Former Pirates Managing General Partner & CEO KEVIN MCCLATCHY “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,” according to a profile piece by Frank Bruni of the N.Y. TIMES. The profile was was his “first public acknowledgement of his sexual orientation.” McClatchy at the age of 33 “became the youngest owner in major league baseball when he led a group of investors” in ’96. He stepped away in ‘07, but it “took five years for him to reach the point where he felt even remotely comfortable” talking about his private life. McClatchy said over the last four decades, “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.” McClatchy remains “well known in baseball,” and has been “informally advising” Sacramento Mayor KEVIN JOHNSON on the city’s interest in an MLB team. McClatchy said, “I think I was more paranoid, for sure, about people. And suspicious, definitely. And angry.” He had not told anyone in his immediate family “until just before his purchase of the Pirates, and did so then, he said, only because someone displeased with the deal threatened to go public with a rumor of McClatchy’s sexual orientation unless he backed out.” McClatchy said, “In the back of my mind was: ‘What are you doing? You’re going into the most public arena possible with a secret.’ I made a choice to follow what my passion was.” McClatchy: "You’re not going to solve any problem until you start a dialogue. And there’s no dialogue right now.” He added, “I’m sure people will criticize me because I came out later, and I should have come out while I was in baseball and in the thick of it” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/22).
HONESTY REIGNS:McClatchy said prior to his group buying the Pirates, “We were in a very tenuous position. Two other groups were trying to buy the Pirates and I was convinced that if we weren’t successful, they would have moved somewhere else.” He added, “You understand you’ve got to keep the team there and (sexual orientation) is an issue that wouldn’t have played well. That’s just my opinion.” In Sacramento, Marcos Breton noted McClatchy “hopes his story can give strength to young people pursuing the dream of a career in sports.” McClatchy said, “This could be a systemic problem within sports. The best thing that could happen is that the leadership in all the leagues had a dialogue. … This needs to go down to the coaches, the college coaches, the high school coaches.” Breton wrote, “As McClatchy spoke, I could hear the relief in his voice and the strength of someone who had stepped out of the shadows and wasn’t afraid anymore” (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/23). McClatchy: “I hope kids will know if you want to play sports, as long as you love the game, that’s enough. You don’t have to hide your life” (TRIBLIVE.com, 9/22).
Under Armour Exec VP/Business Development SCOTT PLANK, brother of UA President, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK, has retired from his position at the company to start real estate development firm War Horse LLC. Scott Plank held various positions with the company, including Chief Administrative Officer, Retail Head and VP/Finance (BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/21 issue)....The Hawks named GARIN NARAIN VP/PR. Narain replaces longtime Hawks PR Dir ARTHUR TRICHE, who left the franchise in August. Narain will join the Hawks after spending nine years with the Cavaliers, most recently as Dir of Basketball Communications (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal)....WCNC-NBC in Charlotte named CHRIS CLARK Sports Dir, replacing GREG BAILEY, “who returned to his native Texas with a job at a Houston station” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/22)….The Clippers named Hornets Dir of Player Personnel GERALD MADKINS Dir of Basketball Operations (L.A. TIMES, 9/22).
The GLOBE & MAIL’s David Shoalts reported that the parents of deceased NHLer DEREK BOOGAARD “filed a lawsuit" in L.A. last Friday seeking $9.8M from the NHLPA for the remainder of Boogaard’s contract with the Rangers “plus punitive damages.” They claim that the union “failed to file a grievance in time to collect" the $4.8M remaining on the final three years of their son’s contract (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/23).
PAY RAISE: N.C. State men’s basketball coach MARK GOTTFRIED “received an automatic two-year extension" when the team made the NCAA tournament last March. Gottfried was “approved for an annual raise of $750,000” on Friday, along with “new valuable bonuses.” He will make $1.95M annually in guaranteed money, a figure that “trails only Duke’s MIKE KRZYZEWSKI and North Carolina’s ROY WILLIAMS in the ACC.” Gottfried’s supplemental income “jumped from $450,000 per year to $1.2 million under the new deal, which runs through the 2017-18 season.” His annual base salary of $750,000 "remains the same, as does the buyout of his contract.” Gottfried would owe $3.75M if he were to leave N.C. State after this season (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 9/22).
NAMES: N.Y. Times columnist THOMAS FRIEDMAN was spotted sitting next to Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT last night at M&T Bank Stadium ("Patriots-Ravens," NBC, 9/23)....Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer MISSY FRANKLIN threw out the first pitch on Saturday at Coors Field (AP, 9/22)….Golfer RORY MCILROY has put his Northern Ireland home up for sale for $3.2M (IRISH TIMES, 9/21)….Wizards G JOHN WALL and rapper WALE were seen on the sidelines during pregame warm-ups for the Redskins' home opener against the Bengals (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/23)….CBS NFL analyst BOOMER ESIASON’s Stadium Grill restaurant opened Thursday night in N.Y. (N.Y. POST, 9/23)….Nike Saturday hosted the Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games at its HQs (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/23)….USA Basketball Chair JERRY COLANGELO’s first annual golf tournament at the Wigwam Resort in Arizona to benefit the Basketball HOF was “a huge success, with the event netting $400,000, the second-largest amount any Hall of Fame fundraiser has brought in this year” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/23)....An auction on Saturday of personal items and collectibles belonging to deceased Tigers announcer ERNIE HARWELL "raised $25,000 to $30,000, including one signed baseball that went for $12,000.” Great Lakes Auctions rep RANDALL PAUL said that “turnout was better than expected,” with “at least 200 people” coming to bid and check out the items (DETROIT NEWS, 9/22).
IN MEMORY: JOHN CASHMAN, a member of the Harness Racing HOF and the father of Yankees GM BRIAN CASHMAN, died Saturday at the age of 72 (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/23).