FanDuel - WFBC

February 07, 2007

Former NBA center John Amaechi announces that he is gay.: Henry Abbott over at TrueHoop is anticipating the league's reaction.

posted by lilnemo to culture at 02:46 PM - 86 comments

Surprising almost no one, to be fair.

posted by mr_crash_davis at 03:13 PM on February 07

That was a nice post from True Hoop.

posted by bperk at 04:32 PM on February 07

Being hetero I don't know whats involved in"coming out"especially if you were a pro athlete.However I tend to be with the mags LZ Granderson, who remains unimpressed until these athletes reveal themselves while playing.

posted by sickleguy at 06:53 PM on February 07

We had a post about Amaechi here years ago - any way it can be unearthed?

posted by vito90 at 07:43 PM on February 07

I didn't realize it was Mr. Amaechi's job to impress LZ Granderson. The fears and concerns he felt while an active player must have prevented him from 'outing' himself. Whether he is gay or not, matters not to me, it's: can you put the ball in the hole? Obviously he was not comfortable enough while active to make this public knowledge. Now, he feels secure enough in his life and surroundings to do so, good for him. No one amongst us should care who has sex with who, but unfortunately some individuals do care what other people do in the privacy of their bedrooms(or other spaces). I, for one, applaud John Amaechi for his courage and hope he sleeps well at night. In my career I work with a significant number of gay people, and straight individuals as well. I have respect for the people who work hard, who are team players, who show others respect. I don't give one damn who is having sex with who, it's how you perform at your job that matters.

posted by tommytrump at 07:51 PM on February 07

As TrueHoop notes, Amaechi has poured his earnings into the north-west of England since leaving the NBA. (His investment for the 2002 Commonwealth Games is one reason why Luol Deng and possibly even Ben Gordon might wear British colours in 2012. Though ironically, that sort of depends upon Gordon not being good enough to make the US team.) Considering the relative position of gay rights in the UK and US these days -- civil partnerships, anti-discrimination laws, etc -- I'm sure it's an easier place to come out, even aside from the internal climate within the NBA.

posted by etagloh at 07:55 PM on February 07

However I tend to be with the mags LZ Granderson, who remains unimpressed until these athletes reveal themselves while playing. Um. I think mostly what you don't get about players "coming out" is that they ARE NOT TRYING TO IMPRESS ANYONE. They are just being honest with themselves and the world. Hopefully in the process, by publicizing a very private matter they will make it possible for other GLBT people to enjoy living/working/etc amongst others without prejudice whether they out themselves or not. Now is Mr. Amaechi hawking a book? Yes he is, and he may make some money on the deal. But in light of its effect on future gay atheletes, is that so bad? I don't think so. Oy. The league isn't doing itself any favors here. Ladies and Gentleman, the new face of the League, LeBron James:

"With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy," James said. "So that's like the No. 1 thing as teammates -- we all trust each other. You've heard of the in-room, locker room code. What happens in the locker room stays in there. It's a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor."

posted by lilnemo at 07:57 PM on February 07

Player reaction (Grant Hill aside) from the AP piece is sadly disheartening. (So far.) However, I was buoyed, somewhat, by the Commish:

"We have a very diverse league. The question at the NBA is always 'Have you got game?' That's it, end of inquiry,"

posted by lilnemo at 08:01 PM on February 07

With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy," James said. "So that's like the No. 1 thing as teammates -- we all trust each other. You've heard of the in-room, locker room code. What happens in the locker room stays in there. It's a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor." Yep. Got it. Thank you, Lebron. This is why I always tell my co-workers that my sexual appetites typically involve um, nine irons, mechanical bulls and, well, goalie equipment. Because it's important that they trust me.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:16 PM on February 07

I trust you Weedy.

posted by lilnemo at 08:34 PM on February 07

All are trustworthy here at SpoFi. Even pansexuals.

posted by forrestv at 01:22 AM on February 08

This is why I always tell my co-workers that my sexual appetites typically involve um, nine irons, mechanical bulls and, well, goalie equipment. Goalies are always a strange lot.

posted by insomnyuk at 08:10 AM on February 08

Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated has written a good Hot Button column on the subject. It addresses, among other things, the gap between having an attitude of theoretical tolerance towards homosexuality and being comfortable with the reality. Full-on, blatant, hostile homophobia is still socially accepted and even encouraged in many places, but it's like blatant racism: even after society (or some of it, at some times, at least) no longer finds itself comfortable with overt expressions of hatred towards a group, there's still a long time period when individuals who are in the majority still feel no obligation to go from theory to practice in their own lives, and treat individual members of the minority as they would members of their own group. A white person insists that blacks are equal, you betcha, but still feels uncomfortable taking a drink from the same soda bottle. A straight man says that he has no problem with gays, but still feels uncomfortable slapping a gay coworker on the back or even shaking a gay man's hand. As Taylor put it: And so we go stumbling on, not quite sure what to do or how to behave when it comes to issues of gays in sports. We're like the characters on Seinfeld, visibly uncomfortable with the notion of homosexuality even while we repeat "not that there's anything wrong with that." The blatant homophobes aren't the only ones who have work to do here. Food for thought.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:24 AM on February 08

I liked Sterns comments, basically he doesn't care as long as you dress nice off the court and can play when on it. I think that is what the NBA should enforce, that these kids can say things like Lebron that showed his age finally which is what? 30 now. That they need to conduct themselves a bit more professional, I mean if I worked for a company and a co-worker admitted they were gay and I said oh now I can't just trust this guy he isn't welcomed.. I would probably be fired. Stern needs to fine these bigots and get them out of the league and hopefully some of these other leagues, NFL, NHL and MLB will take notice and do the same. If the guy conducts himself professional and can play who cares. PERIOD

posted by warstda at 08:57 AM on February 08

Player reaction (Grant Hill aside) from the AP piece is sadly disheartening. (So far.) For some reason I expected more players to say the right thing even if they didn't feel that way. I thought maybe we were at the point where they would be advised that it is bad form to be a homophobe. I guess not.

posted by bperk at 09:05 AM on February 08

I guess the fact this is still a story is surprising, to some extent, to me. If people, especially high-profile individuals who live and work in big cities, haven't gotten to the point they're accepting of homosexuality in society, as well as the workplace, may have to participate in some sensitivity trainings or counseling to better work out their own issues. Am I saying people have to totally agree with it? No. But all people have rights, and some of the old-fashioned attitudes must continuously be challenged. Amaechi probably didn't help the cause as a whole by waiting until his career was finished to come out. I can understand why he'd do it that way, though. It speaks towards the unaccepting nature of many, especially in the male sports world.

posted by dyams at 09:42 AM on February 08

Sports, especially big-ticket sports, have always existed in a bit of a bubble of machismo. Many of these players have spent their entire lives with people who are exactly like them, or who want to be exactly like them. The idea that someone is living outside that bubble, even on the sly, can really freak out someone who's never had to question these things within themselves before. We can deplore LeBron's attitude all we want, but when has he, or anyone he knows, ever had to address this before? I can guarantee you it's never happened. Same for most other pro athletes, especially in a sport as tenuously and aggressively macho as the NBA. Miz Bat is right. It's one thing to stop the Fred Phelpses of the world frm doing their thing. It's quite another to get genuine, no-big-deal shrug-&-move-on acceptance from people who've never knowingly met a gay person before.

posted by chicobangs at 09:52 AM on February 08

A white person insists that blacks are equal, you betcha, but still feels uncomfortable taking a drink from the same soda bottle. I would feel uncomfortable drinking from the same soda bottle any other person has taken a drink from. The only bottle my lips will touch from another person's are my family's, and then usually immediate family excluding in-laws. Let's make something clear. Whenever people hear about those who disagree with homosexuality, many jump to the conclusion, and group everyone who disagrees with it, and those who actually disdain the person for the way they live, in to one general heap. Just because I'm diametrically opposed homosexuality, does NOT mean I'm afraid of them: homo "phobia". A phobia is a fear of something or someone. It just slays me how I, along with others I know, become clumped into one mass by those who are supposed to be accepting of ALL lifestyles etc. I'm not afraid of them, I'm just opposed to that sinful lifestyle. It's been previously mentioned in this thread about how if a person can bring the goods at work, they work well, and they are good at what they do, they ABSOLUTELY should have the position. I absolutely agree. All the rest is for conversation outside the work environment. Work is to be done on the clock. Please don't misunderstand this piece. I'm not naive enough to know there are those who do hate homosexuals. I would choose my words wisely though in describing and saying what you all mean. With what has been previously said about "homophobes" could then be repeated about those who don't like rape or murder. We could call them rapephobes or murderophobes. We just need to be extremely cautious about classifications and the descriptions of those classifications.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 10:12 AM on February 08

basically he doesn't care as long as you dress nice off the court That is sooooo gay. Other than that, what chico said.

posted by yerfatma at 10:37 AM on February 08

I'm not afraid of them, I'm just opposed to that sinful lifestyle. And I'm not afraid of you, I'm just opposed to your sinful lifestyle. What's that you say? Who the hell asked me? Well, now that you mention it...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:49 AM on February 08

you're right lil brown bat. I'm opposed to the sin in my life too. It's not a secret.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 10:53 AM on February 08

I embrace the sin in my life. It's all I have.

posted by SummersEve at 10:55 AM on February 08

Gay, straight - don't be so suburban. Hell, I'll take a shot in the mouth if it'll get me a couple tickets to Supertramp. Not Yes, though. Not Yes. And if the Police get back together for a tour - whew boy, I'll go all the way. But I get to be drunk first. And no kissing. It's way too intimate - am I right fellas! I'm not afraid of them, I'm just opposed to that sinful lifestyle. Ah Religion - inspiring togtherness amongst all God's souls... Provided they agree to believe what I believe without question.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:10 AM on February 08

With what has been previously said about "homophobes" could then be repeated about those who don't like rape or murder. We could call them rapephobes or murderophobes. Hate the sin, compare the sinner to murderers and rapists? What I don't get: Why are you and Lebron "No Queens" James entitled to care about whether John Amaechi and millions of other Americans are gay? If you were divorced, raising kids outside of marriage or dating outside your race, how much would you appreciate it if I objected to your sinful lifestyle? Wouldn't it be better for me to mind my own damn business?

posted by rcade at 11:11 AM on February 08

We are all pretty much sinners in this day & age but when it comes to a person's sexual orientation, to each his own. There are people in the world that are still uncomfortable with a person of a different race or sexual preference so this doesn't surprise me. As a person of ethnic background, I dealt with being called slanderous names before and I'm not even from the Civil Right's era so hearing that most professional athletes actually wait until retirement to reveal that they're gay is nothing new. People may say that they have no problem if their teammate is gay or not but in all reality, I'm sure that the uncomfortable feeling of the unknown will creep up in the back of their minds.

posted by BornIcon at 11:14 AM on February 08

Doc Rivers gets it right: "I could care less though. It was brought up to me, and you look at it and say, ‘So what? Can he rebound. Can he shoot? Can he defend?’ And on that one," Rivers added with a laugh, "I said no, on the defensive part, but everything else he was great . . . He did as much charity work as anybody in our city, and he’s still doing it. To me, I wish that’s what we focused on."

posted by yerfatma at 11:21 AM on February 08

yawn, Amaechi was garbage. I'm glad he found a way to make some money off of being gay. kudos for that. Just because one doesnt care for someone of a certain mindset doesnt mean they hate nor fear them. If its not ok for me to say being gay is wrong, then how is it ok to tell me your opinion of my opinion?

posted by Drallig9399 at 11:37 AM on February 08

Personally, I say: 'who cares'?!! I believe it is all about his book to be released 2/20/2007!!! Piscator

posted by Fly_Piscator at 11:56 AM on February 08

If its not ok for me to say being gay is wrong, then how is it ok to tell me your opinion of my opinion? We aren't exactly talking about mind control here. You can think what you want. However, all opinions are not equal and yours is stupid.

posted by bperk at 12:05 PM on February 08

Sportsfilter: all opinions are not equal and yours is stupid.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:09 PM on February 08

rcade, tell me, where is it that raising children outside marriage or dating out of my race is sin?? I've dated outside my race, and I have close friends who are divorced raising kids outside marriage. rcade, why is anyone entitled to care about anything for that matter? There are some who look further than the world simply revolving around "me." weedy, I've never said ANYTHING about you or anyone else having to agree with what I say without question. Just the opposite, I would have you to question it for yourself or anyone for themselves. It's a weak minded thinker who takes something for granted just because someone says it.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 12:15 PM on February 08

"As long as you don't bring your gayness on me I'm fine," Randolph said. "As far as business-wise, I'm sure I could play with him. But I think it would create a little awkwardness in the locker room." That says it all, I believe.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:27 PM on February 08

Who cares. This is a non issue to me. Of course I am an Atheist so god isn't telling me homosexuality is sinful or immoral. Can't understand it, but I could care less about it. David Stern is a hypocrite for making the statement that all the league cares about is if you have game. If that is true than the league is immoral. Of course we know the league doesn't care only if you got game. They care about making money, their image, and whether or not the players dress like thugs. They don't seem to care if you have a criminal record or are a registered sex offender. So if you got game but wear baggy sweat clothes with low ridding pants and always have your ipod on that is not acceptable to the NBA. But if you are gay no problem, unless of course you dress to femininely or flambouyantly, because that part of being openly gay violates the league's policy. I guess if you are a transvestite and got game the league might have a big issue. Wait I take that back, they never had a problem with Dennis Rodman.

posted by Atheist at 12:39 PM on February 08

rcade, tell me, where is it that raising children outside marriage or dating out of my race is sin?? Not so long ago, dating outside your race was a crime. In many countries today, and indeed among many strict Catholics (for example), getting divorced is considered a sin and (in some cases) not legal. As recently as the 1960's, you could be arrested in some states for being married to somebody outside of your ethnicity. That wasn't so long ago. There are still people in the U.S. who think that you are commiting a sin - being a "race traitor" - by marrying outside of your ethnicity. So, perhaps in your current town and in among people of your current religion, these things are now ok. I bet if you did some digging, you would find ample evidence that there was a time in your very town and under your very religion that divorce and miscegenation were sins - and sins that were maybe even regarded as much, much worse than homosexuality. You equated homosexuality with murder or rape when you made your "murderphobe" and "rapeophobe" comment earlier. In essence, you are saying "two women (or men) choosing to have sex with each other is exactly the same as a brutal murder or a brutal rape." Perhaps that was not your intent, but look at your words. That is what you wrote. Do you honestly, in your heart, believe that two people making out is as ghastly a crime as murder? I suspect that you do not. If you do, please explain to me this - in a murder and a rape, I can identify a victim. When two women choose to make out, who is the victim? Anyhow, I think your issue is with the word "homophobe" because you don't want anyone to mistake your hatred for gay people with fear of gay people. Understandable. I don't want anyone to think I'm a coward either. However, the history of the word is a little more complex than that. Technically, it doesn't literally mean 'fear of gay people.' It means 'fear of men.' Of course, "tyranosaurus" means "tyrant lizard" even though we know that the T-Rex was neither a tyrant in the literal sense of the word nor a lizard. "Homophobe" may have a latin root that means "person who fears the same," but it has come to mean "person who has a dislike for homosexuality." Out of respect for the concern on the parts of homophobes that they are being called cowards when they are refered to as such, I ask you "what should we call you, oh person who dislikes gay people enough to think that they are commiting the moral equivilent of rape or murder when they make out?" How about "Homodior," which is a word I've invented by using the Latin word "hate" instead of "fear." This is an especially good word to use because "odium," the latin word for hate, suggests that hate comes from a foul place.

posted by Joey Michaels at 01:14 PM on February 08

Drallig, do you realize pretty much all of your recent comments are something negative? Guess your mom never mentioned "If you don't have anything nice to say . . ." Probably for fear you'd sock her in the mouth.

posted by yerfatma at 01:38 PM on February 08

David Stern is a hypocrite for making the statement that all the league cares about is if you have game. If that is true than the league is immoral. Close. An organization has no feelings. The league's morality is not based on the bible or on what any one person thinks is "societal norms." It's based on putting butts in seats and eyeballs on commercials. If those butts and eyeballs are cool with race mixing or homosexuality or any other trait, lifestyle or worldview, then the league is fine with it. Any other position is bad for business. Also: speak for yourself. To hide your opinions in phrases like "Most people believe..." and "There are those who would say..." is cowardly. Sack up, and own up to whatever you believe. This stealth bigotry shit really pisses me off.

posted by chicobangs at 01:51 PM on February 08

David Stern is a hypocrite for making the statement that all the league cares about is if you have game. I don't think equating the league's sexual orientation policy with its dress code is at all appropriate or fair. Stern's comment reflected the fact that homosexuality is an inborn trait, like skin color, height, etc. The league doesn't care if you're short or tall, black or white, gay or straight, if you've got game, you can play. That doesn't mean that your behavior - which you have evident control over - is irrelevant to your participation in the league. Like any other job, you are expected to adhere to the dress code, obey the rules, fulfill your obligations. Given the vast variety among the NBA players - everything from choirboys to thugs to Frenchmen - I think Stern's statement was absolutely valid. And while I am sure it was just an offhand comment, the idea that flamboyant dress is an inherent part of being openly gay is wicked stereotypical.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:51 PM on February 08

Drallig's comments may be negative but right or wrong, he is still entitled to his opinions just like everyone else.

posted by BornIcon at 01:52 PM on February 08

Drallig's comments may be negative but right or wrong, he is still entitled to his opinions just like everyone else. But he's not entitled to a forum. (why is that distinction so hard for people to grasp?)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:03 PM on February 08

Sportsfilter: all opinions are not equal and yours is stupid. I would totally buy a t-shirt with that on it.

posted by SummersEve at 02:19 PM on February 08

Sam Mitchell with some good perspective:

"It shouldn't be about tolerance," he said. "It should be about respect. People should treat people as human beings. I wouldn't use the word tolerance. Are people supposed to tolerate me because I'm black? Or are they supposed to treat me with respect because I'm a human being?"
...
"I just go back to the Bible," he said. "Treat everyone with the respect and compassion you would want yourself. Don't judge unless you are willing to be judged."
shamelessly stolen via TrueHoop

posted by lilnemo at 02:20 PM on February 08

(why is that distinction so hard for people to grasp?) I don't know, but it kills me.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:25 PM on February 08

(why is that distinction so hard for people to grasp?) The distinction isn't hard to grasp unless an individuals comments start to cross the line between tolerable or flat out hateful.

posted by BornIcon at 02:36 PM on February 08

Salt Lake Tribune columnist annoints Amaechi as the worst Jazz player ever. He then proceeds to bury himself with his lead in:

Let's be clear about one thing. This isn't about John Amaechi's sexual orientation or his decision to write about being a gay man in the NBA in a soon-to-be-released book. This is about John Amaechi, basketball player with the Utah Jazz from 2001-03. Because it is, there's little to tell. That's because John Amaechi remains one of the worst players in franchise history. I'm not Amaechi-bashing here. I'm just stating a fact.
Then why devote an entire article to the man? If there's so little to tell, why waste the ink? Was a column devoted to nominating Amaechi worst ever slated to run before he came out? Somehow I doubt it. It gets better:
During his second season, Amaechi became a member of rebellious clique that also included Mark Jackson and DeShawn Stevenson.
Thats right ladies and gentleman, the Utah Jazz's season was allegedly, nearly highjacked by a gay male, a kid who graduated high school the year before, and a preacher. I see a movie in there somewhere. Some of the excerpts from the book are rather touching:
His teammates were more accepting, though he never admitted to being gay, Amaechi wrote. Center Greg Ostertag, described as a close friend, "asked me point-blank in the tunnel, 'Ya gay, dude?' " 'Greg, you have nothing to worry about,' I said. It was clear Greg couldn't have cared less." Amaechi also recounted a text-message he received from Andrei Kirilenko, inviting him to a New Year's Eve party with "your partner, if you have one, someone special to you," Amaechi wrote. "Who it is makes no difference to me."

posted by lilnemo at 02:45 PM on February 08

""It shouldn't be about tolerance," he said. "It should be about respect. People should treat people as human beings. I wouldn't use the word tolerance. Are people supposed to tolerate me because I'm black? Or are they supposed to treat me with respect because I'm a human being?"" I don't know Sam Mitchell, but thank you for pulling that quote in here Nemo.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:27 PM on February 08

Thanks also to Weedy, for the mental image of a bizarre form of Polo, played by folks slashing 9 Irons around, wearing Goalie gear and riding mechanical bulls.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:33 PM on February 08

I knew I liked Sam Mitchell for a reason, Weedy too.

posted by tommytrump at 04:20 PM on February 08

you're right lil brown bat. I'm opposed to the sin in my life too. It's not a secret. Uh oh. Sounds like somebody had a Bavarian cream doughnut. I embrace the sin in my life. It's all I have. Wash away your sins, SummersEve.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 04:42 PM on February 08

BornIcon: The distinction isn't hard to grasp unless an individuals comments start to cross the line between tolerable or flat out hateful. Well, my point was that there's a difference between opinions (which live in your head) and comments (which are, you know, out there somewhere). The expression, "Everyone has the right to an opinion," taken literally, is sort of like saying, "Everyone has the right to mentally recite the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson" -- well, sure, you have the right, but it's not like anyone could (or would) try to stop you, so does it make sense to refer to it as a right, or even to comment on it at all? However, although many people say, "Everyone has the right to an opinion," what they really mean is some variation of, "Everyone has the right to express an opinion," and that statement really isn't true, because that right is neither universal nor unrestricted. I have the right to express whatever opinions I want in my house; I don't have the right to express whatever opinions I want in someone else's house, and I don't have the right to express whatever opinions I want on someone else's website. And this is someone else's website.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:48 PM on February 08

I don't have the right to express whatever opinions I want in someone else's house, and I don't have the right to express whatever opinions I want on someone else's website. And this is someone else's website. Someone else's website created for the express purpose of allowing people to express their opinions on the sports topic of the day. Unless Drallig (or whoever else) is violating specific spofi rules of conduct why should it be an issue? You disagree with him, then post your own opinion. But to question his right to post his opinion smacks of censorship. And this is coming from a pro gay marriage, pro gay rights person who finds the the condemnation of a gay lifestyle as a sin to be a much bigger sin than that gay lifestyle will ever be. Bottom line: I may disagree with most of what Drallig has said but I will always defend his right to say it.

posted by cjets at 05:17 PM on February 08

Very true LBB but isn't this website used to express one's opinion whether you believe it's right or wrong? That I believe, was the whole purpose for someone to create a website such as this, to express your opinion, just like you do and all the rest of us do as well. Bottom line: I may disagree with most of what Drallig has said but I will always defend his right to say it. My point exactly.

posted by BornIcon at 05:22 PM on February 08

cjets: But to question his right to post his opinion smacks of censorship. Who did that? BornIcon: Very true LBB but isn't this website used to express one's opinion whether you believe it's right or wrong? No, it isn't -- not without restrictions. That was my point. The owners of the site make it available to the public, but there are restrictions on the expression therein, and they can add, change or delete those restrictions whenever they want. You and cjets are both trying to make my comments into something they're not, i.e., a call to censor drallig. In fact, a careful reader will note that I did nothing of the sort. Instead, I pointed out that being "entitled to your opinion" is pretty meaningless. That's all. Now, excuse me, please, I've got to go recite the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson in my head.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:23 PM on February 08

uh, and I'm sure you can sort out the italics on that one..sorry 'bout that...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:28 PM on February 08

It's semantics but the creation of a website and inviting people to post does not create any rights. A privilege, yes, but the word "entitled" means a right. No one expressed that drallig should not express his opinion, just criticized that opinion. On preview, what lbb said.

posted by bperk at 05:31 PM on February 08

Now, excuse me, please, I've got to go recite the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson in my head. You guys keep forgetting the comma. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. But that might just be an opinion...

posted by hawkguy at 05:57 PM on February 08

It's still interesting that elite players have to wait to "come out" after they retire. One would think that especially now it really isn't a huge issue anymore. I was an elite sportsman many years ago. I came out when I was 18 . I am 50 now.I was critised back then but I said that my performance is what mattered on the field plus I was a team player. I didn't approach anyone as it was the sport that mattered not my sexual preference. All the players knew too. They accepted me for who I was both on the field and off. I was more surpised many years later meeting up with players who were gay and I didn't know. Such is life.

posted by wannie at 06:05 PM on February 08

I think the thing that bothers people most people about an elite athlete "coming out" is the fact that society views homosexuals as feminine ( or the opposite for lez) and professional male athletes are the antithesis of feminine. I guess people need to start realizing that gay does not equal feminine or substandard, it just means that you like "sweaty butt love". After stating the common P.C. answer to this dilemma, I must admit that in my time as a high school/college athlete, I would have been floored if I found out that one of my teammates was batting from the other side of the plate. Gay jokes were a staple of everyday banter. If someone was gay, it must have hurt them o-so bad to have to put up with all of the jokes and comments that were made. I must say that as a teenager I was homophobic (as most teenagers are), but now I support equal rights for gays (including marriage) because I know now that being gay is not a choice ( if it was no one would choose to be ridiculed ) much in the same way that being black or asian or handicapped is not a choice.

posted by yay-yo at 07:20 PM on February 08

It would have made for a much better story if he had said who he was most attracted to while playing.

posted by maryblue51 at 08:13 PM on February 08

I can pretty much guarantee it wasn't Sam Cassell.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:31 PM on February 08

You and cjets are both trying to make my comments into something they're not.... What are you talking about, LBB? This isn't some sort of combined forces against you, I just so happen to agree with cjets' opinion, what seems to be your problem? No one is attacking you, my friend. Just relax. Now, excuse me, please, I've got to go recite the poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson in my head Sure, his poetry is to die for. It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me

posted by BornIcon at 08:37 PM on February 08

Good for you, wannie. I wish that more "elite" athletes would open up and break down the walls but they are just not as brave as you were when you decided to "come out". Yay-yo is correct though. As a former athlete myself, I can tell you that many gay jokes were of the norm in the locker room. Being that I am an adult now, I understand that it was indeed childish behavior and looking back, am truly ashamed at the ridiculous comments that were made to poke fun at someone's sexual preference. I can only hope that more athletes would be like wannie and somehow summon the courage to be the first active "elite" sportsman to speak up and tell the world that they're gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

posted by BornIcon at 08:49 PM on February 08

What are you talking about, LBB? This isn't some sort of combined forces against you, Didn't say it was. I just so happen to agree with cjets' opinion, And which opinion was that? That "to question his right to post his opinion" -- something that, as I pointed out, did not happen-- "smacks of censorship"? No one did any such questioning, so the j'accuse as if someone did is inappropriate, don't you think?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:53 PM on February 08

Sir Charles said it best ".......

posted by GoBirds at 11:03 PM on February 08

Actually LBB, with this comment: "You and cjets are both trying to make my comments into something they're not", your implying that cjets and myself are somehow twisting your words into something you claim they're not. But again, you're entitled to express your opinions but don't think that I'm trying to attack you with my words, it's called disagreeing. Please, this is a dead issue.

posted by BornIcon at 05:37 AM on February 09

I'll agree with Charles Barkley. ESPN video.

posted by SummersEve at 05:44 AM on February 09

Please, this is a dead issue. Then stop posting about it! You post, she posts, you post, she posts...you two are worse than Maddy and Dave. Get a room, already.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:36 AM on February 09

thank you.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:45 AM on February 09

I think BornIcon took the last line to heart, "To strive, to seek and not to yield". I do wish people would de-confuse this place with a government-sponsored forum. I'm not trampling anyone's freedom of speech when I say it makes everything suck a little bit more when all a person every contributes is bile. It's easy to write negative reviews. How about an insightful comment about a team or player or even just sports once in a while?

posted by yerfatma at 06:58 AM on February 09

Here, here. (Or is it hear, hear?) "Amaechi puts his head down and takes it hard to the hole; slams it and serves up a facial! What a performance!" See? It's better to stay on topic and contribute something positive.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:12 AM on February 09

Yeah, Moonlighting was a good show.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:25 AM on February 09

I had a poster of Cybil Shepard on my bedroom wall in high school.

posted by hawkguy at 09:17 AM on February 09

Wow, what a coincidence, Amaechi had a poster of Bruce Willis.

posted by SummersEve at 09:28 AM on February 09

Are you sure it wasn't a Curtis Armstrong poster?

posted by BornIcon at 09:38 AM on February 09

"Amaechi puts his head down and takes it hard to the hole; slams it and serves up a facial! What a performance!" Well that paints a pretty picture right before lunch break! Nice one weedy, I've had a chuckle or too in here before but that line is a classic in my book.

posted by louisville_slugger at 09:55 AM on February 09

It sure was classic stuff, weedy. Thanks for the laugh.

posted by BornIcon at 10:29 AM on February 09

"Amaechi puts his head down and takes it hard to the hole; slams it and serves up a facial! What a performance!" See? It's better to stay on topic and contribute something positive. I know it ws intended as comic relief, but honestly, I'm having a hard time finding the humor.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:40 AM on February 09

I'm having a hard time finding the humor. It's called a double entendre. Kinda like a pun in a garter belt and fishnets.

posted by SummersEve at 12:32 PM on February 09

I know it ws intended as comic relief, but honestly, I'm having a hard time finding the humor. A basketball game sometimes can sound like gay sex? And vice versa? This reminds me of the time I was forced to defend my idea of having a tattoo of Vince Carter dunking into my starfish. Thankfully, those old Raptor uniforms with the dinosaur on them stopped me. Man, those uniforms were in poor taste.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:05 PM on February 09

One or two handed dunk?

posted by tron7 at 01:55 PM on February 09

The league's morality is not based on the bible or on what any one person thinks is "societal norms." It's based on putting butts in seats and eyeballs on commercials. So capitalism isn't a societal norm? Interesting.

posted by brainofdtrain at 01:35 PM on February 10

No, it's not. How would it be considered so?

posted by yerfatma at 02:57 PM on February 10

Would capitalism be a societal norm for socialists? Would socialism be a capitalistic norm for capitalists? Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself.

posted by SummersEve at 03:44 PM on February 10

Re. ism's......Ferris Bueller?

posted by tommytrump at 06:07 PM on February 10

How about izzle's?

posted by tron7 at 09:33 PM on February 10

I just read an excerpt from Amaechi's book. Umm, I have to say, the words "asshole" and "bitchy" come to mind.

posted by forrestv at 10:42 PM on February 13

He definitely has no fond memories of Sloan.

posted by bperk at 10:52 AM on February 14

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