This thread should be the "go to" place to post about gays in sports who come out or are gay or are rumoured to be gay or are straight but are homophobic or....well you get the idea.....and if the player is not "professional" but in the college ranks or is just a player who makes the news but is not a professional...well...this is a place to put it.
To get things rolling, this is another article regarding the coming out of John Amaechi. The NY Knicks coach is making news by his brave stance on gays in sports and specifically the NY Knicks. I just wish he'd get the "orientation" part right. It's "orientation", not "preference"!
Playing For The Other Team In the pros and in the closet: Three gay athletes tell all
When John Amaechi published his memoir, Man in the Middle, earlier this year, he became the first veteran of the NBA to come out of the proverbial closet. What was more surprising than the fact that it took this long for a (former) pro basketball player to acknowledge being gay was the reaction from some of Amaechi's ex-colleagues. Most famously, the incendiary comments from five-time NBA all-star Tim Hardaway: "I hate gay people." It was a Jackie Robinson-like moment for pro hoops, and as for America's top three sports—basketball, football, and baseball—it was only the sixth time that a former pro athlete admitted to being gay. (No player has yet to come out while still active.)
That 30 second piece obviously doesn't get the chance to go in to much detail, but I don't think it says anything much. They were only a few words. I feel he is going to have to demonstrate by his consistent actions that he has developed a different perspective about gay athletes. I don't believe anyone will completely change their beliefs, but if they have accepted that there are differences and that those differences are just as worthwhile as their own beliefs, then I feel they have grown. I'll take the "wait and see" road for now.
Those of us who have been in the struggle, for all these years, know that I'm not one to forgive easily. Personally, I would not believe a word that came out of the mouth of Tim Hardaway anywhere or any time. I would not believe him even if his toungue came notorized. Hardaway is just trying to save his carerer by boosting his public immage. Still, in public I will say that I appreciate his new attitude and I wish him well. In Private, with other gay people, I will say that Haraway is a liar and a homophobe. His new found remarks are filled with understanding and that is a positive thing for the mass media to hear. But I still think he's a bigot. Yea, I guess I'm a hard nose. I wish I had a dime for every time a black person called me a fag. We could all retire to Key West!!!
Last Edit: Nov 13, 2007 18:26:22 GMT -5 by Deleted
Yes, he has to put his money where his mouth is. Let's see how he is a year from now. It's good to see and hear him make the right statements now, but will he say the same things a year from now? How many endorsement deals has he lost since his statements last February? And how many will he get now? He has to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Hopefully, what we saw in the video was just a first step.
Post by 1dbigjim563 on Sept 16, 2008 13:41:44 GMT -5
Hmm... then again if Mitcham had been an American rather than an Australian, maybe NBC would have paid more attention to his personal story. Just look at last week. Twenty-five people getting killed in a train wreck in So. Cal. was a bigger story than eighty some dying in a plane crash in Russia. There used to be a running joke in a lot of American newsrooms that it wasn't a weekend until the wires moved a story on a bus going over a cliff dragging dozens to their deaths in some remote part of Mexico or India; not that those stories ever got air or saw print in most US media. American media can be xenophobic with the best of them.
I read that the engineer who drove that train was gay. He had a lot of tragedy in his life over the last ten years or so. The rumor that he was texting while he was driving the train is just that. A rumor at this point. No matter, it was still a tragedy. So many things happen all over the world that things happening far away from us don't get the same coverage as things that happen here. It's unfortunate that the Australian kid didn't get more press for being openly gay. It could've inspired youngsters to get into more sports and other fields. The good thing is that there is more publicity now, for the lack of publicity, so maybe it will help. And of course, I await the day when the story would be a total non-story because isn't total acceptance and equality what we're striving for?
As Ghandi said, (paraphrasing) "We have to be the change we want to see in the world".
Gay ex-players on how and when someone in NFL will finally come out
With a combined 106 players on the rosters of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s all but certain that a few participants in Super Bowl XLV will be gay or bisexual.
Needless to say, though, when the two teams take the field at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Sunday, Feb. 6, we won’t know who those players are.
In the 91-year history of the National Football League, not a single active player has come out.
And only three former players have come out after retiring from the NFL — Dave Kopay in 1975, Roy Simmons in 1992, and Esera Tuaolo in 2002.
“What I find kind of disappointing is that sports seems to be the last bastion,” said Howard Bragman, the famous gay publicist who specializes in helping athletes and celebrities come out. “We even have seemingly won the military.
“I think the fans’ attitudes are changing,” said Bragman, whose clients have included Tuaolo and John Amaechi, the former professional basketball player who came out in 2007. “I think it’s all going to change, but we’re not there. We’ve scratched the surface of progress. We have an awful long way to go.”
Bragman said he believes one reason why no NFL player has come out is that it would put the person in physical danger on the field.
“I pity the guy who’s the first NFL player to come out,” Bragman said. “I think there are some vindictive people in the league.”
Although an out player’s teammates might rally around him, especially if he’s popular and has been around a while, he would run the risk of cheap shots from opposing teams, Bragman said.
Last month, in a Midtown Manhattan office adorned with sports memorabilia, two longtime friends met for a private talk. NBA commissioner David Stern sipped his morning coffee, expecting to be asked for career advice. Across from him sat Rick Welts, president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, who had come to New York not to discuss careers, but to say, finally, I am gay.
In many work environments, this would qualify as a so-what moment. But until now, Welts, 58, who has spent 40 years in sports, rising from ball boy to NBA executive to team president, had not felt comfortable enough in his chosen field to be open about his sexuality. His eyes welling at times, he also said that he planned to go public.
By this point, Welts had already traveled to Seattle to share his news with another friend, Bill Russell, one of the greatest basketball players ever and the recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He had also met with Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA, in New York, and would soon be lunching in Phoenix with Steve Nash, the point guard and leader of the Suns and twice the NBA's most valuable player.
In these meetings and in interviews with The New York Times, Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men's team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic.
"This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits," said Welts, who stands now as a true rarity, a man prominently employed in professional men's team sports, willing to declare his homosexuality. "Nobody's comfortable in engaging in a conversation."
Richard Lapchick, founder and director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, and the son of the basketball legend Joe Lapchick, agreed. "The fact that there's no other man who has done this before speaks directly to how hard it must be for Rick to do this now," he said.
Stern did not find the discussion with Welts awkward or even surprising; he had long known his friend was gay but never felt that he had license to broach the subject. Whatever I can do to help, the affably gruff commissioner said. He sensed the decades of anguish that had led the very private Welts to go public.
After what needed to be said had been said, the two men headed for the door. And for the first time in their 30-year friendship, they hugged.
The very next day, the gifted Los Angeles Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, one of the faces of the NBA, responded to a technical foul by hurling a common gay slur at the referee
History takes time. We understand this intrinsically, but when it comes to our rights -- our lives -- we become impatient. David Kopay made history in 1975 when, after almost 10 years as an NFL running back on teams like the 49ers and Vince Lombardi’s Redskins, he told a newspaper reporter something no other professional athlete had ever said before: “I’m gay.”
The response at the time from some in the sports establishment is worth remembering. “My reaction was one of sickness,” said the Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach. The PR director for the Minnesota Twins railed: “Your colossal gall in attempting to extend your perversions to an area of total manhood is simply unthinkable.”
Other closeted NFL players distanced themselves from their old friend. Jerry Smith, a star Redskins tight end, had discussed coming out with Kopay in a book, but Smith died of AIDS in 1986 without ever publicly acknowledging he was gay. Some teammates and officials supported Kopay, but history has been slow to catch up on the football field.
Nearly 40 years later, only two other NFL players have come out, both after retiring.
Post by bluepride on Sept 23, 2012 12:19:59 GMT -5
A New Inning, Late in the Game
THE way Kevin McClatchy figured it, he had to choose. He could indulge his dream of presiding over a big-time professional sports team, or he could be open about his sexuality. The two paths didn’t dovetail.
He went with sports, and in February 1996, at the age of 33, became the youngest owner in major league baseball when he led a group of investors who bought the Pittsburgh Pirates. For the next 11 years, he was the team’s managing general partner and chief executive officer, not to mention its public face. And for all of that time, he took pains not to let his players, the owners of other teams or anyone beyond a tiny circle of family and close friends learn that he was gay.
He stepped away from the Pirates in 2007, but it took five years for him to reach the point where he felt even remotely comfortable sitting down with a journalist, as he did with me recently at his home here, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, to talk about his private life. Secrecy is a hard habit to break. And the world of professional sports, to which he is still connected, isn’t exactly crowded with proud, out gay men and women.
He once did some arithmetic. Over the last four decades, he said: “Tens of thousands of people have played either professional minor league baseball or major league baseball. Not one has come out and said that they’re gay while they’re playing.” Nor has any active player in the principal leagues of football, basketball or hockey, America’s three other major professional sports. That silence is a sobering, crucial reminder that for all the recent progress toward same-sex marriage and all the gay and lesbian characters popping up on television, there remains, in some quarters, a powerful stigma attached to homosexuality.
Coaches, managers and corporate chieftains in those four big sports are almost as unlikely to come out as players are. Rick Welts rated the front page of The Times last year when, as the president and chief executive officer of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, he revealed that he’s gay.
I read some comments about him coming out, on another site. There was one guy who was so mean spirited that it just proved his ignorance beyond a shadow of a doubt. And yes, there are ignorant gay people. So...this guy didn't come out of the womb wrapped in a rainbow flag, giving two snaps up and screeching, "Oh, Honey". He's here now and that's a good thing. Those who have a problem with him coming out at this time can go scratch something.
Post by bluepride on Sept 23, 2012 12:33:50 GMT -5
Will They Say It? 5 Commissioners Called on to Support a Gay Player
A new campaign is calling on the five commissioners of pro sports leagues to proclaim their support for a gay player coming out. But so far all five are keeping quiet.
The Last Closet launched this week and includes a letter-writing campaign to the heads of the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS and Major League Baseball. OutSports reports that the founders had been trying to get on-camera statements for a year without success and have turned to the public for added pressure.
The letter to the commissioners asks two questions: "Would you invite the gay players in your league to come out?" and "What support systems would you have in place for them once they do?"
Major League Soccer was the first league to add protections for gay players in 2004, followed by the NHL in 2005, the NFL, NBA and MLB in 2011. And all of the leagues have had to deal with homophobic moments by their players at some point or another.
I'm planning to "like" "The Last Closet" on FB. And it's nice and very interesting that the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, John Farrell, has not put Yunel Escobar back onto the field after his suspension ended. Escobar apparently needs more "time to get things in line". I know he's got to take sensitivity courses and he's lost approximately $90,000 due to the suspension. But maybe he's not quite as on board as he should be about the consequences that he caused for himself. I'm glad Farrell seems to be possibly holding Escobar's feet to the fire over this. Escobar has always been a dope as far as I'm concerned.