Review Category : National Sports

How Caitlyn Jenner Inspired Transgender Teen Barred From High School Volleyball

Photo by Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images(SAN FIDEL, N.M.) — As Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs Wednesday night, she touched on the importance of transgender athletes getting to play sports “as who they really are.”

The message hit home for Alex Trujillo, a 17-year-old transgender teen living in San Fidel, New Mexico, who said she was devastated when she wasn’t allowed to join a girl’s sports team at her high school.

Alex was born male, said her mother, Terri Trujillo, but transitioned to female the summer between the 9th and 10th grades.

“I loved Caitlyn Jenner’s speech,” Alex told ABC News Thursday. “It was so inspirational and I’m really glad she’s finally becoming who she is. One thing she said about … thousands of transgender youth are coming out and finding themselves, and that really spoke to me. And also because she was an athlete, and she has this huge platform, and she’s not just being selfish about it. She’s actually doing stuff, and she spoke about others in her acceptance speech, and I love that.”

Her mother added, “Caitlyn Jenner comes out, and little does she know that she’s opening doors in small Pueblo communities … that she’s probably never even heard of. And it’s given us a voice to speak for transgender issues.

“I cried most of the time during her speech,” Terri Trujillo told ABC News. “People don’t see how hateful words hurt our children. And I’m glad she’s bringing light to this issue. And my daughter’s thankful for it, also. If a famous person can come out, it makes it easier for us to come out, because we’re not the only ones.”

Terri Trujillo said she knew Alex’s true gender “from the very young age of 3 or 4.”

“She would always wear a towel on her head,” she added. “She was Pocahontas. That was who she was. She didn’t want to play with the boys’ toys.

“I wanted her to tell me what she was,” Terri Trujillo said. “In this small community, you don’t really hear too much about transgender. So she was really struggling to find who she was. Also being afraid of what other people were going to think of her. In 8th grade … she would wear eyeliner at school and wipe it off before she came home.

“The summer she transitioned … I saw her full face with makeup, her hair done,” she added. “She had her eyelashes curled and everything. And she was standing there in her boy clothes and I looked at her, and it wasn’t her. And I said, ‘Let’s go buy you some clothes to go with your pretty face.’

“The smile on my daughter’s face that day, I will never forget,” Terri Trujillo said. “It was just like a flower blooming right before my eyes. She got her clothes and that’s when she knew it was OK for her to be who she wanted to be.”

Alex, who will be a senior next year at Laguna-Acoma High School, said she wasn’t usually interested in sports, but last school year she started to play volleyball with her friends “and I just got a passion for it.”

“Some of the volleyball girls helped me, and some of them said I was pretty good,” Alex said. “Some people started telling me I should do volleyball and I really wanted to do it.

“So I talked to the principal and the coach … if it was OK for me to start going to volleyball conditioning. And they said they didn’t see a problem with it, but they would check with the NMAA [New Mexico Activities Association] to make sure it was OK,” Alex said.

However, according to ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, the NMAA says the gender on your birth certificate will dictate which team you play for. Birth certificates can only be amended after reassignment surgery, KOAT-TV reported.

The NMAA did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

“So I went to one day of volleyball conditioning, and a few days later I was told that I couldn’t [play] because the NMAA said you have to play the sport that your gender is on your birth certificate. That was really devastating for me,” Alex said.

Laguna-Acoma High School declined comment to ABC News Thursday. The district superintendent and district athletic secretary did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

“I just cried,” Alex said. “It may not seem like a big deal … but it made me feel like I was less than my peers, that I didn’t have the same rights and the same privileges. And it really hurt knowing that I was still seen as a male in the state’s eyes.”

Terri Trujillo said Alex was the first male-to-female transgender in their small, Native American community.

“When she first started coming out. … we got a lot of ridicule,” she said. “It was hard, as a parent.”

She said one incident involved Alex getting suspended for using the female restroom.

“She was told to use the male restroom or ask the teacher for a key,” Terri Trujillo said. “If she couldn’t find a key, then she’d have to run from her classes to the front office to the only unisex restroom up there.”

Terri Trujillo said she started advocating for change at Alex’s school. She also started a transgender support group in the area.

“We have a high-rate of suicide in our community, and the majority of these students are members of the LGBT community,” she said. “I used to think we were alone … but … people have been more accepting. We’ve gotten a lot of support.”

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First of Seven Detained FIFA Officials Extradited to the US

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A suspended soccer official has been extradited from Switzerland to the U.S. to face corruption charges.

Jeffrey Webb is the first of seven FIFA officials to be extradited to face charges stemming from $150 million in bribes paid over more than two decades for marketing and television rights to soccer tournaments.

Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands and was arrested two months ago in Zurich, agreed to put up no fight to his extradition.

He arrived in New York overnight for eventual presentment before a judge.

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First of Seven Detained FIFA Officials Extradited to the US

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A suspended soccer official has been extradited from Switzerland to the U.S. to face corruption charges.

Jeffrey Webb is the first of seven FIFA officials to be extradited to face charges stemming from $150 million in bribes paid over more than two decades for marketing and television rights to soccer tournaments.

Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands and was arrested two months ago in Zurich, agreed to put up no fight to his extradition.

He arrived in New York overnight for eventual presentment before a judge.

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See Caitlyn Jenner Preach Acceptance in Emotional ESPYs Award Speech

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Caitlyn Jenner made an emotional plea for “accepting people for who they are” as she was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at Wednesday’s ESPYs in Los Angeles.

Jenner, donning a white, long-sleeve gown, acknowledged her mother, her children and ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in her acceptance speech and called the past few months a “whirlwind.”

She said she had never met a transgender person until the past few months, and instead dealt with her “situation” alone and in private.

“That turned this journey into an already incredible education,” Jenner said.

“This transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine,” she said, adding that “trans people … deserve your respect.”

Jenner, a former Olympic superstar, said she knows the “power of the spotlight” and understands “with attention comes responsibility.”

“It’s about all of us accepting one another,” she said.

Kendall, Kylie and Brody Jenner posed on the red carpet earlier tonight to support their famous dad.

Jenner’s other children were also at the ceremony for support: Burt Jenner, Cassandra Marino and Brandon Jenner, as well as daughter-in-law Leah Jenner and step-daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, all seen in this photo posted by Kourtney.

Brody Jenner told ABC News Wednesday night it was “such a courageous thing for her to come out” and said Caitlyn is “extremely happy.”

Brody said they’re all celebrating with a big family dinner.

Jenner, 66, formerly known as Bruce, revealed in April that she is woman. In June, Vanity Fair magazine released the first photo of the former Olympian since her physical transformation, as well as her name.

“Bruce has received many accolades over the years for being one of the greatest Olympians of our time but The ESPYS are honored to celebrate Bruce becoming Caitlyn,” said executive producer Maura Mandt in a statement last month.

“She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.”

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Dale Earnhardt Junior Backs Track-Specific Packages

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(JOLIET, Ill.) — NASCAR is expected to introduce new aerodynamic packages tailored to individual courses at some point for the Sprint Cup Series, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for one thinks it’s a good idea.

“Absolutely. I think that makes the racing more interesting,” Earnhardt said during a break in an open test session at Chicagoland Speedway on Wednesday, reports Nascar.com.

“I think it’s more interesting for the fans to go through that cycle of learning about these packages and what they do and what type of racing they create,” he said. ” Plus I think … it’s a good way to sort of tweak and adjust the racing to make better racing at that track.”

“It was same-old, same-old for so long, so this is kind of neat and exciting — unprecedented really. They used to cut the spoilers and trim them for makes and models throughout the year and adjust to try to level the playing field, but this is a big deal, really, to change the whole thing for everybody at this track and then try something so extreme at another track,” Earnhardt noted of the lower downforce aero packages now being tested, which Earnhardt said cause problems with tires during the testing at Chicago.

“We saw the tires tearing up,” he said. “So, I think we run the 2015 current package that we ran all year hear, and who knows what’ll happen next year, though.”

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ESPYs 2015: Devon Still Makes Heartbreaking Speech About Daughter Leah’s Battle With Cancer

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still said Wednesday night he felt like he was in a nightmare after his daughter Leah’s initial cancer diagnosis.

Devon and 5-year-old Leah were honored at Wednesday’s ESPY Awards with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, presented by LeBron James. Devon has been by his daughter’s side during her battle with cancer, often sharing some of their special moments — like fist bumps and pep talks — on social media.

In his heartfelt ESPYs acceptance speech, Devon said that during Leah’s treatments, he’d go down to the hospital chapel and cry. He said he’d ask God why his daughter had to battle cancer instead of him.

“I am here today to let y’all know, as long as I have this platform I’m going to continue to fight for y’all,” he said.

Leah did not attend Wednesday night’s ceremony, but she did appear in a brief video message, thanking everyone for their support.

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ESPYs 2015: Devon Still Makes Heartbreaking Speech About Daughter Leah’s Battle With Cancer

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still said Wednesday night he felt like he was in a nightmare after his daughter Leah’s initial cancer diagnosis.

Devon and 5-year-old Leah were honored at Wednesday’s ESPY Awards with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, presented by LeBron James. Devon has been by his daughter’s side during her battle with cancer, often sharing some of their special moments — like fist bumps and pep talks — on social media.

In his heartfelt ESPYs acceptance speech, Devon said that during Leah’s treatments, he’d go down to the hospital chapel and cry. He said he’d ask God why his daughter had to battle cancer instead of him.

“I am here today to let y’all know, as long as I have this platform I’m going to continue to fight for y’all,” he said.

Leah did not attend Wednesday night’s ceremony, but she did appear in a brief video message, thanking everyone for their support.

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ESPYs 2015: Devon Still Makes Heartbreaking Speech About Daughter Leah’s Battle With Cancer

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still said Wednesday night he felt like he was in a nightmare after his daughter Leah’s initial cancer diagnosis.

Devon and 5-year-old Leah were honored at Wednesday’s ESPY Awards with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, presented by LeBron James. Devon has been by his daughter’s side during her battle with cancer, often sharing some of their special moments — like fist bumps and pep talks — on social media.

In his heartfelt ESPYs acceptance speech, Devon said that during Leah’s treatments, he’d go down to the hospital chapel and cry. He said he’d ask God why his daughter had to battle cancer instead of him.

“I am here today to let y’all know, as long as I have this platform I’m going to continue to fight for y’all,” he said.

Leah did not attend Wednesday night’s ceremony, but she did appear in a brief video message, thanking everyone for their support.

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ESPYs 2015: Host Joel McHale’s Best Digs

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) — Host Joel McHale’s opening monologue at the ESPY Awards took digs at some of the world’s top athletes, from the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski to Triple Crown winning jockey Victor Espinoza.

Here are some of McHale’s best jokes:

1. American Pharoah

Triple Crown winning racehorse American Pharoah will spend his off-season like any other world-class athlete, McHale said — “siring countless children.”

2. Jordan Spieth

Golf’s Jordan Spieth, 21, is having a big year, McHale said. The host called Spieth the “new Tiger Woods.”

“Which is great news for golf, and terrible news for the future Mrs. Jordan Speith,” McHale said, as the camera panned to Woods’ ex-girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn.

3. NFL fireworks accidents

“Not one, but two NFL players blew their fingers off in firework accident this summer,” the host said, referring to C.J. Wilson of Tampa Bay and Jason Pierre Paul of the Giants.

“You know who’s not dumb enough to hold a lit firecracker?” McHale asked. “All women!”

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