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Is there a gay Jackie Robinson in baseball’s future?

Apr 18, 2012, 8:33 AM EDT

MysteryMan

This comes up from time to time, and today it’s my friend Graham Womack who brings it up:

It’s one of the last remaining areas of bigotry in America, persecution of gays, and not surprisingly, baseball isn’t much evolved … With estimates that 10 percent of people are gay or lesbian, chances are good that a sport of 750 players (up to 1,200 after September call-ups) already has a gay All Star or two. I’ll celebrate when the day comes that he plays openly.

I’ll celebrate too, but I’m not exactly holding my breath, either, because as I’ve argued in the past (longtime readers will remember it, so feel free to skip to the next post), things other than bigotry prevent a ballplayer from coming out of the closet. Indeed, I think bigotry may not even be at the top of the list.

Yes, there will be idiots and bigots who say stupid hateful things if a player — let’s call him Johnny Robinson — comes out of the closet while on a major league roster.* Comments sections of blogs and other dark corners of the web will spew their usual garbage, but they’re gonna do that anyway.  I’m more interested in what the public at large thinks, and I think the public at large will, on the surface anyway, be pretty accepting.

Why? Because — as I wrote a couple of years ago — there is an inverse relationship between the vehemence of anti-gay rhetoric and the specificity with which the gay target is identified. Bigoted jerks hate non-specific gay people to whom they can attribute the worst stereotypical behaviors and to whom they can ascribe an “agenda” with impunity.  Put a name on the person, and the voices grow quieter (e.g. the gay neighbor down the street). Put a famous name on the person and they’re quieter still (e.g. the gay celebrity). Bigots are even more likely to accept gay family members. The point is that the more prominent any given gay person is, the less likely they are to receive an overt negative reaction. Mostly because bigots are cowards.

So if Johnny Robinson need not worry about overt public hatred and condemnation, why wouldn’t he come out?  My guess: it would be a gigantic distraction and overall pain in the ass for him.

While the tone of the reaction would be generally OK, the volume of the reaction would be overwhelming.  Johnny Robinson would have 100 interview requests on Day One.  He’d immediately be descended upon by a million baseball writers and, way worse, a million non-baseball writers, all trying to talk to him. Since they couldn’t all be in the clubhouse, they’d have to set up special press conferences. That would take away from Johnny Robinson’s pregame or postgame routine and one thing ballplayers hate is to have their routines disrupted.

It would be even worse in the offseason. Being a pioneer is inspirational, but it’s also really hard on the schedule in the 21st century. There are a lot of dinners, photo ops, guest appearances on talk shows, meta/cute playing oneself on progressive sitcoms, parades to grand marshal and all of the rest.  At what point does Robinson get to take that postseason vacation? When does he slip back into is offseason workout regimen? When does he get to spend some quiet time with his boyfriend who, by the way, is probably going to become a minor celebrity himself, which makes it all even more complicated.

I can’t imagine Robinson wouldn’t be utterly crushed by that, and because of it, I can’t imagine the player who would want to subject himself to it, even if it presented itself to him with open, loving and accepting arms as opposed to bigotry.

My guess: the first openly gay ballplayer will wait until retirement. Which, while not the most inspirational thing possible, is totally understandable because baseball is hard enough as it is.

*People always mention Glen Burke here, but whether he was truly out while playing in the late 70s is an open question. Teammates knew and ownership reportedly knew, but it wasn’t generally known by the public. Heck, it’s probably the case that most people had no idea who Glen Burke was at the time.

116 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. itsacurse - Apr 18, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    I don’t think “guess who’s gay” was the intent of this article.

    • hojo20 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      I hope we retire a gay players’ number across MLB…….Shortstop……#2….Derek….Jeter.

      • angrycorgi - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        LOL

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM

        Dead on Corgi! This right here sums it up for me as well. “Your baseball-oriented articles, for the most part, are very good. But when you start pushing your agendas, your social bias negatively affects your record of normally interesting and sometimes humorous sports writing.”
        In a nutshell…it makes it real hard for me to take him seriously. Well done Corgi. Well Done.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        What agenda is Craig pushing? The fact that the two of you are merely seeing “Craig mocks X; therefore, he’s pushing the polar opposite of X” is absurd and reductionist thinking.

        In the two articles angrycorgi linked, the first had to do with a player thanking God for what happened. Craig obviously had a bit of fun in his column, but doesn’t it bring up a few questions? For one, what happens if the other person was praying to god? If it’s Mariano Rivera, a devout Catholic, vs Josh Hamilton with the game on the line, and they both pray to God, who wins? Also, if people always thank God for good things, why don’t they blame him when they fail?

        The second has to do with a religious nut-job that has a serious causation vs correlation issue. However, unless you tend to only read the mainstream mlb sites, plenty of people have written about the removal of god bless america from games that have nothing to do with religion, the song just takes too damn long in between innings.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        Church: Are you on Calcaterra’s freaking payroll? He very much has an agenda. I see it all the time. If you (and several others) would stop slow jacking the Man for one damn minute you might be able to open your eyes and see it as well.
        The Torii Hunter (burgler alarm) article comes to mind immediately. That was just the latest.
        Again…you do NOT have to continually slow jack the Man. It is almost sickening.
        IT IS OKAY TO DISAGREE WITH HIM. IT IS OKAY TO CRITICIZE HIM.
        HE WILL NOT HATE YOU FOR IT.

      • spindervish - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        Not sure I agree with your very last sentence, but you are right that some commenters need to get off their favorite blogger’s nuts. He’s a bright, generally entertaining hipster who likes to snark about baseball and pop culture and every once in a while has some deep thoughts to share. He’s not Yoda…he’s not even Mace Windu.

        That said, you’ve proven time and again that, while you seem a generally pleasant and friendly chap, you’re not exactly the most intellectually evolved individual, and echoing the corgi’s foaming-at-the-mouth rants here isn’t really helping your case.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        Not sure how to respond to that. Ummm…I will just state that I scored 1020 on my SAT…graduated college with a degree in Business Adminstration and I am running a successful business that employs 25 people. I will state that I don’t feel an overwhelming urge to “prove” my intellegience by unnecessarily using 3 and 4 syllable words with every post.
        You see…that’s just it. I don’t have to “prove” anything. Quite different from most that appear to engage in a pissing match to “one-up” each other.
        Thank you for the incredibly valuable insight there…”chap.”

      • Gamera the Brave - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Aw, sh!t, and here I was thinking all along – “That Craig is JUST like Mace Windu”…

      • Alex K - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        I Don’t personally see Craig trying to push his beliefs on his readers. I think he puts his point of view out there and people react how they react. It’s fine if you think he is trying to jam his beliefs down your throat, but not everyone thinks so. That, however, doesn’t mean someone like church (or myself) are blindly following anything Craig says. It just means that we (probably) think the same thing about the topic at hand.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        Are you on Calcaterra’s freaking payroll?

        Nope, would help out with the finances but we’re obviously off to a great start here if agreeing with someone = being paid by them. Great to see where this goes…

        If you (and several others) would stop slow jacking the Man for one damn minute you might be able to open your eyes and see it as well.

        Ad hominem attacks, well done. No factual evidence yet though.

        The Torii Hunter (burgler alarm) article comes to mind immediately. That was just the latest.

        What agenda was Craig pushing? You really think that if Hunter were white the police would have done the same thing? When’s the last time a famous/rich white person had the cops show up to his/her house and had their guns drawn the entire time while Hunter went for an id?

        I don’t care if it’s proper protocol to do so. Point out a time they did it to a white person.

        IT IS OKAY TO DISAGREE WITH HIM. IT IS OKAY TO CRITICIZE HIM.
        HE WILL NOT HATE YOU FOR IT.

        I’ve been posting on here and shysterball for the last 5-6 years maybe, and have called out Craig for his intentional misuse of facts/trolling when needed. Still haven’t been banned yet though so I’m pretty sure I know it’s okay to criticize him.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        Shysterball? Not familiar with it. Must be a good site though if you have been visiting it for 5-6 years. We are good Church (and Alex for that matter). Essentially, I just tire of seeing anyone who rails on Craig get blasted for (seemingly) no other reason then disagreeing with the Man.
        Again…we are good. I am going to have to check Shysterball though.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM

        Shysterball was his original site, affiliated with THT before he moved to HBT. You might find some archives up, but nothing new has been posted there for years.

        And it’s all good. Sometimes there’s too much agreeing going on in here. So no worries.

      • Alex K - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:42 PM

        Shysterball seems like forever ago. Oh the days when Craig was just a lowly blogspot blogger…..

      • 1historian - Apr 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Using the phrase ‘ad hominem’ here is very impressive.

        Would you please define the phrase?

      • deathmonkey41 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        I don’t see any gift baskets for men in the future.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        Hahaha! I also hear the Redlegs 1st Baseman is gay.
        I have no proof. It’s just the word on the street.
        But he can still play baseball. And very well at that.

  2. packerpride03 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Just stay in the closet it’s better that way

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Go back to PFT with the rest of the neanderthals. This is a place for intelligent discussion.

      • 12strikes - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        As small minded as Packer is, the censors over at PFT are worse. That post would not have lasted 3 seconds over there.

  3. brainmatter02 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    As a gay man and baseball fan I long for the day where there is a gay baseball hero. It’d be nice for the closeted young gay kids to know that stereotypes don’t define a whole community and there are gay people in all aspects of society. If that person can come out and still play baseball on a national stage, then what would their excuse be?

    Unfortunately it would make going to games a more uncomfortable experience. I can’t even sit through a Yankee game in the bleachers without hearing fa**ot shouted at players a thousand times, regardless of who they are. Hell, the creatures were doing the “Y R U Gay” up until a few years ago. Even once change comes, it will be a brutal environment to be in.

    • cur68 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      Good luck with the Yankees fans, bro. The good news is that it’s not everybody, just a few people. Most of the Yankee fans on this board are pretty decent, in fact. Know what I think will happen? Our gay ball player will wait till he’s done playing, Then, he’ll come out during his Hall of Fame induction speech. That’ll make it easier for the next guy. It’ll still be hell, though.

      • brainmatter02 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Thanks, but don’t worry, born and raised a Yankees fan and I know what I’m getting myself into. It does hurt a little bit more knowing that the community you want to belong to doesn’t really think highly of you. But as we all know, you can’t judge a community based on the actions of a few.

        I say in the beachers in college, but now I try to get seats in the rest of the stadium when I can where it is mostly families and people minding themselves.

    • natslady - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      Sorry for your bad experience. We here in NatsTown have the next thing to an openly gay couple on the team, and, so far, it’s just “one of those things.” Anyone who follows the team closely knows who they are, and they are pretty open about it on Twitter and TV interviews, but they haven’t actually come out or gotten married–which is legal in this city. Don’t know what the implications would be if that happened, I would like to see it happen.

  4. heyblueyoustink - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    “So if Johnny Robinson need not worry about overt public hatred and condemnation, why wouldn’t he come out? My guess: it would be a gigantic distraction and overall pain in the ass for him.”

    There’s something about those last few words there I find to be slapstick comicial in a very juvenile way.

  5. crashburnalley - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    “It’s one of the last remaining areas of bigotry in America, persecution of gays”

    Patently false. Ask women who have had draconian anti-woman legislation thrown in their faces in recent months that rescinds control over their own bodies. Ask Muslims how they’ve been treated since 9/11. Ask atheists how they’ve been treated in this country since it was founded. Ask the poor. Ask African Americans, who are still routinely treated as second-class citizens, particularly by law enforcement. Ask the transgendered.

    I think Womack’s overall point is great. It’d be nice to have an active athlete, especially in baseball, come out of the closet and be a role model for young people. But to act like gays are the last remaining minority in this country is incredibly ignorant and insulting. In the United States, if you’re not a rich, white, straight male, you’re treated as less of a human being and citizen.

    Sorry for the rant but that part of Womack’s article irked me.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Patently false. Ask…Ask…Ask

      I agree with the premise, but the majority of the anti-women legislation is blasted by the left in all forms of media as being anti-women. Crimes against African Americans (Trayvon Martin) are highlighted in the media as being wrong. Anti-Muslim violence is reported as such as well.

      Being anti-gay, especially in the sports arena is still deemed “okay” as well as in other walks of life. Adults/Kids today still use the word “gay” as an insult for someone, or use it as a way to demean something, or talk about how “stupid” something is. (note, retarded is starting to gain steam as well in this same arena).

      • Amsterdamned - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        I think that’s Bill’s point, though. Sure the invasive procedures proposed by the Right has been (rightly) blasted by women’s groups and Left-leaning media, but the fact that was even brought up shows that bigotry still exists for people in all walks of life. Now is it as bad or wide-spread as it once was? Absolutely not. But it still exists. I think that’s what he was getting at, that with those examples it shows that bigotry, although to a lesser extent than in the past, is still very much alive, and it’s a dangerous thing to pretend it’s not.

    • mox19380 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      I guess the writer should have been specific in saying “the last remaining areas of bigotry” in sports.

    • Ben - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Crash, I get your point, but the persecution of women and the persecution of gays is all part of the same right-wing vision of a particular form of heterosexual America–flip sides of the same coin.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      I think you got a little trigger happy there Crash. The quote was “It’s one of the last remaining areas of bigotry in America, persecution of gays”.

      And basically you added some more areas where bigotry exists, which doesn’t make his statement any less true. It is still one of the remaining areas of Bigotry in the country, it said nothing about being “the last” one, or “only one”. I must add I am not rich but I’m still treated like a human and citizen. As is my wife who’s got two strikes being a woman and not rich.

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        You might want to look at that quote again: “It’s one of the last remaining areas of bigotry in America, persecution of gays.”

        Last time I checked, “last” meant “last.”

      • Alex K - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        You may want to look at what J5 wrote again. He was just pointing out that the author of the post in question didn’t say that this was the very last area of bigoty.

        Last time I checked “one of” one of meant there are more than one.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        “ONE OF” the last means it does not stand alone, there are others. If I were ONE OF the last men on earth, that means there are others. Seriously, how do you not know this? Is English really that dead?

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        On the topic of English being dead, how about we talk about implication for a few seconds? If you were one of the last men on Eartth, then no, it doesn’t mean you’re the only one. But it DOES imply that there aren’t a billion men left. Similar logic: one of the last remaining areas of bigotry implies that there aren’t, you know, a dozen. Including, by the way, all the ones that have ever existed, because we’ve yet to exterminate even one. Race, age, class, sex, orientation, faith, lack of faith (separate issue), gender identity, the list goes on.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

        Sorry Matt, that’s not how Logic works. Logic doesn’t mean changing the meaning of words to fit your argument. Logic means saying what you mean like the author has and he never said it was the last area of bigotry, but one, of the many that still exist as you pointed out.

        For the record if anyone thinks any area of bigotry will be completely wiped away from the human race, they are sorely mistaken. It’s a fact, sad but true. The only one that has a chance is racism, after a million or so years from now when we are all one homogeneous race. Then it’ll be height or hair texture. We as a race (humans) can always find ways to be bigots and hypocrites.
        .

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Ok, so bigotry of any form can never be erased, but sexual orientation is one of the last remaining areas of bigotry. Well, let’s see if my mastery of English can hold out for a little bit longer. “Remaining” means, in layman’s terms, “still around,” so “one of the last remaining” would seem to say that there are some areas that aren’t still around. Except you’ve just told us all that that isn’t possible. So, logic, which you seem to love so much, would then tell us that the original statment is incorrect by nature of making no sense. Bigotry based on orientation can’t be one of the last remaining areas of bigotry because every area of bigotry still exists. Which… makes me and Crash right. Well done.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        You finally got it Matt. Good work.

        “Ok, so bigotry of any form can never be erased, but sexual orientation is one of the last remaining areas of bigotry.”

        It’s so true when we use your “similar logic”

        “Similar logic: one of the last remaining areas of bigotry implies that there aren’t, you know, a dozen. Including, by the way, all the ones that have ever existed, because we’ve yet to exterminate even one. Race, age, class, sex, orientation, faith, lack of faith (separate issue), gender identity, the list goes on.”

        Splitting hairs here is ridiculous I’ll just end this discussion with this. The author never intended to imply Anti Gay bigotry is the last form of bigotry in this country and to turn his words to make it look that way is plain wrong and disingenuous. He was making a good point and it’s wrong to turn it around as if he thinks for a second it’s the only thing people are bigots about.

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        I’m trying really hard to craft a response, but your last post made no sense, so I’ll leave it at this. There’s no reason to use a phrase like “one of the last remaining areas” unless the writer is trying to suggest that anti-gay bigotry is one of FEW types still in existence, which is false.

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        By the way, for someone who insults others’ understanding of the English language, yours could use some work. I’m pretty sure you learned about capitalization in the 1700’s. Oh, and periods go inside the quotation marks.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        lol!

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        Hey, Matt D., “one of the last” is a figure of speech which means that there are not as many as there were prior to the present time. It does not mean, no matter how you twist it, that there are just a few remaining—unless that is how it was intended. In this case, that was not the intent. You would or should know that if you read Craig’s posts before.

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        No, actually, it means exactly that. Let’s use Jonny’s example. I say I’m one of the last men on Earth. Can I use that phrase if there are, say, three billion men on Earth? No. Why? Because the majority of Earth’s men are still around. Come on, this isn’t hard.

      • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Also, Craig didn’t write the comment in question, so his previous posts have nothing to do with this conversation.

    • Matt D. - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      Well said, Crash. Couldn’t agree more.

  6. Roger Moore - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    There’s also the possibility- and I think it’s getting ever more likely- that the first openly gay player will be somebody who came out in High School or College and isn’t willing to go back into the closet as a pro. He’d have some time in the minors for people to get used to the idea, so it wouldn’t be quite as big a deal as if he came out after making it to the majors.

  7. Detroit Michael - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    “My guess: the first openly gay ballplayer will wait until retirement.”

    Well, we’ve already had that. Glenn Burke and Billy Bean (not the GM) were gay MLB players. Burke went public with a posthumous book but Bean announced he was gay once he was retired.

  8. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    It was linked in the original post, but is worthy of being linked again. Here’s the article on the first openly gay Rugby player, what he thought he was going to deal with, what actually happened, and how he’s dealing with it today.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1168953/index.htm

  9. xaledonia - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    10% are gay? No way, probably about 3%. But the real question is if the player will be a pitcher or a catcher.

    • jarathen - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      Your insight into numbers is amazing. Pray tell, where is your paper, or at least link, that supports your assertion of “no way”?

      • Victor's Secret - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

        Xaledonia has anecdotal evidence. From what we know of baseball, that’s perfectly acceptable. Stats are for bloggers living in their parents’ basements who’ve never been in the real world.

    • jimbo1949 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Piss poor attempt at bigoted, juvenile humor.

    • davidpom50 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      I hate to say it, but despite his apparent bigotry, xaledonia is close to correct, at least with regards to the US population, and by this study: http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gates-How-Many-People-LGBT-Apr-2011.pdf

      They say 3.7% of the US identifies as Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual. Obviously, this leaves out some number of closeted individuals.

      • davidpom50 - Apr 18, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        Bah, now I wish I had seen the much more civilized debate about this below, instead of lending any credence to anything xaledonia said.

    • Gamera the Brave - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Shouldn’t your handle be “xenophobia”?

  10. nolanwiffle - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    As a bit of an aside…..am I the only one who thinks that the estimate of 10% of society is gay is a bit high? 1 of every 10 Americans is gay? How was that number determined?

    • Kevin S. - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      That’s usually the high-end number I hear quoted. 5-10% of any given population may be a more accurate way to put it.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      I could be wrong here, but I think it derives from the Kinsey studies in the 40s. And, yes, 10 percent is very high. The estimate of 10 percent — even then — was that 10 percent of men had had a (i.e., one) same-sex experience.

      Whatever percentage of the US population gay people are is irrelevant to whether they deserve equal rights under the Constitution. Jewish people, like me, are less than 3 percent of the US population. There’s fewer Buddhists and Sihks and Muslims than that. Fourteen Amendment covers us anyway.

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        To be clear, there was a reason I prefaced my questions with “as a bit of an aside”. I made no judement as to whether their numbers in society was relevant to their meriting equal rights, as you seemed to insinuate in your second paragraph.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        No worries. I was arguing with a hypothetical person, not you.

  11. mox19380 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    It would be beautiful to have that wall knocked down. John Amaechi became the first Pro basketball player to come out but he did it post retirement and unfortunately it didn’t/doesn’t have the impact and the “were here, deal with it” effect as doing it during the game (a’la Jackie Robinson).

    Whether it’s Hank Greenberg being one of the first superstar known Jewish players or Jackie Robinson it will be a tough road but the long lasting impact would be, I can only assume, epic for the gay community and for America at large

  12. morrismr466 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    Nobody cares who’s sleeping with who. Players are judged by numbers. That’s my take anyway

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      Think most of us would agree, but there’s still a subset of people in this country/world who are like packerpride03 up there who do care.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Pop quiz: what did Derek Jeter’s one-night stands get?
      Who fed A-Rod popcorn at the Super Bowl?

      Let’s face it: we (in the aggregate) DO know about players’ sex lives.

    • dianagram - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Just an aside, I really don’t care which player’s wife is the “hottest” when they show her in the stands or magazines.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Instead of a WAG, You’re looking more for HAB huh? ;)

      • 18thstreet - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        What kind of a monster are you? This is outrageous.

        Shots of hot wives in the stands are one of the few things Fox baseball does well.

  13. cereal blogger - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Two words: Derek Jeter

  14. nategearhart - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    I want a ballplayer to come out and then punch Luke Scott in the face.

  15. ck101 - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the underlying issue – otherwise unjust discrimination and bigotry does not become just simply because a smaller number of people are being victimized – but the frequently seen statistic that 10% of the population is gay/lesbian is highly questionable. It seems to have first appeared in the Kinsey studies back in the 1940s, but the statistical methods used in those studies have been called into question, and more scientific methods used have not duplicated that result. This is obviously a controversial issue and one that doesn’t easily lend itself to scientific exactitude, but I believe the generally accepted figure among reputable scientific researchers is 3 to 5%. Again, this is unimportant when discussing the larger issue, but I don’t think it’s ever bad to have one’s facts right.

    • normcash - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      The Kinsey study actually didn’t claim 10% of the population was gay, as we understand the term nowadays. It said 10% reported having a same-sex experience—which isn’t the same
      thing as having fundamental same-sex attraction. The 3% figure comes from an equally dubious
      Univ. of Chicago study done in early 80s which purported to be a “scientific” survey. The problem with it is that researchers, using the methodology of polling organizations to control
      for demographics, interviewed people personally and asked them what their sexual orientation was. The weakness of this approach should be obvious. Imagine you are a closeted gay person
      and a stranger comes to your home and asks what your sexual orientation is. And in the early 80s many more gay people were closeted than today—and even now I’d bet my house that a majority of gay people are in the closet to some extent (i.e., open to friends, but not to family or vice versa; open with friends and family, but not at work, etc.). Why that Chicago study has any credibility is a mystery.

      As many posters have noted, however, the numbers are irrelevant to the principle at issue.

      Btw, I’m both gratified and surprised at the tenor of these posts—the haters seem to have taken the day off!

  16. winkeroni - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Is sexual preference not a private matter?

    • Amsterdamned - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      Yes and no. Of course what you do in your bedroom is your business and really no one else’s. That said, being gay isn’t only limited to the bedroom. It’s not as if a man who is gay goes and sleeps with other men by night, but has a girlfriend by day. Well, some do, but that is the by product of having to live “in the closet”.

      This is where a big disconnect comes in that I don’t think a lot of folks see, it’s not just about sexual preference. The fact is there still is a lot of bigotry towards gay, lesbian, and transgendered people, and if you out and about living your normal life, but instead of a member of the opposite sex holding your hand, and cuddling in the cold and whatnot, it’s a member of the same sex. This is when that private matter becomes public.

      The whole idea of “no one has to know” is bullshit, because at that point gay and lesbians are being asked to live a lie. To not be able to go do what heterosexual couples do on a daily basis. Being gay may not define someone’s life as a whole, but it certainly defines something that is a large part of everyone’s life, even beyond the bedroom.

  17. youjivinmeturkey - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Reblogged this on "You Jivin' Me, Turkey?" and commented:
    I Simply Felt This Was An Interesting AND Important Little Article.
    -BRAD

  18. druhlman - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I don’t understand why we can’t just be secure enough with ourselves as people being who we are to not need a “hero” someone shouldn’t feel obligated or forced to come out if they choose not to, just because you want an “impact”.

  19. sdelmonte - Apr 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    The first openly gay pro athlete will be someone who is from a very progressive family and community, who is openly gay from a very early age, and who then goes on to have an amazing high school career. He will be a huge novelty from the second the media finds him, but will have the same level of determination as Jackie Robinson.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      John Amaechi

      • fivetoolmike - Apr 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        He wasn’t out while playing.

  20. curufindir - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    I grew up in a family steeped in bigotry. If I even mentioned a girl’s name, my father’s first question would be, “Is she black?” His father was even more virulent. I would be less than honest if I didn’t admit that some of that prejudice didn’t rub off on me. I was fortunate in that I escaped that environment through military service. I met people from different cultures and found out they were just like me even if they didn’t look or act like me. I came to appreciate those differences as my experiences humanized the people behind the stereotypes.

    My point is that I was bright enough to figure this all out on my own without finger wagging purveyors of identity politics lecturing me about what a coward I was. This is the last page view this blog gets from me.

    • fearlessleader - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      Yes, you’re clearly over all your bigotry. :) Bye!

    • 18thstreet - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      You wouldn’t have gotten over it on your own without Harry Truman desegregating the military. Laws matter.

  21. Spiro Agnew - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    If all the gay athletes came out at once the attention on any one player would be diffused. I know this would be hard to organize, but it could work.

  22. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    I think there will be a gay jackie robinson in MLB’s future and he will be the pride and joy of the boston redsox, i have no doubt about this.

    • thefalcon123 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      …because Massachusetts is progressive and kick ass?

  23. unlost1 - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    don’t go there

  24. angrycorgi - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Wait…the same people who get sickened by openly religious (unique lifestyle) athletes thinks we need openly gay (unique lifestyle) athletes? In that case, Craig…from now on, you just need to STFU about your hatred for religious individuals whom you openly persecute with your keyboard…either that or just delete this post and STFU about wanting gay peeps to be in the spotlight…or just keep being a hypocrite, which is likely the choice you’ll make.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Methinks you need a refresher course in what the terms ‘unique lifestyle’ and ‘persecute’ mean.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      I write a lot of stuff so if I forgot, apologies. But if you will, could you direct me to all of those posts I wrote expressing my alleged hatred for religious individuals I openly persecute with my keyboard?

      Asking for a friend.

      • Ben - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Craig, Christians are a persecuted minority in this country. Not by virtue of any actual persecution, but because they don’t get a privileged position in American public life. And you’re obviously not granting them that privilege, ergo, persecution.

      • angrycorgi - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        Mocking players’ religious views is your game:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/28/god-told-josh-hamilton-he-was-going-to-hit-a-home-run/

        Funny, you mock someone who uses his fame as a platform for professing his faith/lifestyle, yet you feel that there really needs to be someone who is gay stand up and use their fame as a platform for professing their lifestyle.

        and here:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/08/hate-monger-says-baseballs-post-911-use-of-god-bless-america-saved-us-from-terrorist-attacks/

        “I realize not everyone agrees with those criticisms, but even if you don’t, how about trashing “God Bless America” on the grounds that a hate-mongering nutjob believes that that song being sung in ballparks caused God Himself to spare the United States from further terrorist attacks post-9/11?

        So in other words, because one moron mentions “God Bless America”, you go on a rant to remove it from baseball?? Ok, so if I find a mass-murderer that was/is homosexual, are you going to go on a rant about how homosexuals should be removed from baseball??

        WE GET IT. You are not a “religious” person. I’ll make you a deal. I won’t comment on your pro-gay agenda articles if you stop pushing your anti-religion agenda. Ok?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        I note you didn’t blockquote my Hamilton piece. Probably because if you did, you’d have to explain how this is me “hating” and “persecuting” religious people:

        “I think religion can be an important part of a person’s life. I’ve seen it work wonders in people. So if Josh Hamilton believes that God told him he was going to hit a home run and that fills him with wonder and purpose, I feel great for Josh Hamilton.”

        Yes, I was dubious in that post, just as I hope you would be dubious if you, as a straight person, heard a gay person say that homosexual sex was awesome. You don’t believe it, nor should you if it’s not true in your life, just as I am dubious of Josh Hamilton’s conversations with God because I don’t believe they actually, you know, happen.

        But that doesn’t make me “hate” religion or “persecute” Josh Hamilton. I simply believe different things than he does, just as you prefer to have sex with different people than gay people do. See how that works?

      • angrycorgi - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        Well, Craig, by all means…put the rest of the article up for those not interested in following links are assuming your partial quote is the whole article:

        “But can I ask the believers out there: If there is a God, do you really think He rolls like this? That He takes interest in the events of Man on such a granular level that He’s not only telling a guy like Hamilton that he’s going to hit a homer, but He’s also going to note beforehand that Hamilton hadn’t hit a homer in a while? God cares about baseball stats? Is God … a sabermetrician?!

        No, of course he isn’t. If He was, He would have said “Josh, you are going to get on base.” Or else He wouldn’t have cared about baseball at all, because I’m told statheads hate baseball and only love numbers, so never mind.

        Anyway, theology is not my bag. Maybe God does tell people when they’re about to do their job well. When you’re omnipotent you can multitask. Attend to the suffering here, orchestrate the wonder and miracle of creation there, smite the wicked in another place and still have all of the time in the world to tell rich athletes that they’re about to do something special. Really, it’s not a problem.”

        You see…making a mockery of someone is not a neutral stance…its the “civilized” way of discrediting them. I am not so shallow as to think you meant no harm. You clearly think Hamilton is a nutcase for his public comments. Being passive aggressive in your writing doesn’t automatically make you the good guy.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Nor does it make me someone who hates and persecutes Christians.

        In contrast, your animus in response to an article that mentions even the possibility of gay people in sports has caused you all levels of discomfort. Shall we examine that more?

      • angrycorgi - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        No discomfort from the one article. Had you posted this article and NEVER posted the other articles, you’d not be hearing from me. I get irritated when a person claims that one group of people NEED to be heard from and states this under the flag of equal rights while simultaneously attempting to silence/discredit a different group of people. How is that a stance based on equality?

        Your baseball-oriented articles, for the most part, are very good. But when you start pushing your agendas, your social bias negatively affects your record of normally interesting and sometimes humorous sports writing.

      • jimbo1949 - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        “Ben – Apr 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM
        Craig, Christians are a persecuted minority in this country. Not by virtue of any actual persecution, but because they don’t get a privileged position in American public life.”
        .
        Either this is sarcasm or the result of a failed attempt at education.
        .
        Christians are an overwhelming majority
        .
        Christians own virtually every privileged position in American public life.
        .
        I’m hoping for sarcasm.

      • Ben - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        Jimbo, I’m not really sure how you could read what I said as anything but sarcasm.

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      Ummmm, it’s estimation that dogs in general, even, um, angry corgis, just need structure and love to become good little doggies…..so should we take you for a walk? Play fetch perhaps? Do we need to send someone over to rub your belly?

      • cur68 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:34 PM

        grrrrrrrr68

    • thefalcon123 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Are the religious a persecuted group in the US? I mean, Christians do make up 97% of Congress and 100% of Presidents, so the whole “oppressed minority” angle doesn’t really hold up as well as is does with gays people.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

        Reality has a well-known liberal bias. It’s making it very, very hard to believe that the earth is 6000 years old.

  25. dawglb - Apr 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    Whatever. If you are gay, and need to have a gay role model in MLB, that is messed up. What if he is gay, but plays on a rival team? Or is a complete tool? Are going to like him? PS: let the record reflect, I do not have an issue with gay people. Liking a player simply because he is gay is prejudice …… It is no different than not liking a plate because of orientation, skin color, etc.

    • thefalcon123 - Apr 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      But you’re not liking him because he is gay. You’re liking him because, like Jackson and Doby before, he is shattering prejudices that ignoramuses have about homosexuals and providing representation where it doesn’t exist.

      • fearlessleader - Apr 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Amen a thousand times, thefalcon123.

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