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It was the kiss seen around the world. How Abby Wambach is challenging homophobia in sports.

We've seen it hundreds of times before: An athlete wins a championship, then rushes to embrace their significant other. So what makes this any different?

It was the kiss seen around the world. How Abby Wambach is challenging homophobia in sports.

Arguably one of the greatest soccer players in U.S. history, Abby Wambach is finally a World Cup champion.

Making her fourth tournament appearance since joining the U.S. Women's National Team in 2001, Wambach ended the 2016 World Cup a champion for the very first time — but that's not what the world is talking about the morning after.

Instead, they're focused on something she did that countless athletes have done before as they basked in the glow of victory: She kissed her wife.


Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

As soon as the final whistle was blown, Wambach rushed to the sidelines to find and kiss her wife, Sarah Huffman.

It was a beautiful moment with major potential to, as BuzzFeed said, "destroy your tear ducts."

Though Wambach and Huffman have been married since 2013, their kiss seemed like the perfect follow-up to June's marriage equality decision.

Both Huffman (a former professional soccer player herself) and Wambach have been involved with the LGBT sports organization Athlete Ally. However, Wambach has made clear that their relationship is about love — as most relationships are! — not politics.

After their wedding in 2013, Wambach said:

"I know that I'll end up being a role model for many, many people out there for all kinds of reasons. My first hope is for being a genuine, honest and good person, then a great soccer player and then down the line, the choice I've made to marry not only my best friend and teammate, but the love of my life. ... I can't speak for other people, but for me, I feel like gone are the days that you need to come out of a closet. I never felt like I was in a closet. I never did. I always felt comfortable with who I am and the decisions I made."

Wambach and Huffman at a party thrown by ESPN earlier this year. Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for ESPN.

Why is this a big deal? Well, sports have not exactly been the most LGBT-inclusive places for fans and athletes.

Just earlier this year, a study confirmed what many already knew: There's a lot of homophobia in the sporting world, especially in the United States.

After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL draft, football star Michael Sam kissed his boyfriend on camera, sparking outrage in the media. During last year's Men's World Cup, homophobic chants from the stands were common enough to the point that FIFA felt the need to investigate.

So, yeah, even just a little bit of same-sex PDA can be a big deal.

Unfortunately, Wambach and Huffman's adorable World Cup kiss was't completely without controversy.

A Getty Image caption for one of the photos originally referred to Huffman as Wambach's "friend." Once people on Twitter pointed this out, the captions were updated accordingly.


But overwhelmingly, the Internet celebrated with the team and the happy couple.




Congratulations, Abby Wambach and the U.S. Women's National Team! You did it!

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

A young boy tried to grab the Pope's skull cap

A boy of about 10-years-old with a mental disability stole the show at Pope Francis' weekly general audience on Wednesday at the Vatican auditorium. In front of an audience of thousands the boy walked past security and onto the stage while priests delivered prayers and introductory speeches.

The boy, later identified as Paolo, Jr., greeted the pope by shaking his hand and when it was clear that he had no intention of leaving, the pontiff asked Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, the head of protocol, to let the boy borrow his chair.

The boy's activity on the stage was clearly a breach of Vatican protocol but Pope Francis didn't seem to be bothered one bit. He looked at the child with a sense of joy and wasn't even disturbed when he repeatedly motioned that he wanted to remove his skull cap.

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