UK rugby star Ben Cohen helped kick off
the Gay Softball World Series in Chicago.
The 35th annual NAGAA Gay
Softball World Series kicked off on Monday at the city's Navy Pier.
The week-long tournament was last
hosted by Chicago in 1983, and is considered the largest annual gay
and lesbian sporting event in the world. More than
one-hundred-and-seventy teams from forty-three different cities are
expected to descend on the Windy City. Play begins on Tuesday at
three separate venues.
The 32-year-old Cohen retired from
rugby earlier this year to work on eradicating homophobia and
bullying in sports. The Ben
Cohen StandUp Foundation is based in the UK with an office in
During an appearance on Chicago's Fox
News affiliate, Cohen said gay athletes should be judged on their
“You should be judged on your sport,”
the openly straight Cohen said. “It's a shame that people can't
really be judged just on that.” (The video is embedded in the
right panel of this page.)
Other celebrities appearing at the
tournament's opening ceremony included comedian-actor Leslie Jordan
(Will & Grace) and Pandora Boxx, a former contestant on
RuPaul's Drag Race.