Paving the Way for the First 'Out' Pro Male Athlete

U.S. News and World Report
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April 2, 2013
Issues: 

The LGBTQ community has been making advancements all over American culture—from Supreme Court cases to video games. But in the world of sports, there is still one major hurdle that has yet to be cleared. No professional player of an American male team-sport—football, baseball, basketball or hockey—has revealed himself to be gay while still playing the game. A number of players have come out since retiring, as have some female athletes, and a number of professionals have voiced their support for their lesbian and gay teammates. But reports by CBS Sports' Mike Freeman that an NFL player is thinking about coming out have only intensified the discussion of this next major step. "I think it's important for anyone who is a professional athlete, anyone who is anything, to come out," says Aaron McQuade, head of Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's sports program. GLAAD is one of many groups working with the NFL and other pro leagues to facilitate this process. Not only will an out pro athlete be an important example for other gay and lesbian athletes, says McQuade, but for their teammates and coaches as well.