This Saturday at 8PM Pacific, NBC Bay Area will debut "The Last Barrier," which was produced in partnership with Comcast SportsNet. This can be seen as a follow-up, of sorts, to Comcast SportsNet's excellent (and GLAAD Media Award-Nominated) "Out. The Glenn Burke Story" which examined the life of the former baseball player who had the talent to be one of the best ever, but was driven away from the game because he was gay.
While "Out." captured where sports were in relation to LGBT people in the late 70s through the 80s, The Last Barrier examines where we are today - in a landscape where pro athletes are endorsing marriage equality, where entire collegiate leagues are partnering with campaigns to encourage LGBT athletes, where professional leagues are training full classes of rookies on LGBT sensitivity, and where there are openly gay sportswriters and executives - but where we still have yet to see an out pro athlete in any of America's major men's pro leagues.
The program features interviews with Rick Welts, President and COO of the Golden State Warriors who came out last year; Chris Kluwe, outspoken ally and Minnesota Vikings punter; Patrick Burke, GLAAD Amplifier Award-winner and co-founder ofthe truly inspiring “You Can Play” campaign; Dave Kopay, the first former NFL player to ever come out; Cyd Zeigler, journalist and co-founder of OutSports.com; and Amani Toomer, former NFL player as well as Bay Area sports mainstays Ray Ratto and Shooty Babbit.
After its NBC Bay Area debut on Saturday, the program will re-air on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on Monday, December 10 at 8:30PM, Thursday, December 13 at 7PM and Monday, December 17 at 8:30PM. It can also be seen nationally by anyone with Dish Network's or DirecTV's sports packages at those dates and times.
Chris Kluwe talks about how far the NFL is from accepting a gay player:
Cyd Zeigler has discussed this issue with many pro athletes, and says we're closer than we think:
Patrick Burke has seen plenty of casual homophobia on display in locker rooms:
For more videos or information, visit the special's website.