John Amaechi, the only National Basketball Association player to openly proclaim his homosexuality, says the league follows the same “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with gays that was just outlawed in the military by Congress. Amaechi, who is now retired, spoke at an event in New York City last night (Jan. 18) at the opening of a new gay and lesbian art exhibit.
After his retirement from the NBA in 2007, Amaechi became the first openly gay NBA player. He says there are still many homosexual players in the NBA today, but neither fans, nor television viewers would know it, although fellow players might.
Amaechi set the league on its ear when he recounted his experience in his 2007 memoir “Man in the Middle,” which details the disdain for gay professional basketball players in the NBA.
He said his former Utah Jazz coach, Jerry Sloan is typical of the league’s insensitivity toward gay players. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been called the C-word so much as when I was there,” he said of his experience playing for the Jazz. “I do not like him, he does not like me,” Amaechi said recalling the time on the team.
He said he’s had no contact with the Sloan since he left the team.
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