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SBD/March 26, 2013/Sports in Society
Players, Execs Believe Four Major Sports Are Ready For First Openly Gay Athlete
Published March 26, 2013
SOONER RATHER THAN LATER: CBSSPORTS.com's Mike Freeman wrote there are “serious indications” the day when an openly gay man will be a member of an NFL team “may come sooner than later.” Freeman cited current and former players over the “past several weeks" who said that a “current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly within the next few months -- and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career.” The player reportedly “feels the time is now for someone to take this step.” This player's “true concern” is not the reaction “inside an NFL locker room but outside of it.” The player reportedly “fears he will suffer serious harm from homophobic fans, and that is the only thing preventing him from coming out.” Sources “will not say who this alleged player is.” Freeman noted there has “never been an active openly gay player in a major American team sport” (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/25).
AT THE FOREFRONT: Warriors President Rick Welts appeared on S.F.’s KNTV-NBC to discuss his decision almost two years ago to announce he is gay. KNTV's Raj Mathai said that Welts is a “major player in the world of basketball but his legacy is in the gay community.” Welts said of the decision to announce his sexuality, “I started to think about, if I did this and did it in a certain way would I have the opportunity to make a contribution to the dialogue on sexuality, especially in male professional sports?” Welts said the first active player who does reveal he is gay is going to be “surprised at what a positive response they’re going to get not only from fans, but teammates (and) companies that have them maybe as endorsers.” Welts said, “I think it’s going to be a good experience” (“The Interview With Raj Mathai,” KNTV-NBC, 3/24).