clever Twitter tit for tat with hatemonger Andrew Tate last week went viral and made headlines! That story is in The Guardian.
WACKADOODLE WEATHER HERE, TOO: Tomorrow’s forecast for Connecticut calls for temperatures in the 60s, as tornadoes are tearing through Louisiana with the threat of more damaging storms throughout the south. Thousands are still without power in Northern California, after severe flooding and mudslides, with one or more “atmospheric rivers” on the way. And of course there’s major snow and ice to contend with across Minnesota and the Northern Plains. Get the latest from Accuweather by clicking here.
CAUGHT ON TAPE: Mixed Martial Arts kingpin Dana White hit his wife in the face, apparently in drunken retaliation for her slapping him during a New Year’s party in Mexico. TMZ has the video from Cabo San Lucas. In an interview, the UFC honcho admitted he and Anne White had been drinking heavily, but said that's no excuse for him getting physical.
TRANS DENIAL OF SERVICE: A woman from Australia says a social media app called Giggle banned her from using the service because she is transgender. So Roxanne Tickle is suing the company and its CEO, Sally “Sall” Grover, according to The Guardian. Tickle alleges she was initially welcomed to the site after its artificial intelligence program screened her selfie to “verify” she was female (Personal note: My selfie was, too). Her suit in federal court down under claims unlawful discrimination. Tickle is seeking damages, a written apology and complete access to the platform, which Grover proudly boasts is “aka the Female app.” The app is currently offline, reportedly “under construction for renovations, updates and rebranding.”
SOUTH DAKOTA DISGRACE: Trans man Jack Fonder has been filling an important role as the community health worker for The Transformation Project, a Sioux Falls-based transgender advocacy group that helps the LGBTQ+ community connect with healthcare professionals and social services. He’s there for those marginalized patients who might otherwise face difficulty obtaining affirming care. At least, he used to be; Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) fired him last month, abruptly terminating a CDC-funded contract from the state Department of Health. The Argus Leader reports The Transformation Project plans to sue the state for alleged civil rights violations related to the cancellation. Noem’s spokesman Ian Fury told The Daily Signal the reason the contract was canceled was because “South Dakota does not support this organization’s efforts and state government should not be participating in them.”
HISTORY IN INDIA: India’s national capital, Delhi, has elected its first out trans city councilperson. Bobby Kinner spoke to the Washington Blade.
EDUCATION DISCRIMINATION: The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights logged a record number of complaints of discrimination in 2022, reports The New York Times. Nearly 19K complaints were filed to the office between Oct. 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2022 — more than double the previous year and breaking the record of 16K filed in 2016. Officials said most complaints alleged discrimination based on disability, race or sex and reflect both the aftermath of the worst public health crisis in a century and the most divisive civil rights climate in decades.
QUESTIONS IN QATAR: Did LGBTQ+ rights campaigns in Qatar related to the recent World Cup help or hinder progress in the Islamic nation? Critics claim protests may have backfired and sparked a backlash against gay, lesbian and queer communities there. Click here to read more.
CONGRATULATIONS, ROBIN & AMBER! Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts revealed on Monday’s show that she and her longtime partner Amber Laign will tie the knot this year. “I’m saying yes to marriage. We’re getting married this year. It’s something we have talked about but we had put it off. She became ill and it is saying yes to that and that next chapter,” said Roberts, adding, “I can’t believe I just said that.” On a personal note, having worked with Robin and had the opportunity to meet and chat with Amber, I could not be happier for these amazing, inspiring women, especially after their respective cancer struggles. #LoveIsLove More details at THR.
Original or Extra Crispy?
BOLSONARO SKIPS LULA INAUGURATION FOR KFC: I swear, I am not trying to include a KFC story every single day. This is not my attempt to win either a sponsorship or free chicken! But it just so happens that while the new president of Brazil was being sworn-in and celebrated by Black, trans, gay, disabled citizens and drag queens, the defeated ex-president and anti-LGBTQ+ bigot, Jair Bolsonaro, fled to Florida for finger-lickin’ chicken.
Surprisingly, he’s not at Mar-A-Lago, but in Orlando, hiding out in the nine-bedroom mansion of MMA fighter José Aldo da Silva, as the Daily Beast reported. Read all about the inauguration of pro-LGBTQ+ president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Los Angeles Blade.
I am blessed to have worked at ABC News when Barbara Walters did. We met once, at a big company gathering, and I was fast on my feet when the icon needed a chair. She asked me my name and thanked me. It was brief, but memorable.
The bonus today is a chat my friend Robin Roberts had with Barbara’s longtime producer, Bill Geddie, on Good Morning America yesterday. And wow, after hearing all the stories about the tough-as-nails TV trailblazer, what a treat it is to learn what the legend was really like to work with. Check it out:
May memories be a blessing to all who had the privilege.
That’s all for today. May your news be good news, and I’ll be back tomorrow!
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