ESPN polled Major League Baseball players on what they think the reaction in the clubhouse would be to having a gay teammate and the reaction was mixed. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no big deal and 10 it being a huge deal, the average was 5.1. A 5 on the scale grabbed the biggest percentage of responses (19%), with declining to state second at 18%. From the poll:
The average was a right-down-the-middle 5.1, but the individual responses were not. Some were cool with it. "there'd be a few outliers who would have a strong reaction, maybe a few homophobes," one AL pitcher says. "But overall, not a big deal -- I'd say a 2 or a 3." An AL outfielder agrees. "I wonder how much it would really change anything. There's already a lot of funny stuff that goes on with some of my teammates in the clubhouse that makes you wonder.
Others, though, weren't nearly so accepting. "Nobody would want to take a shower," says a guy who has played in both leagues.
Scale number, followed by percentage of respondents
The article does not indicate how many players were polled. Like any poll, this can be read in a number of ways, but maybe the fact that 18% refused to answer is telling. Is the subject that taboo for some players that they won't state an opinion? I would like to read what others make of these numbers.
Update: Pete at the Wide Rights blog has a good analysis and says 100 players were polled.
Hat tip to reader PCC for the item.