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SBD/March 28, 2013/Sports in Society
Ravens' Ayanbadejo Says Athletes Are Becoming More Accepting Of LGBT Community
Published March 28, 2013
ISSUES ABOUT COMING OUT: ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said a gay player coming out while he is an active player on a team sport is “as much about the culture we live in as it is a sports story.” Wilbon noted a CBSSports.com article states a player who may announce he is gay “is said to feel his biggest issue is going to come not from teammates or opponents, but fans.” ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said, “You have to be more concerned with the locker room, because that’s where you live and that’s where you work.” Kornheiser said if this is a “veteran player and this is the team he’s been on for a while, they already know” and his teammates “are going to accept him.” Kornheiser: “This story may be the trial balloon in which you wait and see what is the reaction to this story. I think we’re going to see this a lot sooner than I would have thought two years ago.” Wilbon said there will be “huge public support from sponsors and the league and media members for this player.” But Wilbon added that football locker rooms “are the least tolerant” and the “resistance is going to come from the locker room more so than the public” (“PTI,” ESPN, 3/26). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said, “We can’t know what the reaction is (of a player coming out) until we know whether it’s a star or not. If it’s an anonymous defensive lineman, I don’t know what we’re going to do with this story in a sport where a bunch of guys wear masks.” SB Nation’s Bomani Jones said, “It is definitely going to be a bigger concern with fans than in the locker room” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 3/26). Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, “Times have changed enough the player is going to be much more accepted than he would have been 15 years ago” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 3/26).