Wisconsin made history in November by electing the first openly lesbian U.S. senator in Tammy Baldwin. Now, the Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League has made some history of its own by naming Sue Black its president and chief executive officer. Black joins Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts as the only male American pro sports franchises with openly gay team CEOs.
Jim Owczarski of OnMilwaukee.com has a nice profile of Black and what her hiring means to pro sports, including comments from NBA Commissioner David Stern and Karen Bryant, CEO of the WNBA's Seattle Storm and herself a lesbian. Welts, for one, is glad he's no longer alone.
"It's just helpful to have yet another person out there in the world of sports who doesn't see this as the center of her universe but rather just one aspect of her life and got that job because she happens to be terrific at doing what she does, not because of her sexual preference one way or the other," said Welts, who was hired by Golden State four months after coming out.
For her part, Black said her sexual orientation was a non-factor in her hiring.
"The female part of it, I think that's the big piece to the puzzle," she said of the importance of her position, which also includes the president and CEO roles with the Wave's charitable arm, the Wave of Hope. "My personal life is my personal life and I've never been closeted, or whatever the word is. I've always just been honest about who I am."
Kudos to the Wave and to Sue Black, another LGBT sports pioneer.
Hat tip to Mike Bryant.