Film about anti-lesbian basketball coach featured for Cinefest final weekend

    By: Peter Crimmins

    This is the final weekend of the Philadelphia Film Festival. One of the featured documentaries is about a basketball coach accused of discrimination. In 2006 a player sued Penn State, saying she was harassed for being perceived as a lesbian.

    By: Peter Crimmins
    pcrimmins@whyy.org

    This is the final weekend of  the Philadelphia Film Festival. One of the featured documentaries is about a basketball coach accused of discrimination. In 2006 a player sued Penn State, saying she was harassed for being perceived as a lesbian.

    Transcript:
    People who follow women’s basketball closely has known that the coach, Rene Portland, of Penn State didn’t want lesbians on her team.

    There were no repercussions until 2006 when one of her players, Jennifer Harris, sued the university for discrimination. The case is featured in the film Training Rules by Dee Mosbacher.

    Mosbacher says discrimination in women’s basketball puts pressure on players to appear more feminine, to keep their hair long and even wear makeup on the court.

    Mosbacher: “Take a look at Final Four this weekend, you’ll see 95 to 99 percent of the players have ponytails, so they won’t look like lesbians.”

    The NCAA has issued a report to college administrators outlining best practices to avoid “negative recruitment” – where coaches tell potential recruits that a rival college team is coached by a lesbian. The report urges administrators to adopt clear recruitment policies and educate coaches on legal liabilities.

    More information:
    Training Rules plays on Saturday, April 4, at the Ritz East at 7 PM and Sunday, April 5, at the The Bridge Cinema DeLux at 12:15 PM

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