Football Hall of Famer Has No Problem with Gay Teammatesby Victor Rodriguez on May. 19, 2011, under Sports
This week, Rick Welts, the president of the Phoenix Suns, revealed to the public that he is gay. Former Villanova basketball player, Will Sheridan, publicly announced he is gay too. Welts came forward because he wants to break down one of the last significant social barriers in sports. Since Welts is in a position of power and well respected around the league, that barrier is now one step closer to be knocked down.
While many athletes over the years have announced they are gay after they have ended their playing careers, the feeling now is that a major athlete will eventually reveal he is gay during his prime. What type of reaction would that player get from his peers, as well as the fans? If we have grown as a society, we would applaud him for making the difficult decision and not question why he decided to come out. Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon told the Victor and Matt podcast show, “Sports has the ability to bring people together regardless of what your race is, what your political affiliation is, what your religious affiliation is.”
Even though only a few players have admitted and openly discussed being gay, the chance that a player today who might have a major role in the success of a team might be gay, but doesn’t want to admit anything for fear of how he will be treated. Asked if would have a problem with an openly gay teammate, Moon responded, “I really wouldn’t. I think I have played with a couple of players who have been gay. I know of a couple of players, who I won’t mention their names because they have not made it public yet. It really doesn’t bother me what your sexual preference is as along as you don’t bring in your sexual preferences to the locker room. I think that should be for homosexuals and heterosexuals. That’s a personal part of your life you should deal with in that way. As long as your coming to the football team and bringing a positive influence, that’s all that matters to me. Rick Welts is a guy I have known for a long time and a good friend to me at one time. I commend him for coming out. It’s too bad it’s taken this long, but if he feels comfortable to do it now, that’s great for him.”
Having an openly gay athlete should not be a huge issue. It should not be lumped in the same category as steroids in baseball or gambling in basketball because both instances involved cheating. Moon said it best about Welts, “I am proud of Rick for what he is doing.”
Now if only the rest would follow suit and accept it.