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Saturday, September 22, 2012

NYT: Bruni: A New Inning, Late in the Game

Kevin McClatchy, hurdling the barriers to openness…

THE way Kevin McClatchy figured it, he had to choose. He could indulge his dream of presiding over a big-time professional sports team, or he could be open about his sexuality. The two paths didn’t dovetail.

He went with sports, and in February 1996, at the age of 33, became the youngest owner in major league baseball when he led a group of investors who bought the Pittsburgh Pirates. For the next 11 years, he was the team’s managing general partner and chief executive officer, not to mention its public face. And for all of that time, he took pains not to let his players, the owners of other teams or anyone beyond a tiny circle of family and close friends learn that he was gay.

He stepped away from the Pirates in 2007, but it took five years for him to reach the point where he felt even remotely comfortable sitting down with a journalist, as he did with me recently at his home here, about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, to talk about his private life. Secrecy is a hard habit to break. And the world of professional sports, to which he is still connected, isn’t exactly crowded with proud, out gay men and women.

He once did some arithmetic. Over the last four decades, he said: “Tens of thousands of people have played either professional minor league baseball or major league baseball. Not one has come out and said that they’re gay while they’re playing.” Nor has any active player in the principal leagues of football, basketball or hockey, America’s three other major professional sports. That silence is a sobering, crucial reminder that for all the recent progress toward same-sex marriage and all the gay and lesbian characters popping up on television, there remains, in some quarters, a powerful stigma attached to homosexuality.

Repoz Posted: September 22, 2012 at 09:14 AM | 71 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates

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   1. bobm Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4242837)
The ironic part of TFA:

his partner of the last four years, Jack Basilone, who shares his home here, told me that McClatchy remains guarded, wary.

“He’s like when you go to Pottery Barn and get the floor model — they have some nicks and scrapes,” joked Basilone, 31. For their contentment they have Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, to thank. They were fixed up by someone who worked for Santorum and whom McClatchy first got to know through his professional interactions, when he owned the Pirates, with Santorum’s Senate office.
   2. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4242845)
This is a great step for equality, now we know a gay man can do just as horrible a job running a professional baseball team as can straight guys!
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4242846)
just as horrible a job running a professional baseball team as can straight guys!

not that there's anything not wrong with that...
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4242902)
Good for him. It must be an enormous relief to not have to lie about something so fundamental to your nature.

He was a pretty lousy owner, but that's all water under the bridge at this point.
   5. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: September 22, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4242954)
Well, you can't be Jackie Robinson when you suck at your job I guess.
   6. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: September 22, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4242960)
Unfortunately, he's probably killed any chances at getting any other jobs in sports, if he so chose.
   7. Gamingboy Posted: September 22, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4242964)
Well, you can't be Jackie Robinson when you suck at your job I guess.


Unfortunately, he's probably killed any chances at getting any other jobs in sports, if he so chose.


These comments remind me of something Charles Barkley once said, which, sadly, is probably true: If an active player came out in the NBA (or any other major sports league), how good he was would make all the difference. If he was an established star player, only the most homophobic would be calling for him to be kicked off the team. But if he was a bench player, it could well end his career.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4242991)

These comments remind me of something Charles Barkley once said, which, sadly, is probably true: If an active player came out in the NBA (or any other major sports league), how good he was would make all the difference. If he was an established star player, only the most homophobic would be calling for him to be kicked off the team. But if he was a bench player, it could well end his career.


Yea, but its not like McClatchy was some bench player in fear of losing his job. He was the boss and could have fired anyone that made homophobic slurs. I guess I don't have as much sympathy for him as I would for someone like Billy Bean or John Ameachi.

As far as ending your career, yea, it might end your career, but as Ameachi (a scrub) has shown, it can really kickstart a whole new and more lucrative career as a writer/public speaker. The first active openly gay player in a major sport is going to be hailed as huge celebrity no matter how good or bad he is.
   9. base ball chick Posted: September 22, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4243010)
well if he had come out as gay when he was rinning the team (into the ground) all that would have done is have a whole lot of people saying stuff about how (icky word for gays) ruin sports.

it's too bad someone really good/successful can't/won't come out. because there's no way i believe that not a single athlete in any of the 4 major US sports is gay.

sad thing is that i would bet it ain't the PLAYERS who would have the problem with a gay teammate, it's some of the fans who want a certain image, which don't have no icky homos in it. (sort of like george preston marshall not wanting any icky darkies on his nice clean White football team.) It would be like womens' sports which have lezbows or bimbos. no, you know, just females...
   10. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: September 22, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4243013)
Eventually, Tim Tebow will come out.
   11. base ball chick Posted: September 22, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4243018)
joe

GOD i hope so

hahahaha
   12. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 22, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4243027)
i would bet it ain't the PLAYERS who would have the problem with a gay teammate


I bet quite a few players would have a problem. These guys share a locker room and showers and I am certain that a number of players would be uncomfortable at best and outright hostile at worst toward a gay teammate. A locker room is more intimate than an office. I don't know if intimate is the right word but I think/hope you get my meaning.

I'm not saying that's right for the players to feel that way but I'm betting they would.
   13. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 22, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4243030)
Maybe a decade ago there was an interview in Salon with some guy who had just published a book arguing that Abraham Lincoln was gay. The interviewer asked why he didn't just write a book arguing that James Buchanan was gay. It's an argument that would seem to have a lot of evidence to back it up, while the Lincoln thing requires that one go a lot further out on a limb. The author's respose was essentially, "I 'm interested in gay pride. Why the #### would I want to claim that James Buchanan was gay?"

Somehwere, someone is writing a book called something like Jerry Reinsdorf: Baseball's First Gay Owner. Right now he's hurriedly inserting a chapter called "Kevin McClatchy is Actually Straight".

But, yeah, good for McClatchy.
   14. salajander Posted: September 22, 2012 at 04:05 PM (#4243059)
Eventually, Tim Tebow will come out.

We said someone really good.
   15. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 22, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4243103)
There's a lot of money, fame and twitter followers available to whatever big time athlete is willing to go first. I'm surprised it hasn't happened yet in our 'look at me' society.
   16. morineko Posted: September 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4243122)
Yea, but its not like McClatchy was some bench player in fear of losing his job. He was the boss and could have fired anyone that made homophobic slurs.


Agreed. He had no control over professional sports in general, but he had control of his own company. Even if he wasn't out, that sort of behavior is just not on in the general business world. What's the Pirates off-field personnel discrimination and harassment policy, now or then?
   17. Gamingboy Posted: September 22, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4243141)
I bet quite a few players would have a problem. These guys share a locker room and showers and I am certain that a number of players would be uncomfortable at best and outright hostile at worst toward a gay teammate. A locker room is more intimate than an office. I don't know if intimate is the right word but I think/hope you get my meaning.


But, as I said earlier, I think Barkley is right though when he says that if it's a star it wouldn't matter as much. If it's an All-Star who comes out, it won't matter as much: all but the most homophobic of players will put aside their complaints so long as that guy is helping the team win. But if a bench guy or replacement-level player were to come out, they'd probably be far more likely to say ugly things.
   18. spike Posted: September 22, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4243191)
These guys share a locker room and showers and I am certain that a number of players would be uncomfortable at best and outright hostile at worst toward a gay teammate.

Not that you are espousing this, but I always found this argument a bit weird. These guys have already been sharing showers etc. with a gay man, and nothing to date has happened, so if you learn that a teammate is gay, then what is the problem?
   19. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 22, 2012 at 08:05 PM (#4243305)
What's the Pirates off-field personnel discrimination and harassment policy, now or then?

I bet it doesn't mention writing tiny sayings on your eye black for the company softball game.
   20. rfloh Posted: September 22, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4243306)
" bet quite a few players would have a problem. These guys share a locker room and showers and I am certain that a number of players would be uncomfortable at best and outright hostile at worst toward a gay teammate. A locker room is more intimate than an office. I don't know if intimate is the right word but I think/hope you get my meaning."

I go into a locker room pretty much every day of the week, and most days of the year.

After a while, you don't care. Spend enough time in locker rooms, and you just want to do whatever you want to do, change, shower etc, regardless. The experiences of friends is similar too. Initially you are (somewhat) conscious about changing / going naked in a "public" place. After a while, it is "whatever".
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4243332)
A wise man once said, "just because he's gay doesn't mean he wants you."
   22. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 09:42 PM (#4243340)
A wise man once said, "just because he's gay doesn't mean he wants you."


Yeah, I've always sorta figured that most gay men regard me with the same indifference as most straight women do.
   23. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4243347)
And the world of professional sports, to which he is still connected, isn’t exactly crowded with proud, out gay men and women.
Seriously? I guess I really don't pay much attention, but IIRC there are quite a few openly gay female professional athletes, and it isn't a particularly new phenomenon. Big names too: Navratilova, King, Mauresmo, Patty Sheehan, Sheryl Swoopes.

Perhaps the sports world isn't as open as it should be to "out" lesbians, but that's an entirely different conversation.

Oh, and something I ran across on Wikipedia: link. I'm ashamed to admit I laughed, but I did laugh. And I'm a terrible human being for doing so.
   24. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4243351)
Not that you are espousing this, but I always found this argument a bit weird. These guys have already been sharing showers etc. with a gay man, and nothing to date has happened, so if you learn that a teammate is gay, then what is the problem?


Ignorance is bliss. From a logical perspective you are right but people who would be bothered by this sort of thing are reacting emotionally. Think of it like someone being sick. If you shake someone's hand and THEN they tell you they've been very sick there is no reason for you to reflexively back away, you've already touched the person, but you are probably going to do it anyway.

20-22 all make valid points but I still think I'm right. I'd be pleased to be wrong. I think the Barkley comment is more reflective of how people would react publicly than how they would feel about the issue.
   25. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:19 PM (#4243354)
.
   26. MM1f Posted: September 22, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4243381)
Unfortunately, he's probably killed any chances at getting any other jobs in sports, if he so chose.


Getting a job in sports? He was a freakin' owner. He could have that job again so long as he had the funds and willingness to buy a team.

Further, jobs in sports isn't really McClatchey's concern. He's the CEO of a media empire. It isn't like he is out there submitting his resume to teams, hoping to get some VP of Marketing job.

And if he did want a job in sports, the fact that he presided over a team that never came close to a winning season would be a pretty good reason not to hire him, wouldn't it?
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4243389)
Seriously? I guess I really don't pay much attention, but IIRC there are quite a few openly gay female professional athletes, and it isn't a particularly new phenomenon. Big names too: Navratilova, King, Mauresmo, Patty Sheehan, Sheryl Swoopes.


I never heard of three of those people, and I had no idea the fourth was gay.
   28. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4243397)
McClatchy, whose interview with The Times was his first public acknowledgment of his sexual orientation, could do considerable good. He remains well known in baseball — he’s been informally advising the mayor of Sacramento on the city’s interest in having a major league team — and is the ...


Talk about burying the lede.
   29. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4243403)
Talk about burying the lede.

Interesting nugget, but I'm guessing Sacramento is a minimum of 500,000 people and $500 million short of having an MLB team. Just on population, the metro area ranks seven to 10 spots lower than Pittsburgh.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4243421)


But, as I said earlier, I think Barkley is right though when he says that if it's a star it wouldn't matter as much. If it's an All-Star who comes out, it won't matter as much: all but the most homophobic of players will put aside their complaints so long as that guy is helping the team win. But if a bench guy or replacement-level player were to come out, they'd probably be far more likely to say ugly things.


I'd go further than that. As long as this first gay athlete is not an ####### (think A.J.), the majority of teammates and opponents won't care.

I've long believed the problem with these "How would you feel if a teammate came out" questions aimed at players is the only thing the player knows about this hypothetical teammate is his sexuality. But that isn't all these guys will know. They'll know them as people, as hard workers, or fun-loving guys etc., and thus the sexuality will be just a small part of their character. I really don't beileve it will be an issue.

   31. Walt Davis Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:50 AM (#4243427)
Now that I think of it, I can't think of anybody I knew reasonably well who came out after I knew them. I've known plenty of gay and lesbian people but none of them were in the closet when I met them (an advantage of a life mostly in academia).

Again my delightfully cloistered life but being around gay people hasn't been a big deal in any of the circles I've run in for the last 25-30 years. (Which isn't to say we weren't also indulging some good-natured homophobic humor! :-) I can understand McClatchy being uncomfortable coming out in baseball but I guess, if anything, I'm surprised he wasn't out before then. I certainly don't consider it big or interesting news now.

Now, Presbyterians! I hope I never find out I shared a locker room with one of them.
   32. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:33 AM (#4243446)
   33. Flynn Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:15 AM (#4243447)
I never heard of three of those people, and I had no idea the fourth was gay.


You know for somebody who complains a lot when other people say something about the Pirates or the Nuttings that you don't approve of, you absolutely love flaunting your ignorance on almost every other issue. It's really weird and quite annoying.
   34. Snowboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:53 AM (#4243449)
So is the comma now the literary embodiment of Option J?
Because this article, and some of the comments, but especially the article, seem to like to hang out their comma, even if it is not necessary, or warranted. I am not an English professor, or a professor of English, if you will, but I do know something about the language, and I do not think the insertion of a comma is necessary, or warranted, in every phrase of a sentence.
I am not gay, and I do not oppose people who are gay, but I just want to know if the excessive insertion of the comma, in an article, is now a code for gay?
Because then I will filter my reading, okay?
   35. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4243456)
Seriously? I guess I really don't pay much attention, but IIRC there are quite a few openly gay female professional athletes, and it isn't a particularly new phenomenon. Big names too: Navratilova, King, Mauresmo, Patty Sheehan, Sheryl Swoopes.
Most of those are tennis players; tennis is an individual sport, not a team one. You don't have to worry about what your teammates are going to say in the locker room every day. Swoopes plays a sport watched only by lesbians, so the league has rather a large incentive to protect star gay athletes from any sort of backlash.
   36. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4243464)
Well, that's the thing. There aren't any professional women's team sports, other than the one "watched only by lesbians". There are semipro soccer and softball leagues posing as professional, but that's it AFAIK.
   37. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4243502)
Wait, was David serious in #35? That was sarcasm, right? Or wasn't it? I'm so confused.
   38. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: September 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4243507)
And if he did want a job in sports, the fact that he presided over a team that never came close to a winning season would be a pretty good reason not to hire him, wouldn't it?


Isiah Thomas says hi. And if we mean "job in sports" to include sports broadcasting, Matt Millen made McClatchy look like Branch Rickey.

If there's one thing sports history proves, poor job performance does not preclude people from being hired multiple times.
   39. BDC Posted: September 23, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4243523)
If there's one thing sports history proves, poor job performance does not preclude people from being hired multiple times

When they were my age (53), both Casey Stengel and Joe Torre had just about set the standard for managerial mediocrity. You just don't know when the circumstances are suddenly going to fit someone's skills – or, perhaps, given that management isn't like being able to throw a ball 95 MPH, when someone might actually learn something about management from previous mistakes.
   40. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4243525)
Is this even a sports story? McClatchey's 50, and he owned a sports team from 33 to 44, so that's a third of his adult life.
   41. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4243577)
Swoopes plays a sport watched only by lesbians, so the league has rather a large incentive to protect star gay athletes from any sort of backlash.
My buddy and I take our daughters to Sparks games. I guess that means they'll grow up to be lesbians. I guess that makes my buddy and I lesbians, too.
   42. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4243585)
Swoopes plays a sport watched only by lesbians, so the league has rather a large incentive to protect star gay athletes from any sort of backlash.


What a ridiculous comment. Does the WNBA have a sizable lesbian fan base? Sure, of course it does. But the most sizeable fanbase at WNBA games, at least in Seattle, are familes with young girls. And I've worked for the team, so I know who shows up at games.
   43. BDC Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4243590)
The excitement and beauty of women's sports is one of the 1,000,000 topics on which I have decided to agree to disagree with David Nieporent.
   44. ecwcat Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4243604)
Blame the Bible thumpers in MLB clubhouses for the reason 10% of baseball players don't come out. The clubhouse Christians (guys like John Smoltz and Chad Curtis) hide behind "judging the action, not the person" lie.

For some reason to them homosexuality is worse than heterosexual adultery, divorce, and fortification.

So much for tolerance.





   45. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4243618)

I never heard of three of those people, and I had no idea the fourth was gay.


Not knowing King or Navritlova is a sign of sports ignorance. Both were probably the premier female athlete of their generation. That would be like not knowing Babe Didrikson. Heck if you don't know Navritlova, it's silly to think you have ever heard of Connors, Lendl or McEnroe.
   46. puck Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4243661)
Except he never said which ones he'd never heard of. Just 3 of them, and didn't know one of people he'd heard of was gay. Maybe he's never heard of Mauresmo, Sheehan, or Swoopes.
   47. JJ1986 Posted: September 23, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4243664)
I have never heard of Patty Sheehan either.
   48. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4243666)
The excitement and beauty of women's sports is one of the 1,000,000 topics on which I have decided to agree to disagree with David Nieporent.
..and 99% of the country.
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4243667)
..and 99% of the country.


You sound like me bad mouthing Soccer. I'm pretty certain that more people in this country care about women sports (golf, tennis, figure skating, collegiate etc) than they do about soccer. I'm also pretty sure more than 1% of the country cares about them.
   50. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4243669)
Blame the Bible thumpers in MLB clubhouses for the reason 10% of baseball players don't come out.
Well, that and the fact that it's unlikely that 3-5 times as many ballplayers are gay as members of the general public.
   51. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4243671)
You sound like me bad mouthing Soccer. I'm pretty certain that more people in this country care about women sports (golf, tennis, figure skating, collegiate etc) than they do about soccer. I'm also pretty sure more than 1% of the country cares about them.
I wasn't actually including tennis in there, and I'm pretty sure BDC wasn't either. I know lots of people like women's tennis.
   52. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4243677)
You sound like me bad mouthing Soccer. I'm pretty certain that more people in this country care about women sports (golf, tennis, figure skating, collegiate etc) than they do about soccer. I'm also pretty sure more than 1% of the country cares about them.


This might be a regional issue as I live in a conservative part of the country, but I know a sizable number of people that actively follow soccer (20+). I know many more that casually follow soccer and enjoy watching the bigger events (World Cup, Euros, cup finals, etc.). Conversely, I know of two people that watch WNBA games. One is a coworker of a family member, and the other is such a basketball nut that he also watches NBA summer games and D-League games. There are a handful of people I know that will occasionally (a few times per year) attend women's sporting events at the local university in an effort to support the university.
   53. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4243678)
I'm also pretty sure more than 1% of the country cares about them.
David's completely dismissive of any position that isn't his own.
   54. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4243679)
Swoopes plays a sport watched only by lesbians, so the league has rather a large incentive to protect star gay athletes from any sort of backlash.


Really? That's what you're going with? "The WNBA is played and watched by lesbians." Really? Are you that stupid, or just that big of an #######?
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4243687)
This might be a regional issue as I live in a conservative part of the country, but I know a sizable number of people that actively follow soccer (20+).


I live in a part of the country that was once widely considered to be the heart of soccer in the U.S. and don't think I know of anyone that actively follows the sport(know tons that play of course) Of course that number is probably matched by the number of people that I can find that follows the WNBA also. I also know more people that followed the Womens Soccer team during the Olympics than the Mens. (People like a winner) There aren't a lot of followers of women's sports because there aren't a lot of mainstream women sports. But the olympics shows that people will give a passing interest in those sports, as figure skating(which in my world is no more of a sport than bowling, nascar or golf, but others consider it to be one) and other female sports do get good ratings when they air.

   56. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4243692)
I live in a part of the country that was once widely considered to be the heart of soccer in the U.S. and don't think I know of anyone that actively follows the sport(know tons that play of course) Of course that number is probably matched by the number of people that I can find that follows the WNBA also. I also know more people that followed the Womens Soccer team during the Olympics than the Mens. (People like a winner) There aren't a lot of followers of women's sports because there aren't a lot of mainstream women sports. But the olympics shows that people will give a passing interest in those sports, as figure skating(which in my world is no more of a sport than bowling, nascar or golf, but others consider it to be one) and other female sports do get good ratings when they air.


Well, my "evidence" was purely anecdotal, but I know people who buy kits, scarves, and other memorabilia. These same people get up early on weekends to watch European matches and keep up with roster moves. I consider that "actively following" a sport, but maybe others do not think that's a stringent enough requirement. I do not think that the Olympics is a good indicator of people's interests in any sport. Soccer is the most popular game in the world, and the most rabid soccer countries don't care very much for Olympic soccer. The rosters were C-grade compared to the Euros rosters. The Olympics are filled with sports to which no one pays attention for 3.96 years out of 4. I very much doubt that any of the Olympic sports would generate much excitement if it weren't for the Olympic "buzz" (once every 4 years, spectacle of ceremonies, international participation, etc.).
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4243700)
I agree for the most part, but pointing that there are people that care about women's sports. True the largest following is for tennis, but there is enough for basketball(college and pro) to get more nationwide tv coverage than soccer. Same with the female Olympic sports. Soccer gets no nationwide coverage except during the world cup. In a non world cup year, there are going to be more national broadcasts of female figure skating, female basketball(college included), female golf and maybe even female soccer than male soccer. I don't think that is even up for debate. The point is that it's indicative there are a numerical significant number of people who care about female sports to garner the tv attention.
   58. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4243704)
For some reason to them homosexuality is worse than heterosexual adultery, divorce, and fortification.


Hey, adultery and divorce happen. Not much to do, really. But fortification? Gotta draw the line somewhere!
   59. BDC Posted: September 23, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4243721)
lots of people like women's tennis

It's interesting to speculate "why." One reason lots of people cite for dismissing women's sports is that women aren't as good at a given sport as men. That's as true for tennis as any other sport; it's been mooted, and generally agreed to by the participants, that the Williams sisters would be beaten handily by the top 300-400 men.

But: deeply engrained in tennis is the system whereby the major championships for the two sexes are played at the same time and venue. The rules are slightly different, but men and women share a stage, and in mixed doubles share an event. The media are there for both sexes. The culture of the sport emphasizes strong mutual respect between sexes. (It's also a gay-friendly sport, and long has been; aside from the well-known women, Bill Tilden, who was the Bobby Jones [or Babe Ruth or Red Grange] of tennis, was gay – not publicly, of course, but well-known to be within the sport; it set a tone.)

If women played major golf championships (from different tees) at the same courses and dates as men, it would be (aside from hugely impractical, of course) a huge narrower of the popularity gap between men's and women's golf. In fact, the first time Yani Tseng hit an iron shot smoothly to the green after Rory McIlroy knocked the same shot into the water (and that would happen sometime in the first weekend they tried it), the whole balance of the sport would shift, at least a little.
   60. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4243735)
that the Williams sisters would be beaten handily by the top 300-400 men.
300-400? Really? I can see top 50 or so, but the Williams sisters in their peak should be able to compete with non major tournament players.
   61. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4243748)

My buddy and I take our daughters to Sparks games. I guess that means they'll grow up to be lesbians. I guess that makes my buddy and I lesbians, too.


I've always considered myself a male lesbian. I'm entirely attracted to women and find men sexually repugnant.
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4243758)
300-400? Really? I can see top 50 or so


My guess would be just about the average of your two estimates.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4243767)
My guess would be just about the average of your two estimates.


I was thinking 100 or so, but the Williams sisters had skills that would translate well to the mens game, compared to some of the other female high ranking tennis players of the past.
   64. BDC Posted: September 23, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4243774)
Source for the ~300-400 estimate. I don't know if this is 100% serious (even the author alludes to its casualness), but it has never really been challenged. It's an estimate, in any case.
   65. base ball chick Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4243797)
44. ecwcat Posted: September 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4243604)

Blame the Bible thumpers in MLB clubhouses for the reason 10% of baseball players don't come out. The clubhouse Christians (guys like John Smoltz and Chad Curtis) hide behind "judging the action, not the person" lie.


- first, i and most other Christians would appreciate it if you referred those who use the Bible to justify acting against the teachings of Christ as Fundamentalists and/or Hatahs

thank you

on to your comment: smoltz and curtis are no longer playing and they have been replaced by younger guys who have grown up in a different era.

and i remember it was only a couple of years back that a Fundamentalist got asked something about how would he like playing with a gay guy - and he replied, i already have.

men still throw not very nice words meaning gay around, but they use those words as often as they call the other man something female. it doesn't mean that either they hate gays or would refuse to tolerate gays on the team
   66. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 23, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4243811)
Soccer gets no nationwide coverage except during the world cup. In a non world cup year, there are going to be more national broadcasts of female figure skating, female basketball(college included), female golf and maybe even female soccer than male soccer. I don't think that is even up for debate.

What? This is demonstrably untrue. Every single game of this past summer's European Championships were broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2. ESPN2 broadcasts one game from the English Premier League per week. ESPN or ESPN2 also frequently broadcast the U.S. men's team's games. Maybe you weren't including the ESPN networks, but do those female sports you mentioned get broadcast outside of the ESPN networks?
   67. bunyon Posted: September 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4243826)
To be fair, I'm not even sure lesbians watch the WNBA.



(and I like women's basketball).
   68. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 23, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4243878)
Chris Kluwe, Minnesota Vikings Punter, Defends Gay Marriage Letter To C. Emmett Burns

It looks like there’s this shift occurring in the NFL right now,” said Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, talking about gay marriage. “As younger and younger generations are coming through, they’ve been raised to realize that this isn’t bad thing. It’s about equality. It’s about being able to lead your life free of oppression.”



Blame the Bible thumpers in MLB clubhouses for the reason 10% of baseball players don't come out. The clubhouse Christians (guys like John Smoltz and Chad Curtis) hide behind "judging the action, not the person" lie.


Those guys are an issue, but can we acknowledge that some of the biggest opponents to gay rights have been socially conservative black men? Attitudes like Tim Hardaway's aren't all that uncommon. I think that's going to be one of the bigger obstacles to gay acceptance in pro sports, seeing as the population of African-Americans is larger in sports than in the general population.

And then there are Latino immigrants who come from countries far less progressive on gay rights and more religiously conservative, displaying the kind of attitude Yunel Escobar takes.
   69. SoSH U at work Posted: September 23, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4243930)
and i remember it was only a couple of years back that a Fundamentalist got asked something about how would he like playing with a gay guy - and he replied, i already have.


That was Mike Timlin, who is indeed very religious (though I'm not sure whether he identifies as a fundamentalist). He also added that it wasn't a big deal.

   70. Russ Posted: September 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4244099)
This story was interesting in that it was pretty much an open secret in Pittsburgh that McClatchy was gay. And no one cared because they loved him for saving the team and then hated him for ruining it, but pretty much everyone was at least pretty darned sure of his sexual orientation and didn't care. He lived in a fairly progressive part of the city when he first bought the team, so I don't think it was all hush-hush... I think most people just didn't care.

   71. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4244121)
Source for the ~300-400 estimate. I don't know if this is 100% serious (even the author alludes to its casualness), but it has never really been challenged. It's an estimate, in any case.


The problem I have with that story is that Venus and Serena were 16-18 years old when it happened.
I think the 20-something Serena/Venus Williams would have been more interesting to see go up against a mid-level pro.

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