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Slate readers: Pro athlete will come out October 2014, will be in baseball

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Dave Kopay started paving the way in the '70s

Slate.com asked its readers to predict when a professional male athlete in the United States will come out of the closet. The average: October 2014. The most common guess was June 2013, with the majority of voters saying it will be by the spring of 2014. Either way, their readers think it'll be in the next two years.

While most of the attention in the last couple weeks has been on gays in the NHL, it's Major League Baseball where a plurality of voters think that player will be. MLB got 47% of the vote...almost half. The NHL was a distance second with 24%. The NFL was last with 11%, just behind the NBA's 17%.

While some people may say "that's way too late" because of the recent advances in sports, I personally voted for June 2016. We've seen these "watershed" gay moments in sports before, after which athletes were supposed to come streaming out of the closet. Dave Kopay came out in 1975 thinking a wave of athletes would follow him. He's still waiting, 36 years later. The Gay Games launched in 1982; Nothing. Billy Bean came out in 1999 and that was supposed to change things. Laveranues Coles revealed he was sexually assaulted as a child, and Mike Silver said that would open the closet doors. That was 2005.

Interestingly, the third most-common guess in Slate's poll was March 2020, eight years from now.

Other people say it will "absolutely" happen in the next year, others say two years. It could happen tomorrow; The thing is, no one knows and no one can predict it. But I'm not holding my breath.