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

Jackie Robinson 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
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAs shifts suppress offense, time has come to consider a rule change
(44 - 7:39am, Jul 23)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-23-2014
(2 - 7:35am, Jul 23)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogChase Headley traded to New York Yankees from San Diego Padres - ESPN New York
(92 - 7:27am, Jul 23)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogSports Reference Blog: 1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History
(29 - 7:23am, Jul 23)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(2721 - 7:04am, Jul 23)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogRangers' Yu Darvish Pushes for a Six-Man Pitching Rotation - NYTimes.com
(17 - 6:02am, Jul 23)
Last: Curse of the Andino

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(321 - 4:25am, Jul 23)
Last: The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(825 - 3:57am, Jul 23)
Last: RollingWave

SABR - BBTF ChapterWho's going to SABR??
(46 - 3:02am, Jul 23)
Last: Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad!

NewsblogCowboy Monkey Rodeo taking the Minors by storm
(9 - 2:27am, Jul 23)
Last: stevegamer

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-22-14
(53 - 2:05am, Jul 23)
Last: AT-AT at bat@AT&T

NewsblogTrading for Price would be right move for Cubs | FOX Sports
(73 - 1:52am, Jul 23)
Last: Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad!

NewsblogMLB: Astros telecasts catching on to advanced metrics
(12 - 12:24am, Jul 23)
Last: jwb

NewsblogFSAZ: D-backs cut off McCarthy’s cutter controversy
(26 - 11:08pm, Jul 22)
Last: billyshears

NewsblogThree Moves The Red Sox Should Make - Tony Massarotti - Boston.com
(35 - 10:24pm, Jul 22)
Last: Select Storage Device

Page rendered in 1.4732 seconds
47 querie(s) executed