With New York State’s passage of a bill allowing same-sex marriages in the state on Friday night, it was only a matter of time before athletes – especially those on New-York-based teams – were asked about their opinions on homosexuality in sports. And the biggest issue under that category remains: when will a current male athlete in a major American sport come out?
Recently, both prominent executives and former college basketball players have outed themselves, but whoever the current ones are remain mum. And judging by a couple quotes in a brief item from the New York Daily News this morning, it’s not tough to see why.
Mets beat writer Andy Martino said New York’s passage of the bill “led to considerable clubhouse discussion.” Considerable clubhouse agreement? Anything but. One Met said he thought the team was split down the middle on the issue, while another (or hey, maybe the same one, considering no one would go on the record) took a more cynical view of things:
“Most of us are still Neanderthals.”
And there’s the issue. Maybe Mets broadcaster and former pitcher Ron Darling can go on the record and say he supports New York’s bill, but players don’t even comfortable putting their names to their words when they talk about the issue…oh, and then there’s the fact that it doesn’t seem an outed athlete would have all that much support from his own teammates. A current athlete coming out is inevitable; these smaller moments are a prelude. But clearly, we’re not there just yet.