May 19, 2011 7:36 PM GMT
Bob Raissman (NY Daily News)Jared Max, the veteran radio sports reporter, informed ESPN-1050 listeners Thursday morning he is gay.
Max's words came in the wake of recent pronouncements from Phoenix Suns executive Rick Welts and former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan.
The radio yakker mentioned both men near the end of his 5 a.m.-6 a.m. show before making it personal. He asked if fans were ready to support a star player who is gay.
"Are we ready to have our sports information delivered by someone who is gay?" Max asked. "We're going to find out. Because for the last 16 years I've been living a free life among all my close friends and family. But I've been living behind what is a gargantuan size secret in the sports world.
"I am gay," Max said. "Yeah, Jared Max the sports guy with one of the most familiar voices in New York sports isn't quite like the majority."
Max, 37, talked about telling his mom, at the age of 21, that he was gay. He also talked about his fears of ever fulfilling his dream, becoming a sportscaster.
"Now, I'm taking this courageous jump into the unknown having no idea how I will be perceived," Max said.
Sources said Max did not inform ESPN brass of what he would say in advance, but network brass was giving him their full support. Max spent most of his career as WCBS-AM's morning sports reporter before recently moving to ESPN-1050.