Are USA Sports ready to deal with OUT pro jocks?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 5:15 AM GMT
    What are the "+"s & "-"s that you can foresee for Pro Jocks coming "OUT" for themselves, the community & sports?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 5:21 AM GMT
    John Amaechi... Cleveland Cavaliers and LA Lakers but it was only after he stopped playing that he revealed that he is gay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 5:49 AM GMT
    Thanks for your reply. But that's what I mean...It seems only SAFE for a USA pro jock to come out after they retire from sport and write a book or give an OUT interview. Do you think USA fans and sports could take current OUT gay baseball, football, basketball, etc. pro players? And Olympians? But mainly pros???
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 1:18 PM GMT
    No, they're not ready. Mainstream society still equates "gay" with "feminine" and just can't grasp the idea of a gay man being a masculine jock. I love busting stereotypes of those around me. As more people do that, society will come around. But until jock start coming out proudly, the media will continue to show only the feminine side of our culture...when in reality, we're just as diverse in demeanor as straight guys.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    May 23, 2010 1:27 PM GMT
    I think MLB is most ready of all the sports. When rumors swirled about NY Mets Catcher/1B Mike Piazza, MLB realized this issue would be inevitable and I think they have a contingency plan for media relations and public support should someone come out while still playing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 1:37 PM GMT
    Acceptance usually happens, or it as least accelerated, when straight teammates publicly and verbally stand by their gay teammate, saying they don't care. Then others seem to want to join in on the gay acceptance wagon (because of fear looking intolerant).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 1:40 PM GMT
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/05/21/mets_piazza_ap/


    The article points out why Piazza was suspected of being gay and a few plyers/coaches agreements on being out in the MLB. All in all, I believe its no one's business what a sports player does in their off camera time. They have a job, its to play a sport, just like we have jobs to do what we do. We as a society idolize them too much for what they do, which is quite mindless when you consider it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 2:05 PM GMT
    I'd same for some sports yea but others no.

    I think really popular sports (in the states) where everybody is trying to go pro such as basketball or football, the players aren't going to come out while active especially if they arent a franchise player to begin with because they just would'nt want to risk it.

    On the other hand hand sports where teams actually value each player because there is a high demand or maybe athletes that compete individually; it may feel easier to come out. But with every player coming out it is a personal decision and rests solely with that individual.

    But personally the only reason I didnt continue football in college was because I was gay and didnt want to to deal with the homophobia also I couldnt be someone I wasnt meaning I wasnt going to act straight. I think its sad that a sport that a child loves and grows up with may not accept him when he is an adult. The only time I ever which I was straight is when I miss football.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 3:45 PM GMT
    Nspyerf8 saidI'd same for some sports yea but others no.

    I think really popular sports (in the states) where everybody is trying to go pro such as basketball or football, the players aren't going to come out while active especially if they arent a franchise player to begin with because they just would'nt want to risk it.

    On the other hand hand sports where teams actually value each player because there is a high demand or maybe athletes that compete individually; it may feel easier to come out. But with every player coming out it is a personal decision and rests solely with that individual.

    But personally the only reason I didnt continue football in college was because I was gay and didnt want to to deal with the homophobia also I couldnt be someone I wasnt meaning I wasnt going to act straight. I think its sad that a sport that a child loves and grows up with may not accept him when he is an adult. The only time I ever which I was straight is when I miss football.


    Oh wow this is kinda sad,but Im sure you are not the only one who had to stop for that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 3:50 PM GMT
    The first openly gay athletes will be those who came out in high school and continued the sport until they made it to the highest level. Then more will probably come out when they know the reaction from these players. I think the biggest issue is that it really is an unknown in terms of how the press/players/coaches/etc respond to it
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    May 23, 2010 3:58 PM GMT
    A gay athlete should just come the hell out, once they're out, people can't really say crap to them, or they'll be labeled an insensitive bigot. GLAAD and the HRC will make sure everyone treats the athlete appropriately.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    May 23, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    "I'd same for some sports yea but others no." Sportsguy933 is also right on target.

    I came out when I was coaching high-school, and later when I was coaching with the US teams (skiing). No problems anywhere other than one guy who didn't like me anyway. But cross-country skiing & biathlon are small sports, with a Scandinavian background. No huge endorsements to fear for...

    I even had one set of parents thank me for coming out to the kids! They felt it was a real-world learning experience for them.

    It's so stupid, and it will take a few brave athletes to break the barrier. But I predict that within a very short time, it would be another "what was the fuss about" situation. Other than a few die-hard homophobes, but we'll always have them.
  • jmanorlando

    Posts: 205

    May 23, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    Right now most gay athletes who come out are divers, swimmers, lifters, etc... individual sports. The reason it is safer - no one is going to slide into you, hack you, tackle you or distrust you when you only have yourself to count on.

    Also so much crap is talked during football, basketball and hockey that coming out is an open invitation to receive taunts and comments throughout a game just to piss you off and hopefully have you less focused on the game.

    So which pro-sport will lead the way?
    1. Baseball - Safest and likely to be first
    2. Football - Some stud at some point will do it.
    3. Basketball & Hockey - Way down the road, over a decade away
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 5:53 PM GMT
    I feel like football is gonna lead the way.And hockey will be the last
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 6:08 PM GMT
    I agree with jmanorlando:

    Right now most gay athletes who come out are divers, swimmers, lifters, etc... individual sports. The reason it is safer - no one is going to slide into you, hack you, tackle you or distrust you when you only have yourself to count on.

    I feel an OUT pro jock in a contact sport would probably be "accidentally" seriously injured on the field. How sad!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 6:33 PM GMT
    In many ways we are all trailblazers when we come out. Having the courage to stand up and be honest is a difficult journey that all of us who are out have dealt with. Whether someone is a professional athlete, business partner, child, entertainer, or politician, the act of coming out is courageous because there is never really a right time when others are "ready."

    For those that are not out, I can offer compassion for the fear and suffering that they might be feeling. Circumstances will never get better or improve when one stays hidden, but there is the chance when one is out, and enters that unknown, that things will improve not only for that person, but for other persons. If a current pro athlete comes out, yes, things will change in terms of media perception of LGBT persons, but we will never know what that will be until someone does, in fact, come out.

    Here's hoping that more people, in all professions and areas of life, come out and find community and love on the other side.
  • JayDT

    Posts: 390

    May 23, 2010 7:28 PM GMT
    For the gay community it would be a bonus of showing yet another prominant figure who does not fit a certain stereotype being successful and strong in a predominantly heterosexual world. I think it would give many gay men in other areas strength to be unapollogetically themsevels as well. It would provide a positive role model for change for gay youth and adults alike and hopefully move America to being more tollerant of gays in society.

    Negatively, in puritanical America, where the average sports fan is an heterosexual male, it could devestate the persons professional career. Particularly if we are talking about a sport such as American Football or baseball. Perhaps if it's golf or tennis, it might not be as negative an impact though it would still impact negatively on the income that that professional might see in endorsements and other revenue streams.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 23, 2010 7:32 PM GMT
    BradySF said

    For those that are not out, I can offer compassion for the fear and suffering that they might be feeling. Circumstances will never get better or improve when one stays hidden, but there is the chance when one is out, and enters that unknown, that things will improve not only for that person, but for other persons. If a current pro athlete comes out, yes, things will change in terms of media perception of LGBT persons, but we will never know what that will be until someone does, in fact, come out.

    Here's hoping that more people, in all professions and areas of life, come out and find community and love on the other side.


    Exactly. I seriously believe that there is a gay player or two in the major sports today. But whoever they are, will not come out for the reasons that people have listed. They are afraid of getting "accidentally" injured and/or endorsements.
  • darkeyedresol...

    Posts: 171

    May 23, 2010 7:35 PM GMT
    If they are winning or planning a critical part in their team winning, then I don't think the fan base would care. They only care about winning, but if they were to start losing...well no one likes a loser. I think it would compound problems and people might be less likely to be so understanding.

    I think everyone loves a winner, gay or not.