ESPN columnist LZ Granderson gave an interview to Michigan-based online mag MLive.com and talked about being a gay sports journalist, gay athletes, Prop 8 and dissing Michael Jordan. He also spends several paragraphs talking about the lack of out gay athletes in the pros.
The truth is, I'm not so sure that someone hasn't already come out to his teammates and they just keep it in the family. Some gay people believe that every person of note who is gay should hold a press conference to announce their orientation. I don't. I just believe in living an authentic life. I never wrote an "I'm gay" column in the newspaper. I just brought my boyfriend to the Super Bowl and let folks who gave a damn draw their own conclusions. John Amaechi stated in his book, "Man in the Middle", he came out to some teammates long before he came out more publicly and officially became an activist. That situation is hardly unique.
We've long talked about the definition of "out athlete" on this site. Many people want an athlete to hold a press conference, but I think, like Granderson, that a big announcement is so unlikely. Why would an athlete do that instead of just taking a boyfriend to team events or speaking engagements? It's so important to have the backing of the team, and that alone would probably take years to develop. I like LZ's thinking here: It is happening, we're just not seeing it. And yeah, LZ thinks we're a long way from seeing someone hold one of those press conferences.