But this season, the team is developing a new reputation — as models of tolerance — after one of its captains announced in an online essay in February that he was gay. The senior, Andrew McIntosh, said he had not heard a single disparaging comment from his teammates.
“I was embraced with open arms,” he said. “I had teammates come up and give me handshakes, and people saying it takes a lot of guts to do that.”
Cyd is quoted at length in the article, as is McIntosh's coach Dan Mahar.
One afternoon in the spring of 2009, Mahar pulled the team out of practice after some players described one of his drills as “gay.” Mahar said he had been hearing such language on the bus and during practice.
“Regardless of how you feel about whether being gay is right or wrong,” Mahar said he told the team, “the language is not appropriate.”
For McIntosh, it was a welcome signal. “I had never heard a coach say that before,” McIntosh said.
I've always said that a successful coming out needs not only support from teammates, but from the coaching staff and administration, which can set the right tone. It's terrific that McIntosh's story is spreading and that he is a making a difference.