FanDuel - WFBC

June 11, 2009

Sportswriter Seeks Active Gay Baseball Player: Jeff Pearlman thinks it's time that Major League Baseball had an active player willing to come forward and admit that he plays for a different team. "You have the opportunity to be more than a ballplayer; more than just another blah notation buried deep within the pages of the Baseball Encyclopedia. For every 10,000 Bill Brutons and Joe Sambitos, there's a Curt Flood. For every 10,000 Paul Blairs and Jack Clarks, there's a [Jackie] Robinson."

posted by rcade to baseball at 12:26 PM - 36 comments

Yeah, and for all the post-mortem fanfare that Jackie Robinson has received, during his life he received death threats, was spit on and constantly berated on a level that most people cannot imagine. As well received as Jackie Robinson has become, he spent the majority of his life living some form of hell.

It's not hard to imagine that pro sports players are not eager to trade their currently manageable public life for a bunch of hate and their names in the record book. If America really wants an openly gay male athlete, they've got to change the way gay people are publicly treated, not expect someone brave to step forward and deal with it.

posted by dfleming at 12:47 PM on June 11

We're getting to the point that gay actors and musicians don't fear the ruination of their careers for coming out, even as they are just getting started like Adam Lambert. I don't think a gay baseball player would be in for as much abuse as Robinson endured from racists, and he'd get a lot of support, as the article's quotes from Griffey and others demonstrate. I expect that Pearlman will get his wish within the next 2-3 years. Unless Jose Canseco gets desperate for publicity and switches teams earlier than that.

posted by rcade at 01:11 PM on June 11

I don't think a gay baseball player would be in for as much abuse as Robinson endured from racists, and he'd get a lot of support, as the article's quotes from Griffey and others demonstrate.

He'd get internal support, granted. However, the fans are nowhere near respectful enough in this day to say that he'd live any sort of "good" life on the field.

I think about the comments about David Wells' dead mother, and the batteries and shit that are thrown at the players, and wonder who in the hell would be in their right mind to be a target for all of that.

I appreciate that actors and musicians can come out fine, but their fanbase is largely progressive, younger and broader in scope. Baseball is a conservative sport in a conservative country which hasn't made its mind up on whether or not being gay is publicly okay yet.

posted by dfleming at 01:38 PM on June 11

Baseball is a conservative sport in a conservative country which hasn't made its mind up on whether or not being gay is publicly okay yet.

All the more reason for someone to step forward. Of course it wouldn't be easy on them at all, but this country is far more progressive than it was when Jackie Robinson was playing. The right player with the right motivation could do a world of good to helping people be less afraid of the other. And that's something everyone could use (whatever part of the gay-straight spectrum you live in).

posted by kokaku at 04:09 PM on June 11

He'd get internal support, granted. However, the fans are nowhere near respectful enough in this day to say that he'd live any sort of "good" life on the field.

Exactly. And baseball is different from most sports in that all players get that moment where all focus in the entire stadium is on them as they step into the box. The announcer does his thing, the name and stats are on the jumbotron, and at that moment, the homophobic, redneck minority would make that person wish they would have kept their mouth shut, at every game for the rest of their career. I doubt you'll see a gay player weigh the consequences and decide it's in his best interest to come forward. Not unless they find a cure for redneck.

posted by smithnyiu at 07:01 PM on June 11

So, "rednecks" need a cure? Define "redneck."

posted by tselson at 12:16 AM on June 12

Didn't they discover that redneck is a genetic thing - you either are a redneck or you're not - so suggesting there might be a "cure" is, like, totally non-PC?

posted by JJ at 07:10 AM on June 12

So, "rednecks" need a cure? Define "redneck."

I fully support a redneck's right to marry.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:28 AM on June 12

Ask Oprah to come out and the floodgates will open, Mr. Pearlman.

posted by The_Special_Juan at 02:01 PM on June 12

Define "redneck."

Not to be confused with "hillbilly," a vastly different breed. "Redneck" to me means narrow-minded, uneducated, bigoted (in oh so many ways), hate filled xenophobe who deems his (or her, of course) limited experiences and knowledge as sufficient guidance to be the standard for everyone across the nation. There is a known cure, namely education, but it only works in conjunction with empathy, and they don't make a pill for that. I support their right to marry, as well, but breeding should be discouraged.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:24 PM on June 12

This topic is way off base for Baseball.

The moment sexual orientation of any kind is considered more important than exposing children to these non-sensical, self centered, selfish, whiney outings is the moment I ask for a full refund for my season tickets and the moment I'll never attend a ML game again.

This obsession re a small segment of the population's non propogatory out of control compulsive sexual behaviour belongs in the bed room and "in the closet" period ... whenever and wherever children are concerned.

To even give this topic the slightest consideration is morally irresponsible.

posted by brutaltruth at 03:20 PM on June 12

Oh, shit! Didn't see you there.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:28 PM on June 12

To even give this topic the slightest consideration is morally irresponsible.

So you're not above giving us your own opinion of the subject, but you want to close the discussion for the rest of us, the unwashed masses?

posted by smithnyiu at 04:25 PM on June 12

What are you afraid children are going to see if a baseball player comes out of the closet, brutaltruth? I would be extremely surprised if they started being gay right there on the field or the dugout, even during a rain delay.

posted by rcade at 06:49 PM on June 12

I would be extremely surprised if they started being gay right there on the field or the dugout, even during a rain delay.

But, rcade, what if it's a really hot, steamy rain delay?

You know, the kind where the double-knit just sort of clings to Alex Rodriguez's sculpted bod........sorry, what was I talking about ?

posted by tommytrump at 07:48 PM on June 12

This obsession re a small segment of the population's non propogatory out of control compulsive sexual behaviour belongs in the bed room and "in the closet" period ... whenever and wherever children are concerned.

Yes, because being gay is contagious, ya know. One gay player, then two, then one hundred....where will it end. The batters will come up to the plate with pink bats to the music of Clay Aiken. Pink Bats! Gross. Next thing you know, the whole damn stadium will be gay, in effect, everyone would be batting for the other team (I just figured out the truth behind that analogy!!). Oh, and the kids, well, since their parents took them to this big ol' gay fest-a-pa-looza, they will no doubt be gay too. The dugouts would be re-named "closets". The concessions will no longer serve beer, just wine coolers and vegan foods. All of a sudden, there will be crying in baseball. This is madness!! One gay guy did all of this. Crazy. Those poor, poor kids.

Or, it will have no effect at all. I'm not really sure.

posted by BoKnows at 07:53 PM on June 12

Contagious? That's as BS a snidely argument can get!

The issue is not contagiousness. I think you already know that for the majority of folks the issue is repulsiveness. The thought of a man lusting for another man's anal area, for instance, is pretty disgusting to a lot of people. Whatever most folks' take on it is, it is at the end of the day a private issue between consenting adults and frankly, I believe most folks would agree, its better for all concerned if its not clownishly paraded around.

posted by brutaltruth at 08:09 PM on June 12

What makes you think it would "clownishly paraded around"? Do you think it would be 1,2,3 easy, peasy for an MLB player to "come out"? Don't you think he would be humiliated, tormented and blackballed by some? I doubt at that point he would be "foolishly parading around" anything.

I do believe that any gay person has just as much right to admit his/her lifestyle with truth as you or I do with ours.

My argument above was meant to be ridiculous, just the same as yours.

posted by BoKnows at 08:41 PM on June 12

Why do you insist on provoking ridicule with ridicule?
What was that ... your naa na - na naa na "1, 2, 3 easy, peasy" argument?

posted by brutaltruth at 09:36 PM on June 12

You know, the kind where the double-knit just sort of clings to Alex Rodriguez's sculpted bod...

Disturbing, yet oddly arousing. But what if ARod doesn't lust after MY anal area? What then? I'm so confused.

posted by smithnyiu at 09:38 PM on June 12

Why do you insist on provoking ridicule with ridicule?

Just can't help myself, I guess. Although I sure don't feel ridiculed.

posted by BoKnows at 09:56 PM on June 12

smithnyiu, Letterman will set you straight about ARod's preferences. BTW - have you seen pictures of Letterman's new wife? The rolly polly porker that she is, would anybody be surprised if Letterman's orientation changes?

posted by brutaltruth at 09:58 PM on June 12

@ brutaltruth:

for the majority of folks the issue is repulsiveness. The thought of a man lusting for another man's anal area, for instance, is pretty disgusting to a lot of people

I think that comment says far more about your own problems.

posted by owlhouse at 11:08 PM on June 12

Dear owlhouse,

Suggest y'keep your nocturnal downunder eyes off my bum, mate, and that'll solve at least one problem.

It might help your concentration if you stick to crickett. The bats are less phallic.

posted by brutaltruth at 01:48 AM on June 13

The thought of a man lusting for another man's anal area, for instance, is pretty disgusting to a lot of people Of course, I think eating fast food is repulsive; that doesn't mean that the people who do it are morally objectionable or should be relegated to the basement of society. And because I find it disgusting, I just don't do it.

non propogatory out of control compulsive sexual behaviour

a. The notion that all homosexuals are sexually voracious, amoral predators was discredited a long, long time ago. b. If you really believe that sex is only to be used for procreation, you're missing out on about 99% of the good part (and are on the fringe yourself.) I assume that's what you meant by non-propagatory, your bastardization of the root word "propagate."

I would hope to expose my children to a climate of acceptance and understanding at the youngest age possible, so they don't grow up to be bigoted and filled with hate for things they don't understand.

And Owly, you can look at my bum (I'm straight, but I work out.)

posted by tahoemoj at 12:40 PM on June 13

That's quite a novel idea you have there ... equating lusting another man's anal area to eating fast food. Hope you're happy with it.

a) Discredited a long time ago? Says who? Where's your evidence?

b) Usage was meant descriptively in the extreme sodom sense.

Thankfully you are speaking for your own children's parental guidance solely. Had you considered parental sanctioning these obsessive compulsive behaviours at some levels can be tantamount to child molestation itself ?

Thank you for inviting Owly's creepily unrelenting laser stare away from my bum to yours ... recommending you keep some novacaine handy though.

posted by brutaltruth at 05:47 PM on June 13

That's putting the phobia into homophobia.

/is straight

//is not scared of gay people

posted by owlhouse at 06:46 PM on June 13

That's putting the phobia into homophobia

How cute.
The overlay seems is a tad redundant though.

/is straight

Thanks for setting us straight about that.
Guess I can unstrap that lead shield off my derriere now.

//is not scared of gay people

How brave and cute. Albiet your latter statement being nonsensical.


posted by brutaltruth at 11:05 PM on June 13

I'll stop being a smart arse for a moment.

Studies have shown that the most significant factor in youth suicides is to do with confusion over sexuality and sexual preference. I'm afraid that the non-acceptance (and ridiculing) of homosexuality by many in the mainstream accounts for a lot of young people killing themselves.

It has also been shown that good, strong gay role models help break down this worry and fear. Sporting heroes should be a part of that.

Disclaimer: While I'm straight, I have a gay daughter and a gay niece. I don't want other young people to have to go through what they did at school, on the sporting field and elsewhere, just for being who they are. brutaltruth - you don't know the half of it, so shut the fuck up.

posted by owlhouse at 07:17 AM on June 14

That's quite a novel idea you have there ... equating lusting another man's anal area to eating fast food.

Most of the food does end up there.

But seriously BT, thanks for making the point that there is a ignorant vocal minority that would try and make a Gay player's life a living hell.

I'd like to see a player come out, but as discussed above, it would take a Jackie Robinson-esque effort on the part of a player. It would probably also take a superstar as owners, managers and players might not want to to deal with the effort of the inevitable circus. In fact, I think Michael Vick will have an easier time returning to the NFL than a Gay Player would in MLB.

I do look forward to the day when this is commonplace.

And to the vast majority of Spofites here: Good on ya! And Owlhouse, you can check out my ass anytime you want as well.

As George Costanza would say: "You sneak a peek?"

posted by cjets at 10:11 AM on June 14

The thought of a man lusting for another man's anal area, for instance, is pretty disgusting to a lot of people.

We don't need to hear the specifics of sex acts you find disgusting. Future comments of that kind will be deleted.

posted by rcade at 01:53 PM on June 14

cjets,

Speaking of Spofites ....are you actually Cisse' (how many entendre's there)?

posted by brutaltruth at 03:20 PM on June 14

So...to teach a child compassion, tolerance, and empathy for those who live a life different from their own is equatable to child molestation? There's a thousand smart-ass comments I could make, but I guess you're just beneath my time and effort. I really pity you and your dying, neanderthal ideas. I'd just laugh you off as tragic if you and your vitriol-filled like weren't so fucking dangerous. You'll continue to be pushed to the fringe as we, as a society, evolve beyond even recognizing you. And when you wake up one day and realize that you have been relegated to the role of punchline while the rest of us coexist, think of why you are there. Was it worth it?

posted by tahoemoj at 05:54 PM on June 14

BT,

It's an honor to be insulted by someone like you. It means I must be doing something right.

posted by cjets at 08:37 PM on June 14

I think I've figured out why BT is so concerned about brain damage; he hopes none of us have to suffer his pain.

posted by rodgerd at 09:17 PM on June 15

Why this may lead to gays living without the proper amount of shame they should have for their disgusting, amoral, godless lives. Why just the thought causes me to think incessantly of their supple buttocks and smooth muscular skin! It's just wrong!

They should be forced to work in interior design sweatshops, churning out the latest in esthetic furnishings and will be paid only in last year's Fall collection.

And cod-pieces! They ought to have to wear sweet, sweet cod-pieces!

I have to go not look at gay porn now.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:18 PM on June 15

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