In Major League Baseball's 146-year history, there's never been an openly gay player. Until now.

First baseman David Denson made Major League Baseball history without even stepping onto a big league field.

According to Tom Haudricourt in an article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Denson's path to the history books began about a month ago when one of his teammates made a homophobic joke directed his way. That's when Denson took a leap of faith and shared something with his teammates: He's gay.


He can also hit a 515-foot home run, so there's that. GIF from dplbaseball.

To his surprise and relief, his teammates — members of the Milwaukee Brewers' minor-league affiliate in Helena, Montana — accepted him with open arms, telling him, "You're still our teammate. You're still our brother."


Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images.

As it turns out, there's never been an active, openly gay player affiliated with an MLB team before. Denson is the first.

Denson isn't the first gay man to play baseball — players like Glenn Burke and Billy Bean came out after their playing careers came to a close, and it's almost a certainty that of the 1,200 players currently on MLB 40-man rosters, there are a handful of closeted players — but he is the first to "go public" with that news, if you will.


In professional sports — and in men's sports, in particular — coming out as gay can make for a challenging career.

As much of the world has gotten to the point of at very least being able to accept gay individuals in the world around them, there's still a massive stigma when it comes to athletes.

Take, for example, Michael Sam, who made history in 2014 as the first out gay football player to be drafted by an NFL team.

After being drafted in the seventh round by the St. Louis Rams, Sam had an impressive pre-season before ultimately getting cut by the team.

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images.

Unable to land a roster spot on another NFL team, Sam planned to play this season for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League as he continued to pursue his dream of playing pro football.

Last week, after playing just one game with the Alouettes, Sam announced via Twitter that he was walking away from the game of football.

"The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health. Because of this, I am going to step away from the game at this time. I thank the Alouettes for this opportunity, and hope to be back on the field soon. Thank you all for your understanding and support." — Michael Sam

Earlier this year, a report came out suggesting that the U.S. lags far behind other countries when it comes to accepting gay athletes.

A survey of six English-speaking countries — the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland — found U.S. athletes perceived more homophobia from fans and teammates than any of the other countries. 54% of U.S. athletes surveyed reported that lesbian, gay, and bisexual athletes were accepted "only slightly or not at all."

Out U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

So, why is it such a big deal that Denson came out? Because he had every reason not to.

He's 20 years old. He has everything to lose.

When former pro basketball player Jason Collins came out as gay in 2013, he was 33 years old, on the tail end of his playing career, and had earned more than $34 million. Had coming out ended his career, he had all that to fall back on.

Denson doesn't have that. He is ranked as the 27th best player in the Brewers' minor league system. There's a real chance that he may never reach the big leagues.

He has the support of his teammates and the Brewers organization; that's crucial.


He opened up about who he is even though he's certainly well aware of the possible outcome. That's courage.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.