A short take on Recology's black bin blues -- plus, a group mounting a crusade against pro sports homophobia
It's remarkable (or maybe, sadly, it isn't) that in 2012, not one openly gay man has played in any of the Big Five pro sports (football, basketball, hockey, baseball and soccer). There are, everyone knows, plenty of gay athletes, and the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and various soccer associations all have gay players. Some of them have come out after they've retired. But on the field (or on the floor, or on the ice)? No way.
Why does anyone care? Because youth sports are still, even in this town, full of homophobic language and homophobic attitudes, and it's hard to imagine what young LGBT football or basketball players have to endure. Even one gay player could make a world of difference.
"What I saw with the San Francisco Giants, all of the Latino players, was such a source of pride to Latino boys and girls," Campos told us. "We can't feel that in the LGBT community. We know there are gay baseball players, but the LGBT youth don't have those role models to look up to."
The Last Closet campaign emerged out of a documentary film project that sought to look at homophobia in pro sports. "It became clear that some members of the sports hierarchy were not going to make themselves available to speak about this taboo subject," the group's website notes.
In fact, Fawn Yacker, one of the project directors, told us that nobody in a senior position in any sports organization was willing to talk -- and that's turned the movie into a political campaign. "We want the fans to push the sports leaders to address this," she said.
In fact, all The Last Closeters want right now is for the commissioners of the major sports leagues to make a statement that homophobia is unacceptable and that the leagues will do everything possible to make sure that out gay players are accepted. Seems like a pretty simply no-brainer — but so far, not one sports official has gone along.
It's pretty crazy, considering that it's almost inevitable that a few major sports athletes will come out in the next few years — and the leagues are going to look foolish if they pretend it's not going to happen. Any bets on which sport is going to be the first? "I don't know," Yackey said. "I think it might be hockey."
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