Homosexuality in Sports

In the article “A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life”, it goes on to explain how the President and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns came out to the public about being gay. 58 year old Rick Welts spent his whole life centered on basketball. Throughout his years working with the NBA as a one-time ball boy for the Seattle Supersonics to the President of the Phoenix Suns, welts used basketball as a scapegoat. His dedication to the job he landed with the Seattle Supersonics allowed him to miss awkward social gatherings such as school dances in his adolescent years. Rick Welts spent his whole life deceiving the world of who he really was. He was a homosexual man in the professional sports industry.
Men’s sports, for the most part are considered masculine. The three main sports played in America are football, basketball, and baseball. These sports are played at high intensity where the opposing teams try to intimidate the other teams with power, speed, aggression, and physical prowess. When Rick Welts came out of the closet, it shocked the nation because he had an important role in a professional sport. When he came out, welts became a very faint minority in a field that is dominated by the most masculine men in the world. The stereotypical homosexual culture tends to lean towards the feminine side. Very few men in professional sports have come out and said they were gay. Society is accepting gay culture more than ever now, but men in professional sports still do not feel comfortable with who they really are. In most cases, the gay male athletes play their whole career without openly coming out to the public. When their career is over, they usually come out to the public about their homosexuality. Examples of these people include NBA player Jon Amaechi and NFL player Dave Kopay who came out after they went into retirement. These men kept their sexual preference to themselves so they could be accepted by their teammates during their playing years. They didn’t want to be looked at any differently just because of their homosexuality. There could be many consequences to coming out while athletes are still playing their professional careers. Even in the turn of the new century, there is still discrimination towards gay people. Coming out for being openly gay could result in exclusion or ridicule by teammates and fans. Of course, most people are going to accept the fact that they have a homosexual teammate, but there will always be homophobic people in the world that discriminate over sexual preference.
Speaking from a personal standpoint, I have been on two sports teams with openly gay teammates. There was no exclusion whatsoever. There were a good amount of “gay” jokes that were told throughout the team, but nothing in mean spirit. There was no discrimination towards the gay teammates.
Hopefully in recent years homosexuality in sports is universally accepted by teammates and the public. Sports are a way to learn life lessons such as teamwork and unity with a group of people. Athletes active in all sports on multiple levels should have the same unity no matter what the sexual preference of specific members are. Just because a teammate is gay, it doesn’t mean they are feminine or lack masculine traits. Everybody should be accepted equally, gay or straight.

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Rick Welts, who recently came out to the public

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Jon Amaechi came out after he retired after his 7 year career in the NBA

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Dave Kopay came out after his retirement from the NFL