Outsports’ Cyd Zeigler will cover the Super Bowl from Arizona on Sunday in what Outsports reports is the first time a gay media outlet has been credentialed to cover the Super Bowl.
Outsports readers are probably used to seeing co-founder and manager Jim Buzinski’s annual “Gay Guide to the Super Bowl,” but this year they’ll also see more in-depth coverage, including an exploration of “how a gay player would fit in the aftermath of Michael Sam coming out and why people think he’s not in the league,” Buzinski said in an email. As the SEC defensive player of the year in 2013 and a St. Louis Rams 2014 draft pick, Sam was widely expected to be on an NFL roster when the season began. He was cut by the Rams and was not on any team’s active roster at any point this season.
This was Outsports’ first try at getting credentials to sit in the press box, and Buzinski calls this first Super Bowl an Outsports “milestone.”
Without the press credentials, Outsports would have been writing about the game only minimally because the cost of attending would have been prohibitive. Reuters puts the average cost of a resold ticket at around $3,000.
There was no problem getting credentials from the NFL this year, Buzinski said. Outsports’ story about the credentials emphasized that the NFL administration is “incredibly supportive” of LGBT issues and Outsports in particular. The story notes that perhaps the lack of credentialed gay media at previous Super Bowls was simply a result of media not requesting credentials.
The fact that this is the first time the NFL has credentialed an LGBT publication may be more a factor of the publications than the NFL. Out magazine editors Aaron Hicklin and Jerry Portwood said they weren’t sure the magazine had ever submitted a request. Though one other LGBT publication said they had requested a credential but never heard back. So it may be more – or as much – a function of lack of requests than lack of granting said requests.
In the past, when they’ve been denied credentials to cover a game in another sport, Outsports has given “The Powers That Be” the chance to reconsider by employing the classic technique of promised future transparency, favored by FOI-requesters everywhere. “A few times some events have temporarily denied us,” Buzinski said. “And when I said I wanted to write a story on their reasons for rejecting us when we’ve been credentialed in the past by the NFL, NBA and Major Leaue Baseball, the credential magically is approved.”