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Everyone says baseball would accept a gay player. But would it really?

Apr 30, 2013, 9:35 AM EST

Jason Collins

Andy Martino of the Daily News has a somewhat provocative item today. A day after Jason Collins came out of the closet, he wonders whether baseball would truly be accepting of a gay player in its ranks.

He acknowledges that, publicly, yes, it would. As the reaction to Collins’ announcement yesterday made clear, almost everyone in any sort of prominent position knows the right things to say. Most of them believe it. But there are likely some, Martino says, who would only be doing so as an exercise in p.r. or damage control while actually harboring negative or hostile feelings. By way of example, Martino passes along some observations from clubhouses over the years:

Baseball once led the country on race, but there are many reasons to believe it will lag behind basketball and other sports on the defining civil rights issue of this moment … What if one of your teammates is, for example, the player who I once saw sprawled on a clubhouse couch, watching an “It Gets Better” ad on TV, shaking his head and sighing?

“This is how P.C. the world is now?” he complained, while a few others chortled. “I can’t even say f-g?”

Martino also speaks with Billy Bean, who came out after his eight year playing career ended in the mid-90s. Bean agrees that it might very well be tougher in baseball than in any other sport.

And it may. But I think the concern about those who would harbor secret hostility is a sort of beside the point.  The racists didn’t leave baseball in April 1947. There are likely still many on rosters even today. The point is that it has become socially unacceptable to be an open racist and to discriminate against minorities. And, as we’re increasingly seeing today, it is becoming socially unacceptable to be an open homophobe and to discriminate against gay people.

Ideally you want to change hearts and minds along with the policies. And, of course, life would be much easier for a gay player if said hearts and minds were changed too.  But it’s not likely or even necessary that such a thing happen. Pushing those who harbor fear or hatred against minorities into a closet of their own is good enough for the time being. Maybe once they’re in there, they’ll realize that they are, increasingly, the isolated minority.

161 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. buccobrigade - Apr 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    These born again liberals crack me up, preaching about how they are anti bigotry and anti-intolerance. Probably the same people who in the 80s and 90s made fun of gays and used the word ‘gay’ as a slang. Please. A lot of hypocrites on here. I’m sure of it.

    • Old Gator - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      Certainly, at least one knuckledragging idiot on here who loves weaving straw men.

  2. autmorsautlibertas - May 1, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    You guys make me laugh. Lawrence applies to hetrosexual as well as homosexual relationships. All that it really says is that the government cannot legislate what goes on in the bedroom between two consenting adults. I agree with the decision.

    Homosexuals already have equality under the law. (see 14th amendment)

    You object to my use of the word “homosexual,” what do you prefer? “Faggot”? “Queer”? “Butt-pirate”? “Fudge-packer”? Frankly, I think the word “homosexual” is a pretty objective and unbiased description of their condition, behavior, or whatever you want to call it. (I am sure you will object to however I characterize it)

    As I have said in a previous post, civil rights laws protect “immutable” characteristics, not behaviors. If civil rights laws can apply to a behavior, where will it stop? Under your logic, any perversion would qualify for civil rights protection as long as there 5% (same percentage of the population of the U.S. homosexual community- see U.S, Census Bureau) of the population practicing such aberrations.

    I don’t use the title “Dr.”, it would be pretentious. I only mentioned my background because Old Gator had made unfair and biased generalizations about listeners of talk radio. Liberals frequently attempt to vilify their opponents on the right as slack jawed cretins because any opposition to their own opinions could only be motivated by stupidity. Liberals have become as intolerant as the far right of opinions and views contrary to their own.

    • theskinsman - May 5, 2013 at 3:40 AM

      Of course baseball will accept a homosexual player. It would help the cause if a very popular handsome, nearly worshipped by his fans came out. Where is the early career Rock Hudson of MLB? Derek Jeter, your legacy awaits you.

    • brianforster - May 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      So were back to homosexuality being a choice now? Its not a behavior! How is being born with an attraction to the same sex is not an immutable characteristic? I’ve never heard a single person say they were offended by the term homosexual.

      You do not seem like a slack jawed cretin, but you do come across as ignorant.

      Are we really back to the “being gay is a choice” argument?

      Also, you clearly state homosexuals are guaranteed equality under the 14th amendment. You do realize the privileges or immunities clause guarantees the right to make and enforce contracts. By your own argument the constitution gives homosexuals the right to marry.

  3. velaman - May 1, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    At this point, WHO CARES ANYMORE! If a guy accepts a gay, he is panned! If one expresses disagreement with the gay lifestyle, he gets hung. If he works for ESPN (Broussard) or plays for the Miami Dolphins (Wallace), they get thrown under the bus by their employers, who don’t agree with their stance, but fail to tell us what their’s is and then stoops low enough to feel there is no need to mention that these guys have the right to exercise free speech. Nobody respects free speech anymore. If they did, there wouldn’t be half the B.S. going around about Jason Collins or any other gay. Jason Collins is a man. Leave the guy alone. AND, if political celebrities want to be his friend, like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, the rest of us shouldn’t be intimidated into not voicing our own opinions one way or another. I would hope Jason Collins has a wonderful life, but like or not, I don’t see how he will anymore because he will always be a center of controversy. Good Luck Jason!

  4. dumbassgreg - May 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    answer is publicly . yes but behind closed doors. no . remember there is a large born again christian group. they would not handle a gay player at all.

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