February 07, 2007

Former Pro Basketball Player Comes Out

John Amaechi, a man who played professional basketball for five years in the National Basketball Association, has publicly come out as gay. He has become the first former NBA player to announce he is a homosexual.

While several former pro football and baseball players have come out, we still wait for an active player to do so. I also wait for someone who has not written a book about it to just make an announcement and not turn it into a revenue generating event.

LZ Granderson, a writer for "ESPN The Magazine," takes a dim view on athletes coming out after retirement.

I can't help but wonder: When will somebody simply man up? That is, come out while he is still playing and finally demystify this whole gay athlete thing once and for all.
I've read the magazines.

I've seen the interviews.

Hell, I've written the stories.

Closeted athletes are miserable.

They have thoughts of suicide, they can't perform as well as they'd like, they live in constant anxiety of being found out, and while their heterosexual teammates are out chasing skirts during road trips, they stay locked up in their hotel rooms afraid to make eye contact with anyone because the bellhop's gaydar may go off.

Get over it.

An athlete in 2007 who stays in the closet during his playing days does more to support homophobia in sports than coming out after retirement does to combat it.

Well said. The first active athlete to come out will unquestionably have a rough time of it, but can it truly be more difficult than living a lie?

I want to reiterate a point I've made here before. If you are a major league athlete living in the closet or know someone who is, I would welcome the opportunity to help him tell his story

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