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Big Four without any out gay athlete for first time since 2013

So now what?

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

With the retirement of David Denson from baseball, the Big Four sports leagues are again without any publicly out gay athletes in their systems for the first time since 2013. Denson, who came out publicly in 2015, had been playing the farm system of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Previously, NBA player Jason Collins came out publicly in 2013 and retired in 2014. Michael Sam came out publicly in 2014 before the NFL Draft. He played one game in the Canadian Football League in 2015 but has not been in the mix for a spot in the NFL since.

There are, of course, various out athletes in the “Big Six” sports leagues, which would include Major League Soccer and the WNBA. Robbie Rogers is still under contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy, even though he hasn’t played yet this season. Various athletes, including Brittney Griner and Layshia Clarendon, are out in the WNBA.

Plus there are countless brave athletes in high school and college to be inspired by. They are truly inspiring, and we’ll continue to focus on their stories of courage.