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Fog rugger profiled in the Chronicle

Mariela passes the ball at practiceFog Rugby’s own Mariela Cedeño was photographed and interviewed during a women’s team practice earlier this month for an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Mariela spoke eloquently about her love of rugby and the rugby community, saying one would be “hard-pressed to find a more graceful, socially conscious, kinder group of athletes.”

Read more: ‘Beautiful chaos’ of San Francisco fog rugby

Check out some past Chronicle articles about Fog Rugby:

Fog Men advance to playoffs

For the first time in Fog Rugby history, the team has earned a spot in the Northern California Rugby Football Union (NCRFU) Division III playoffs. After beating Humboldt Old Growth 39-12 in the last match of regular season (Saturday, March 27), the Fog Men finished in fifth place behind Marin, Redwood, Berkeley, and San Bruno.

Playoffs begin on April 10, location TBD.

Military chief favors ending "don't ask, don't tell"

Adm. Mike Mullen

Testifying before the Senate today, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that ending the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be “the right thing to do.”

Mullen told the Senate’s Armed Services committee gay people should be allowed to serve openly in the nation’s armed forces.

President Obama repeatedly stated his opposition to the policy during his campaign for the White House, and pledged during the State of the Union address last week to repeal the ban within a year.

Mullen stressed he was “speaking for myself and myself only.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates appeared before the same Senate panel, announcing that he would initiate a year-long review of the policy.

“The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it,” Gates said. “We received our orders from the commander-in-chief and we are moving out accordingly.”

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” was passed by Congress in 1993, and permitted gay men and lesbians to serve as long as they kept their sexual orientation secret. “Homosexual conduct,” however, was sufficient grounds for discharge from the military.

Since then, nearly 11,000 troops have been dismissed under the policy.

Rugby star Gareth Thomas comes out as gay

Gareth Thomas

Former international rugby star Gareth Thomas became the first openly gay top-level rugby player after coming out in an interview with British newspaper The Daily Mail.

The 35-year-old Thomas, Wales’ most-capped player after appearing in 100 tests*, retired from internationals after the 2007 World Cup, but still plays for Welsh provincial side Cardiff Blues.

Read more about Gareth Thomas coming out in CNN and WalesOnline.

* Translation: Thomas was a member of the Welsh national team on 100 occasions against other teams in international competition.

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Flight 93 memorial

Relatives of the victims of United Airlines flight 93 gathered at the plane’s crash site in western Pennsylvania today, taking part with in a groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial to honor the passengers who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. They were joined by Ken Salazar, US Secretary of the Interior.

Mark Bingham, an early member of the San Francisco Fog, was one of the 38 passengers on that flight. He was 31 years old at the time of the crash.