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Washington Valor vs. Baltimore Brigade: When, where and how to watch

Washington Valor vs. Baltimore Brigade: When, where and how to watch

Friday night marks the opening of a new chapter for football in the nation's capital. Verizon Center will host a beltway battle between two brand new Arena Football League teams in the DMV area: the Washington Valor and the Baltimore Brigade.

Here's everything you need to know about the teams and how to watch.  

What: Washington Valor vs. Baltimore Brigade

Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

Get Tickets: WashingtonValor.com/Tickets

How to Watch: CBS Sports Network 

WHEN IS THE VALOR-BRIGADE GAME?

The Valor host the Brigade Friday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Verizon Center.

HOW TO WATCH THE VALOR-BRIGADE GAME?

The season opener will be broadcast exclusively by CBS Sports Network.

The Valor broadcast team for future games includes play-by-play from Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan and color commentary by former Redskin Santana Moss.

The Brigade broadcast team for future games includes play-by-play from Brent Harris and color commentary by former Raven Qadry Ismail.

WHO ARE THE PLAYERS AND COACHES FOR THE VALOR AND BRIGADE?

Valor Head Coach: Dean Cokinos

Valor Starting QB: Erik Meyer

Full roster available here.

Brigade Head Coach: Omarr Smith

Brigade Starting QB: Shane Carden

Full roster available here.

WHAT ARE AFL RULES?

The Washington Valor website has shared a helpful "AFL 101" rule summary here

MORE AFL: Ted Leonsis: AFL is football for millennials

Washington Overwatch League team reveals name, logo

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AP Images

Washington Overwatch League team reveals name, logo

Washington's new esports team in the Overwatch League is out to bring justice to the District. The team announced its new name and logo, the Washington Justice, on Monday.

“Justice is a universal value and the perfect name for a franchise that we hope will inspire and united both our Washington area community and fans around the globe," said Mark Ein, the owner of the team, in a statement. "There is no region in the world that attracts more people to serve the cause of justice in our government, philanthropy, academia, military service and the private sector than Washington."

The team's logo is a shield with red and white stripes and a white star set on a blue background, which is meant as a nod to the American flag.

The Washington Justice will compete in the 2019 season of the league, which began as a 12-team league in 2018.

The team is one of eight additional teams competing in Overwatch next season. Competitors, according to the league's website, earn a minimum salary of $50,000 and are provided with housing, healthcare and retirement savings to allow them to compete in the first-person shooting game.

Harrison Browne talks Ovi, activism in visit to American University

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Jason Brandon/AU Photo Collective

Harrison Browne talks Ovi, activism in visit to American University

WASHINGTON - Two-time National Women’s Hockey League All-Star Harrison Browne hung up his skates in March 2018 for a life-altering change and a dream of inclusion.

During the 2016-17 season, Browne, then 23, signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Beauts. In October 2016, he came out publicly as a transgender man; becoming the first out transgender player in any professional team sport.

“Yes, I am the first,” Browne said on Tuesday during a visit to American University to share his story with a group of LGBTQ student athletes, allies, and advocates. “But hopefully, there will be more after me.”

The 2018-19 hockey season is his first in retirement and his first without hockey in decades (he played college hockey at the University of Maine). In cities like Washington, where the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Caps are the talk of the town, the lack of participation can feel disorienting.

“My whole schedule has been laid out for me since I was nine years old,” Browne joked. “It’s weird to have so much free time.”

But in some ways, visiting D.C. feels like a trip down memory lane, a promise of something new.

“Seeing the Cup ceremonies, and all the fun that the team had, the fans rallying; I definitely see a lot of passion in Washington. I used to be Washington fan, actually. I loved Ovechkin growing up. I thought that his grit was so inspiring. I tried to emulate some of my play based on him.”

Since choosing to come out to closer friends and family in his college years, Browne has exhibited a different type of grit and courage.

“I hated hearing my [birth] name in the dressing room. I hated hearing everyone referred to as ‘ladies’. It was those little things that kept chipping away. It wasn’t a particularly hard moment. It was a lot of things that built up.”

His public transition from female to male in 2016 was social at first, and involved changing his name and pronouns with the league. Though overlooked, social transition can be crucial. Having others, especially teammates, validate your identity can be integral to self-esteem.

But in the way of physical transition, Browne was at an impasse. 

The NWHL, like many other leagues and governing bodies such as the National Collegiate Athletics Association and International Olympic Committee, employs blanket anti-doping restrictions that include any form of hormone treatment, including injected testosterone. 

“It’s fair,” Browne said, “but it was still frustrating.”

His choice? Either quit hockey and begin hormones, or wait to begin physical transition until after retirement. 

Through a partnership with You Can Play, the largest organization supporting LGBTQ equity in sports, the NWHL drafted the first set of guidelines for trans individuals looking to enter a professional league. With the support of the organization, he decided to delay his physical transition.

Browne returned, “pulling a Brett Favre”, with enthusiastic support from his teammates and LGBTQ hockey fans. He won another Isobel Cup as a member of the Metropolitan Riveters in the 2017-18 season.

“I know the world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. But this story very much was.”

Since then, he’s cultivated a YouTube channel documenting his transition, leadership roles with You Can Play and the NWHL’s governing board, and an active social media presence affirming trans fans and athletes.

Looking forward, Browne aspires to work in sports entertainment, marketing, or community outreach.

“My dream job [is] to tie hockey to a greater meaning. I’m really passionate about that. We need more openly LGBT people in front offices, on coaching staff, on teams. I think those stories need to be brought out more.”

But Browne recognizes that the lack of personal connection in hockey’s approach to inclusion can loom over the institutional changes made so far. 

“As much as the NHL [promotes] You Can Play, uses pride tape, uses rainbow gear – Somebody doesn’t feel safe enough to be themselves. And there’s obviously something that needs to be done about that.”

Though no NHL players have reached out to him so far, Browne expressed that he’d be “more than happy to have those conversations” if he ever gets the chance. 

Personal connection can be crucial to begin the process of changing people’s minds.

“Every time I share my story, I’m spreading awareness, and that humanizes me, humanizes the community’s experience. If someone can put a face to a story, they can feel more connected to the issue.”

Browne hopes that for the next generation of athletes, there will be more opportunities for success outside of the binary.

“Sports teach so many life lessons. The more players who set an example for boys growing up, the less that [hatred] will thrive in hockey culture. The more progressive the community can be, the more opportunity there is for people who feel different to play and learn.”