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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Kicker Alan Gendreau bids to be first openly gay NFL player

04.24.13 at 8:06 am ET

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MLB: Athletics at Red Sox, 4:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Cardinals at Nationals, 1 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Indians at White Sox, 2:10 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Rockets at Thunder, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Hawks at Pacers, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Lakers at Spurs, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL: Kings at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Sharks at Coyotes, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ Former Middle Tennessee State kicker Alan Gendreau, the leading scorer in the history of the Sun Belt Conference, is aiming to become the first openly gay NFL player. Gendreau, who was not drafted when he graduated a year ago after an inconsistent senior season, reportedly has drawn interest from a couple of NFL teams.

The 23-year-old, who is a devout Christian, came out to family and friends in his hometown of Orlando when he was 16. His homosexuality was known to his teammates at Middle Tennessee.

“Everyone just saw him as a football player,” former teammate Josh Davis told Outsports. “He was just one of the guys. The fact that he proved himself on the field, there was a respect for him. He’s a good guy. He’s a lot of fun to be around. With all the coaches and players, he had a good relationship.”

After a year working on his game, Gendreau is ready to take a shot at the pros. And he’s not afraid to break barriers and send a message to young players in his situation.

“All those kids playing sports in the South or anywhere else, kids who are afraid to be themselves, I just want to put my arm around them and help them,” Gendreau told Outsports. “And if my story can do that, I figure I owe it to them to give it the best ending I can.”

‘™¦ Liverpool soccer star Luis Suarez, who bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday’s 2-2 draw, accepted a charge of violent conduct from the Football Association but said he does not deserve a suspension of more than three games. His case is due to be heard on Wednesday.

Suarez, who apologized after the game, was suspended seven matches for a similar incident when he played for the Dutch team Ajax in 2010.

Meanwhile, Mike Tyson, who famously bit the ear of Evander Holyfield during their 1997 bout, downplayed this week’s incident.

“[Suarez] bit someone, it happens,” Tyson said during an appearance on the David Glenn radio show. “I am sure he will make amends with this guy. I made amends with Evander and we got on with our lives.”

‘™¦ The commemorative plaque at San Francisco’s AT&T Park that honors Barry Bonds‘ record-setting 756th home run is gone. The plaque hung on the brick facade in right-center field until a few days ago, and the team is investigating.

“We’re in the process of replacing it,” team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said. “We’re not sure what happened. We’re reviewing video but haven’t found anything yet.”

Bonds broke Hank Aaron‘s career record on Aug. 7, 2007, during the last of his 22 major league seasons. He finished with 762 home runs.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On April 24, 1983, which player scored 1:52 into overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Sabres in Game 7 of their Adams Division finals series at Boston Garden?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I thought the fouls on Kevin [Garnett] were horrendous, and had a huge effect on us. He never got his rhythm when you could see he was going to have a game. It hurt us.” — Celtics coach Doc Rivers, on the refereeing in Tuesday night’s loss to the Knicks

STAT OF THE DAY: 5 — Former Red Sox players in the starting lineup for the A’s in Tuesday night’s game at Fenway: Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Bartolo Colon

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Manny Ramirez hits his league-leading third home run for the EDA Rhinos against the Brother Elephants in Taiwan’s Chinese Professional League. The former Red Sox star is hitting .322.

Shaquille O’Neal presents the five worst plays in the NBA this season.

From a Double-A game Monday, Erie SeaWolves shortstop Hernan Perez makes nice play to force a Bowie Baysox runner at second base.


SOOTHING SOUNDS: Robert Knight was born on this day in 1945.

Read More: Alan Gendreau, Barry Bonds, Luis Suarez, Mike Tyson