Jerry Jones: Dallas Cowboys would welcome a gay player

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys and arguably the most famous of the league’s 32 owners, told Wade Davis, a former defensive back who came out in 2012, that he and the Cowboys would welcome an openly gay player.

“When someone like him speaks out, the world changes,” Davis told USA TODAY Sports.

Davis spoke to NFL owners, coaches and general managers about sexual orientation in sports on Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. Davis came out nine years after his last stint on an NFL roster ended and has already received positive feedback from meetings in New York with NFL officials, including commissioner Roger Goodell, over the past several months.

But there was a moment after his second presentation, this one to team owners on Tuesday morning, that confirmed to Davis just how much impact he had made in the quest to eliminate homophobia in the NFL.

But it wasn’t just Jones. It was coaches like John Fox of the Denver Broncos, who called Davis’ presentation the best he had ever seen at these annual meetings, and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who said it is up to NFL owners to spearhead this culture change.

Respect in the workplace has been the overarching theme at the league’s annual meetings, from the fallout of the Miami Dolphins locker room bullying scandal to discussions about use of racial slurs to preparations for the league’s first openly gay player in former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who came out last month and is preparing for the draft.

“I think the most important thing is that it is a matter of respect,” Blank told USA TODAY Sports. “How we live is more important than what we say about it. The guidance that we’re getting from the league is outstanding, and the attention that it is getting is outstanding. But is up to us to make sure it becomes a living part of our culture, with more sensitivity, more awareness of the impact of what we’re saying.”

Davis said he was approached by numerous coaches and other team executives to visit with teams. He hasn’t set up any presentations yet, but Davis and Troy Vincent, the former Pro Bowl defensive back who was named the NFL’s vice present of football operations, will work to set up a program for speaking directly to players.

“I might share more of my personal stories with players, but I’m going to let them know that hey, we don’t want to be treated any differently, we just want to be part of the NFL family, too,” said Davis, who played two years for NFL Europe and participated in three NFL training camps.

Fox’s Broncos team could be among those Davis visits this year, though Fox won’t wait to share what he learned in Orlando once he returns to Denver.

“You need diversification in everything — even sexual orientation. It has to be in the conversation,” Fox said. “I think it was very profound. It was definitely eye-opening for me.”

—  Steve Ramos

Which Kardashian are Todd and Cooper Smith Koch most like?

 Dallas couple Todd Koch and Cooper Smith are seen here with their two children in the June edition of J.C. Penney’s catalog. Cooper Smith doesn’t really see himself as a Kardashian, even though he found himself on a Dallas Morning News list of “16 memorable Dallas couples” with not just one, but TWO Kardashians.

“I’m as shocked as anyone when I say this — the person on that list I’m most like is probably President Bush,” Smith said. “Or Kelly Clarkson, because she’s such a dork who rambles on and on like me.”

Smith and Koch have been together longer than all but two of the couples listed — the Bushes and the Joneses. Many of the straight couples shown have already split up.

Todd and Cooper Smith-Koch are the only gay couple named and are included for the attention they received for appearing in the J.C. Penney Father’s Day ad in 2012.

“If they only knew how unglamorous our life is,” Smith said.

Smith said he had no idea the Morning News was doing the piece.

Other couples on the list include Cowboys’ owner Jerry and Gene Jones, Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber (he doesn’t live here, does he? We hope not), Sean Lowe — The Bachelor — and one of the 40 or more women he was simultaneously dating on the air, two Kardashians and their current Dallas boyfriends, Kelly Clarkson and her husband and Tony Romo and a variety of his girlfriends.

Smith described his glamorous life. He said mostly they do things like take the kids to school, feed them and put them to bed. He would have talked longer, but he had to run home to get the garbage disposal fixed. Now that’s how to really become a Valentine’s Day couple.

—  David Taffet

The good, the bad & the ‘A-List’

These arts, cultural & sports stories defined gay Dallas in 2011

FASHIONS AND FORWARD  |  The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

FASHIONS AND FORWARD | The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the DMA, above, was a highlight of the arts scene in 2011, while Dirk Nowitzki’s performance in the NBA playoffs gave the Mavs their first-ever — and much deserved — world title. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

A lot of eyes were focused on Dallas nationally in 2011 — for good and bad — but much of what made the city a fun place last year has specific queer appeal. CULTURE The rise of the reality TV star. 2011 was the year Dallas made a big splash across everyone’s television sets — and it had nothing to do with who shot J.R. (although that’s pending). From the culinary to the conniving, queer Dallasites were big on the small screen. On the positive side were generally good portrayals of gay Texans. Leslie Ezelle almost made it all the way in The Next Design Star, while The Cake Guys’ Chad Fitzgerald is still in contention on TLC’s The Next Great Baker. Lewisville’s Ben Starr was a standout on MasterChef. On the web, Andy Stark, Debbie Forth and Brent Paxton made strides with Internet shows Bear It All, LezBeProud and The Dallas Life,respectively.

‘A’ to Z  |  ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

‘A’ to Z | ‘The A-LIst: Dallas,’ above, had its detractors, but some reality TV stars from Big D, like Chad Fitzgerald, Leslie Ezelle and Ben Starr, represented us well.

There were downsides, though. Drew Ginsburg served as the token gay on Bravo’s teeth-clenching Most Eligible: Dallas, and the women on Big Rich Texas seemed a bit clichéd. But none were more polarizing than the cast of Logo’s The A-List: Dallas. Whether people loved or hated it, the six 20somethings (five gays, one girl) reflected stereotypes that made people cringe. Gaultier makes Dallas his runway. The Dallas Museum of Art scored a coup, thanks to couture. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk not only featured the work of the famed designer, but was presented the designs in an innovative manner. Nothing about it was stuffy. Seeing his iconic designs in person is almost a religious experience — especially when its Madonna’s cone bra. Gaultier reminded us that art is more than paintings on a wall. (A close runner-up: The Caravaggio exhibit in Fort Worth.) The Return of Razzle Dazzle. ­­There was speculation whether Razzle Dazzle could actually renew itself after a near-decade lull, but the five-day spectacular was a hallmark during National Pride Month in June, organized by the Cedar Springs Merchant Association. The event started slowly with the wine walk but ramped up to the main event street party headlined by rapper Cazwell. Folding in the MetroBall with Deborah Cox, the dazzle had returned with high-profile entertainment and more than 10,000 in attendance on the final night. A Gathering pulled it together. TITAS executive director Charles Santos took on the daunting task of producing A Gathering, a collective of area performance arts companies, commemorating 30 years of AIDS. Groups such as the Dallas Opera, Turtle Creek Chorale and Dallas Theater Center donated their time for this one-of-a-kind show with all proceeds benefiting Dallas’ leading AIDS services organizations. And it was worth it. A stirring night of song, dance and art culminated in an approximate 1,000 in attendance and $60,000 raised for local charities. Bravo, indeed. The Bronx closed after 35 years. Cedar Springs isn’t short on its institutions, but when it lost The Bronx, the gayborhood felt a real loss. For more than three decades, the restaurant was home to many Sunday brunches and date nights in the community. We were introduced to Stephan Pyles there, and ultimately, we just always figured on it being there as part of the fabric of the Strip. A sister company to the neighboring Warwick Melrose bought the property with rumors of expansion. But as yet, the restaurant stands steadfast in its place as a reminder of all those memories that happened within its walls and on its plates.  The Omni changed the Dallas skyline. In November, The Omni Dallas hotel opened the doors to its 23-story structure and waited to fill it’s 1,000 rooms to Dallas visitors and staycationers. Connected to the Dallas Convention Center, the ultra-modern hotel is expected to increase the city’s convention business which has the Dallas Visitors and Conventions Bureau salivating — as they should. The hotel brought modern flair to a booming Downtown and inside was no different. With quality eateries and a healthy collection of art, including some by gay artists Cathey Miller and Ted Kincaid, the Omni quickly became a go-to spot for those even from Dallas. SPORTS The Super Bowl came to town. Although seeing the Cowboys make Super Bowl XLV would have been nice for locals, the event itself caused a major stir, both good and bad. Ticketing issues caused a commotion with some disgruntled buyers and Jerry Jones got a bad rap for some disorganization surrounding the game. But the world’s eyes were on North Texas as not only the game was of a galactic measure, but the celebs were too. From Kardashians to Ke$ha to Kevin Costner, parties and concerts flooded the city and the streets. The gays even got in on the action. Despite crummy weather, the Super Street Party was billed as the “world’s first ever gay Super Bowl party.” The ice and snow had cleared out and the gays came out, (and went back in to the warmer clubs) to get their football on. The XLV Party at the Cotton Bowl included a misguided gay night with acts such as Village People, Lady Bunny and Cazwell that was ultimately canceled. The Mavericks won big. The Mavs are like the boyfriend you can’t let go of because you see how much potential there is despite his shortcomings. After making the playoffs with some just-misses, the team pulled through to win against championship rivals, Miami Heat, who beat them in 2006. In June, the team cooled the Heat in six games, taking home its first NBA Championship, with Dirk Nowitzki appropriately being named MVP. The Rangers gave us faith. Pro sports ruled big in these parts. The Mavericks got us in the mood for championships and the Texas Rangers almost pulled off a victory in the World Series. With a strong and consistent showing for the season, the Rangers went on to defend their AL West Division pennant. Hopes were high as they handily defeated the Detroit Tigers in game six, but lost the in the seventh game. Although it was a crushing loss, the Texas Rangers proved why we need to stand by our men.

— Rich Lopez

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

One thing Dallas did right last week … or two if you count the gay block Super Bowl block party

Cowboys Stadium

It’s not easy to find things Dallas did right in preparing for the Super Bowl.

An ESPN commentator said he didn’t think it was possible to find a worse host city than Jacksonville, but they did.

And the Australian press wrote scathing commentary about Dallas asking, “How’s a married man on a ‘business trip’ to the Super Bowl supposed to flaunt his trophy girlfriend — be she rented or otherwise — when she’s being forced to wear so many clothes?”

Today we learn that Jerry Jones sold 3,500 tickets for nonexistent seats, not the 1,200 as reported earlier. The NFL said they’re offering these fans tickets to next year’s game, although not the airfare to get there or cost of extra hotel nights.

Stupid things were planned like a series of outdoor concerts in February, including one that pandered to the lowest stereotypes and was marketed unsuccessfully to the LGBT community. Seriously. Has anyone ever gone to an outdoor concert in Dallas in February?

—  David Taffet

Query • 12.03.10

Are you excited about the Super Bowl coming to DFW?

………………………

Bobby Natale — “No, not really — at least not about the game. But the clubs are going to be hopping, hooking the up the economy. Positive thing there.”

Daniela Gonzalez — “No! My job will be a pain.”

Cristov Russell — “Not in the slightest.”

Raun Savage — “Am I looking forward to it? The simple answer would be no. However, I am grateful for the boost it will bring to our local economy.”

Evilu Pridgeon — “Rent your house to people going to the game and be someone else making money besides Jerry Jones.”

Holly Smith — “No! I live literally across the street from that giant eyesore! I still haven’t figured out how I am going to leave my house! Anyone want to put me and my three doggies up for a few nights?”

……………………

Have a suggestion for a question you’d like us to ask?
E-mail it to nash@dallasvoice.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Blowing up Texas Stadium is a waste of an area asset for the benefit of one person

Texas Stadium was purposely destroyed so that the City of Irving had no choice but to blow it up. It remains a giant billboard hanger until its Sunday implosion.
Texas Stadium was purposely destroyed so that the City of Irving had no choice but to blow it up. It remains a giant billboard hanger until its Sunday implosion.

I love blowing up a building as much as the next person, but the demolition of Texas Stadium in Irving this weekend just pisses me off.

Since buying the team, Jerry Jones spent little on upkeep of the property. By running the stadium into the ground, he forced the area to build him a new one. By the time the team left, Texas stadium was an eyesore.

When Arlington won the bidding war, after Dallas refused to hand over as much taxpayer money as he wanted, the destruction of the Irving property seemed to accelerate.

Irving originally had some wonderful plans for the property — extend the canal from Las Colinas, build apartments and offices and hotels in a park-like setting.

Now we learn that after the stadium is blown up, the property will be used to stage the expansion of Airport Freeway for the next seven years!

The Eyesore in Irving will give way to an even bigger blot.

Surely, the stadium could have been saved and plenty of uses for it could have been found. Yes, scheduling concerts and high school and college football games here would have cut into Jerry Jones’ and Arlington’s profits. Yes, it have cost some money to renovate the property that the Tarrant County Cowboys’ owner destroyed. But blowing it up costs money too. (And yes, I believe that if the team isn’t in Dallas County or the City of Dallas, they should pay us royalties on the use of “Dallas.”)

Although maybe the interior destruction of the facility’s infrastructure was even more significant than the exterior’s deterioration. If that’s the case, a nice big bill should have been sent to Jones.

Am I really getting sentimental about Texas Stadium? No. I just dislike this sort of unnecessary waste. But most people in the area do have their memories of it.

My best memory of Texas Stadium? We filmed the Season 1 finale of “Friday Night Lights” here because the Alamodome (much closer to “home-base” Austin, where most of the series is filmed) was not available. And shameless plug: Season 4 begins airing on NBC on May 7. Filming for season 5 gets underway in Austin this month.

—  David Taffet