“I felt like it was time and I wasn’t afraid of the unknown any more. I felt like people needed to know,” Dillinger, 39, said about his decision to come out. He contacted Outsports after reading about the public coming out of Kevin McClatchy, former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was happy to share his story.
Ironically, Dillinger – from Connellsville, Pa., just southeast of Pittsburgh – was playing for the Pirates’ Minor League system when McClatchy bought the team in 1996. He knew a woman who was dating McClatchy at the time and she suspected the owner might be gay; hearing it confirmed this September “inspired and thrilled” Dillinger.
“What some people do not understand is that it takes considerable courage to reveal your true self and to not worry about what others may think of you, especially in professional sports,” Dillinger said. “Whether it’s as a player or executive, the unknown is what really keeps some of us in the closet. I’m very proud of Kevin and I wish he and his partner the best for years to come.”
...He also offers advice to any player considering coming out:
“My advice to a player who would decide to come out is to talk to one of your closest teammates first. If they are understanding and accepting like they should be, continue further and let the whole team know.
“I 100% believe that most of your teammates will respect you even more if you are honest with them. Baseball as well as all major sports have come a long way as far as not tolerating bigoted behavior and homophobic slurs. There have been quite a few examples recently. Successful athletes have one thing in common which helps make them successful: NO FEAR. This should be no different.”
Posted: October 24, 2012 at 05:24 AM | 12 comment(s)
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