Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Billy Martin Newsbeat

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Slate: Baseball Has an Amazing Gay History. It’s Time to Recognize It.

Numbers can’t possibly begin to explain how a tremendously talented athlete would eventually be sidelined by vicious institutional homophobia. After coming out to his teammates and managers in 1978, Burke was reportedly offered $75,000 by Dodgers Vice President Al Campanis to enter into a sham marriage. When turning down the offer—more than $312,000 in today’s money—Burke wittily replied, “I guess you mean to a woman.” Unfortunately, Glenn Burke’s fearlessness would lead to his exile from Los Angeles: That same year, he was traded to Oakland.

According to former Athletics teammate Claudell Washington, manager Billy Martin was cruelly homophobic from Day 1, introducing Burke in the locker room by saying, “Oh, by the way, this is Glenn Burke, and he’s a faggot.” Much as Jackie Robinson endured unfathomable racism from fans and fellow players alike, Burke too faced the injustice of bigotry in sports. Yet as an out gay, black man in professional sports—in the 1970s—Burke was light years ahead of his time. “Being black and gay made me tougher. You had to be tough to make it. Yeah, I’m proud of what I did,” Burke recalled later in life. In a Philadelphia Inquirer interview just before his death from AIDS-related illness in 1995, Burke was defiant, declaring, “They can’t ever say now that a gay man can’t play in the majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”

MLB’s most significant tribute to Glenn Burke is a puff piece from 2013, which details the creation of the high five.


 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

SABR - BBTF ChapterWho's going to SABR??
(86 - 5:36am, Jul 24)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(2868 - 5:11am, Jul 24)
Last: BrianBrianson

NewsblogCSN: Enough is enough — time to move on from Ryan Howard
(40 - 4:36am, Jul 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(852 - 3:31am, Jul 24)
Last: MikeOberly

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(368 - 2:55am, Jul 24)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogSports Reference Blog: 1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History
(30 - 2:39am, Jul 24)
Last: DFA

Newsblog2015 Competitive Balance Lottery Results
(9 - 2:29am, Jul 24)
Last: DFA

NewsblogAs shifts suppress offense, time has come to consider a rule change
(76 - 2:29am, Jul 24)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogMLB: Tarp problems at Yankee Stadium
(5 - 2:20am, Jul 24)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-23-2014
(50 - 2:16am, Jul 24)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogGoldman: Eliminating the shift a bandage for a phantom wound
(15 - 1:28am, Jul 24)
Last: jwb

NewsblogRubin: deGrom for NL rookie of the year?
(36 - 12:28am, Jul 24)
Last: KT's Pot Arb

NewsblogCameron Maybin Suspended 25 Games
(17 - 11:36pm, Jul 23)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(130 - 11:01pm, Jul 23)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogNats Fan in Colorado Shows Support with Curly W BEARD
(2 - 10:29pm, Jul 23)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Page rendered in 0.7891 seconds
47 querie(s) executed