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SBD/Issue 98/Sports & Society
John Amaechi’s Announcement Continues To Elicit Reactions
Published February 9, 2007
REAX FROM THE LOCKER ROOM: Knicks President of Basketball Operations & coach Isiah Thomas “insisted that he thought a gay player would be accepted in today’s NBA.” Thomas: “We’re a diverse society; we preach acceptance and we’re proud of our diversity, no matter what your sexual preference may be” (N.Y. POST, 2/9). Rockets G Tracy McGrady said if Amaechi “would have come out when I was his teammate, I wouldn’t have cared. If he was producing on the basketball court and was keeping it professional, I would have had no problem with it” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/9). TNT analyst Charles Barkley: “I could care less. I’ve got a ton of gay friends. I’ve played with gay guys. It’s no big deal whatsoever. It’s frustrating for me to hear all these reporters talk about, ‘A guy can’t come out when he’s playing. He’d be ostracized in the locker room’” (“PTI,” ESPN, 2/8). Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars: “John Amaechi’s personal life should be a non-issue” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/9).
SOME NOT SO SURE: Knicks C Eddy Curry said, “If one of my teammates came out, ... I’d be supportive of him.” But when asked if it was another NBA player, he said, “That’s if it was my teammate. I can’t speak for anybody else” (N.Y. POST, 2/9). Jazz F Jarron Collins, a former teammate of Amaechi, said of Amaechi not making the announcement while still playing: “There are a whole bunch of other issues that John was very conscious of if he had made that announcement. Who’s to say how the team or the community or the fans or anyone would have reacted” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 2/9).
|Bean Still Waiting To See
Active Player Come Out
ANOTHER AGENDA? TNT’s Kenny Smith said, “When a guy tells his sexual preference to make money and sell a book, so what? ... It’s like saying, ‘I grew up black in the suburbs.’ So what? There’s a lot of people doing that now” (TNT, 2/8). In Seattle, Gary Washburn writes, “Before we anoint Amaechi some kind of pioneer ... let’s consider that he may also be looking to profit from his revelation. Should sexual preference announcements be a source of financial gain?” (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 2/9).