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SBD Global/May 2, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Former English Basketball Player John Amaechi Says Easier To Come Out In NBA Than EPL

Jason Collins is interviewed Monday for a segment on ABC's Good Morning America.
Former English basketball player JOHN AMAECHI said that it "is easier for a gay sportsman to come out in the NBA than it would be in the Premier League," according to Sarah Ebner of the LONDON TIMES. Amaechi, who had two spells in the NBA between '95 and '03, "revealed that he had been in contact" with NBA player JASON COLLINS prior to his decision to come out this week and he criticized those who run football for their attitude toward gay rights. Amaechi, who was awarded an OBE in '11 for services to sport and the voluntary sector said, "These dinosaurs think you can become gay by shaking the hands of a gay person. The Premiership board and executive and the FA are the example, but they're not doing anything. When powerful people don't do something to make changes, then they're saying it's OK as it is." Amaechi, who came out in '07, claimed that those who run English football would not talk to him or seek his advice, "but said that he knew of a number of homosexual football players in this country." Amaechi: "Both [the FA and Premier League] think I'm evil and won't talk to me. I know that through people who work there. I take it as a badge of honor, but it is short-sighted of them. There are lots of professional athletes who are gay, some in the Premiership who are out to some of their teammates, to their mum and dad and who have a partner, even though that person might be called their manager or personal assistant" (LONDON TIMES, 5/1). 
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