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Federer OK with gay

ROME -- Roger Federer and Andy Murray believe there would be no problem if a men's tennis player comes out as gay.

The second- and third-ranked players were asked about the possibility Sunday at the Italian Open. NBA veteran Jason Collins recently became the first active player in any of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out.

"I don't think it would be a problem," Federer said. "We're very relaxed. We don't play a team sport and see each other all the time. ... We're very open. So whatever happens, happens. I don't know if there are any (gay players). So far from what I've heard, no. But that could change, possibly because of the case in the NBA."

Over the years, women's tennis greats Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Amelie Mauresmo came out about their sexual orientation and Collins called Navratilova one of his heroes.

After Collins' announcement last month, President Barack Obama called the 34-year-old Washington Wizards player to congratulate him and tell him he was proud of his courage.

"I think everyone has gotten better at dealing with it," Murray said. "More and more players have come out and I think there has to be some players that are probably gay. From speaking to the other players, I don't think anyone has any issues with it. So I hope that in tennis it's an issue that is dealt with well when the situation arises."

 

No. 1 CFL pick signs in NFL

HAMILTON, Ont. -- The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will have to wait to get defensive tackle Linden Gaydosh into their lineup.

The first overall pick at this month's CFL draft has signed as a free agent with the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

Gaydosh's agent, Darren Gill, announced the signing on Twitter on Sunday.

The 6-3, 314-pound Gaydosh signed the NFL deal after attending the Panthers' rookie camp over the weekend as an undrafted free agent.

Gaydosh, who played collegiately at the University of Calgary, is the latest Canadian to ink an NFL deal.

Regina defensive tackle Stefan Charles and McMaster offensive lineman Matt Sewell (both with the Tennessee Titans), Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Andy Mulumba (Green Bay Packers) and Wagner linebacker C.O. Prime (Indianapolis Colts) all signed with their NFL clubs prior to the CFL draft.

 

Winterhawks WHL champs

EDMONTON -- The Portland Winterhawks earned some redemption in the Western Hockey League final.

After reaching the final three years in a row, the Winterhawks finally won the Ed Chynoweth Cup with a 5-1 victory over the defending champion Edmonton Oil Kings in Game 6 on Sunday.

Last season the Winterhawks lost out to the Oil Kings in a 4-3 series decision, and the year previous to the Kootenay Ice by a 4-1 margin.

"To win a championship, never mind getting here two times before and losing, it's very special," said Portland head coach Travis Green. "We had a real determined group this year. We had a real mature group this year for such a young team. You learn a lot when you get here twice and lose. I think we did a lot of learning and our group was real even-keeled this year."

 

Westra takes stage 1

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- Lieuwe Westra of the Netherlands easily outsprinted Spaniard Francisco Mancebo to claim the sweltering and hilly stage 1 of the Tour of California and assume the overall race lead Sunday.

Westra, an eight-year pro who claimed his 12th career win, completed the 165.1-kilometre Escondido road race in 4 hours, 31 minutes and 33 seconds as temperatures reached into the high 30s Celsius.

Mancebo finished second a few bikes lengths behind on the opening day of the eighth annual race that featured more than 3,660 metres of desert climbing.

Peter Sagan of Slovakia, who won five stages of the race last year, finished third, trailing by six seconds.

 

Messi reinjures hammy

MADRID, Spain -- Barcelona says forward Lionel Messi has reinjured a right hamstring that has limited his playing time during the past six weeks.

Messi aggravated the hamstring he originally hurt on April 2 in Sunday's 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid.

The Argentina forward will undergo tests on Monday.

Messi, who was making his first league start since the injury, left the pitch in the 68th minute after Barcelona had made all three substitutions and was trailing 1-0.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 13, 2013 C5

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