Will male player on major sports team ever come out in U.S.?
Retired gay Major League Baseball star Billy Bean says 'It's going to take maybe just one special guy who can really move that ball forward'
30 December 2011 | By Greg Hernandez
As 2011 draws to a close, the major U.S. professional sports of football, basketball and baseball still have never had an active male player declare that they are gay. There are still only handful who have even done so in retirement. Among them is retired baseball pro Billy Bean who played for San Diego Padres, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Dodgers during the 90s and came out publicly in the 2003 memoir Going The Other Way.
'I still feel that a lot of players are afraid to put themselves at the center of a storm,' Bean tells Gay Star News. 'Even they're comfortable with themselves and think half of their team would be fine, it's usually one of two of the guys who's bad and there's that fear there. Or maybe it's the front office and the team doesn't want a distraction.'
Bean, now 47, paid a place for staying in the closet. When he was playing for the San Diego Padres, his lover died unexpectedly. He could not mourn him for fear of being outed and it took an emotional toll that resulted in his baseball career ending prematurely after 12 years in the major leagues.
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