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Michael Sam to Oprah

Gays in The NFL

Reached Out to Me

12/23/2014 8:17 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF



Michael Sam told Oprah Winfrey ... he knows of other gay men currently playing in the NFL -- and some of them have reached out to Michael on the phone to talk. 

Michael sat down with Oprah for a tell-all interview set to air on the OWN network this weekend after a 90-minute documentary focusing on his journey to make an NFL team as an openly gay man. 

During the interview, Oprah asks Sam ... "Gay men in the NFL reached out to you and called you?"
Sam replies says yes ... "very few" did reach out and tell him they were grateful he'd had the courage to come out. 

Oprah also asks Sam why he thinks he was cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Pepperdine Basketball Players

Coach Doesn't Hate Lesbians

... He Hates Drama

12/16/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Pepperdine
women hoopsters are jumping to their coach's defense -- shooting down claims from 2 teammates that he's on an anti-lesbian campaign. 

TMZ Sports broke the story... Haley Videckis and Layana White filed a lawsuit against the university because they say coach Ryan Weisenberg said "lesbianism" would not be tolerated on his team.

But multiple players tell us Videckis and White are twisting their coach's words. We're told Weisenberg did make a speech ... telling the team "he doesn't want off-the-court drama brought on the team." 

The players we spoke with felt his message was clear ... don't let relationships -- regardless of sexual preference -- affect your play. 

As for why Videckis and White sued -- we're told it might be because they haven't played in any games.

Videckis and White's attorney says he thinks the coach is telling players "what would be good for them to say" about the lawsuit.

Lance Bass

The Bachelor Goes Out With a Bang ...

And a Lap Dance or Two

12/10/2014 4:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
TMZ TV

121014_tv_tune_in_lance_bass_launch_v2Lance Bass is enjoyed his last few moments of freedom before marriage with a surprise bachelor party ... and the biggest surprise -- his husband-to-be was there too! Yay??

Oh, there were also lots of penis party favors. No surprise there. 
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Michael Sam's Ex-Teammate

HE BELONGS IN THE NFL

12/4/2014 12:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1204-marvin-foster-michael-sam-TWITTER-01Michael Sam's former college teammate -- who's played with NFL stars like Aldon Smith and Sheldon Richardson -- says Sam is RIGHT ... his sexual orientation is the reason he's not in the league. 

We spoke with Marvin Foster -- who played alongside Sam at Missouri -- and says Sam is one of the best players he's ever stepped on the field with. 

"There's no way the Defensive Player of the Year in the SEC should be a free agent," Foster said.  

TMZ Sports posted footage Wednesday showing Sam very strongly suggesting that he has the talent to play in the NFL -- but isn't on a roster because he's openly gay.

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"The kid can play and I think he showed he can play,"  Foster added ... "He had three sacks in the pre-season. I don't know why they cut him." 

But not everyone shares Foster's opinion -- we spoke with an active NFL lineman who tells us, "If Sam was killing he would be on a roster."

The NFL player adds, "He can make an excuse if he wants to ... but that's silly. If you're good, you're good. The NFL teams don't feel that he is."

Michael Sam

I'm Not in the NFL Because I'm Gay

12/3/2014 10:41 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

120314_michael_sam_launch_v2Michael Sam believes he's not on a NFL roster because of the fact he's openly gay -- telling TMZ Sports he strongly believes he's got the talent to play in the league. 

Sam was at LAX this morning when he was asked if he thinks NFL teams are shying away from him because of his sexual orientation ... or if it has to do with the level of talent he faced after college.

"I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year ... so I don't think it had to do with talent."

Translation -- he believes he's on the outs because he's out.  

Sam says he's still focused on getting back into the league ... and told us the chances of Oprah ever reviving the reality show that was in the works before the draft are slim to none.

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Kirk Cameron

Never Said He Believes

God Hates 'F*gs'

11/26/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Kirk Cameron HomophobicKirk Cameron was screwed over by some guys who edited a video to make it look like Cameron said "God hates f*gs."

The video in question was shot 15-20 years ago. Cameron was talking to a friend about the right wing of the church, saying how revolting it was that some of them would say such a thing.

A company called Deeper Understanding grossly misrepresented what Cameron said by editing the clip to make it look like he owned the sentiment. Check out the video below.

We spoke with a rep from Deeper Understanding, who acknowledged the editing was deceptive, but the rep believes that's really how Cameron feels so it's a case of no harm, no foul.

But now ... Living Waters Publications, the Christian company that filmed the original, tells TMZ they fired off a letter to Deeper Understanding, demanding that the company 86 the video from YouTube and STAT.

The video has been removed from YouTube.

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Kirk Cameron

'God Hates F*gs' Vid Is a Smear Campaign ...

I Love Everyone

11/24/2014 5:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

112414_kirk_cameron_launch_v5Kirk Cameron says a video of him blurting out, "God hates f*gs" ... is old news -- from 15-20 years ago -- and is merely being reposted by detractors, angry at the success of his latest Christian film.

The clip shows a conversation between Cameron and Ray Comfort -- his partner in a Christian outreach website -- where Kirk says, "God hates f*gs, and you're going to Hell."

It's obvious the video is edited -- and a rep for Cameron tells us the statement is blatantly "taken out of context." He says Cameron's latest film, "Saving Christmas" is doing very well ... and claims angry Atheists cut up the vid and posted it in an attempt "to defame him."

The rep adds Kirk loves all people.

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Ricky Skaggs

Gay Country Stars Welcomed

'We're All Sinners'

11/23/2014 9:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Country star Ricky Skaggs has a fascinating take on the gay country singers coming out ... they are welcomed and accepted in the country world, because, "We're all sinners."

Our photog ran into Skaggs in Nashville, so he asked about country singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman coming out.  Skaggs seems genuinely accepting -- both for him and on behalf of the country world -- until he drops the line, "We're all sinners."

It's an interesting question for people fighting for gay rights -- can someone be on the right side for the wrong reason?

'I'm Not Gay No More' Guy

Church Threatens Legal Action

Over Song

11/21/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The church where the "I'm Not Gay No More" guy went straight is not only intolerant toward gays, they have an intense dislike for people who steal their tunes.

The Church of God in Christ insists Andrew Caldwell call in the lawyers ... because their now-famous parishioner jazzed up his hilarious moment with background singers and released it on iTunes.  

A church honcho says they're ordering him to stop hawking the song partly because they own the audio, but also because they feel Andrew is making a mockery of the service ... and that's hilarious.

But Andrew's calling BS, telling TMZ he's copyrighted the song ... and says it's his voice and only he -- not even God -- can claim ownership of it.

So maybe the dispute will be settled by a higher power -- Judge Judy.

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'I'm Not Gay No More' Guy

I Went Viral

Now I'm Makin' Records!

11/19/2014 5:28 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The man who almost broke the Internet for screaming, "I'm not gay no more" has a new moneymaker ... a musical version of his anti-penile mantra that he's hawking on iTunes.

Andrew Caldwell's vow -- in front of 40,000 people at the Church of God in Christ's Holy Convocation Convention in St. Louis -- is now heavily auto-tuned, with backup vocals and plenty of catchy beats.

He'll impress the ladies for sure ... as he's already sold more than 200 copies.

Can Broadway be next?

Hank Baskett

Goes to FBI

The Transsexual Extorted Me!

10/25/2014 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Hank Baskett Transsexual Affair
Kendra Wilkinson's husband Hank Baskett has gone to the FBI, claiming the transsexual who has blabbed to the media she had an affair with him illegally recorded and extorted him.

Hank's camp tells TMZ ... he now acknowledges he "hung out with her." His people say Ava London secretly recorded the conversation in which he begs her not to talk about their relationship because he's married. That audio made its way to several tabloids.

We've learned Hank's lawyer went to the FBI this week, complaining not only was the recording illegal ... she tried shaking him down to the tune of $5K in return for silence.

We're told Hank's lawyer Lee Hutton will go to court next week in an attempt to get her records, which his people believe will fully document an extortion attempt.

We now also know what Hank claims happened between him and Ava. He says he met her and one of her friends in a grocery store and they invited him to go to their apartment. They began smoking weed, which somehow led to Ava taking her clothes off, and the deal breaker was when Ava revealed her basket.

Lady Gaga

Such A Yenta!

Plays Matchmaker [VIDEO]

10/23/2014 2:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details



Lady Gaga just gave a couple in England the most AWESOME engagement story ... by helping pull off a surprise marriage proposal during her concert.

Gaga called her friend Jay Lomax and his boyfriend Sean Martins out on stage Tuesday night in Manchester, England. Watch the video (around 1:17) ... Lomax gets down on one knee and pops the question. 

Sean tells us he was completely shocked -- and it turns out the whole thing had been plotted for months by Gaga, Jay, and Jay's famous uncle ... photographer (and Gaga friend) Terry Richardson.

Martins says he only got suspicious when Lomax wouldn't let him drink too much at the concert ... and told him to take off his glasses before going out on stage.

Sean says his engagement ring is inscribed with the lyric, "We could belong together" ... from his and Jay's favorite Gaga song, "Artpop."

1023-lady-gaga-ring-SUB-TMZ-01Martins says there's only one thing that could top the proposal -- having Cher perform at the wedding.

Mazel!

NBA Great Mitch Richmond

To Michael Sam:

Don't Give Up Your Dreams, Bro

10/22/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

102114_mitch_richmond_launchNBA Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond has a very clear message for Michael Sam -- don't give up -- telling TMZ Sports that he hopes Sam does everything he can to keep his NFL dream alive.

Richmond was out in Calabasas when our camera guy asked the 6-time All-Star and Cowboys fan about Sam being cut from the 'Boys practice squad to make room for another player.

Check out the clip -- Richmond goes all Jim Valvano on us, delivering just the message that Sam probably needs to hear right now.

And just in case you need some extra motivation today, here's Jimmy V at his finest ... 

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