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Monday, February 10, 2014

Rosenthal: Seven asked, seven answered: Baseball execs would sign a gay player

Baseball is ready for a Michael Sam.

How do I know? I asked seven executives on Monday if their team would sign a baseball version of Sam, the reigning co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year from Missouri who told several news outlets Sunday that he was gay.

All seven went on the record. And all seven said yes.

The reaction of the baseball executives came in stark contrast to an SI.com report that quoted eight unnamed NFL decision-makers as saying Sam’s announcement would cause him to drop in the league’s upcoming draft.

“If the reports about his football ability and character are accurate, we would sign the baseball Michael Sam in a second and be a better organization for it,” Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said.

...Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians president: “When we assess talent acquisition, we factor in all variables relative to a player’s performance—tools, character, personality and medical risk are among the main areas of evaluation.

“Sexual orientation has not and never would be an area of consideration, and it certainly would not prevent us from acquiring a player we felt could help the team be in a better position to win a championship.”

Frank Coonelly, Pittsburgh Pirates president: “I cannot imagine that a baseball player’s sexual orientation would affect where he would be drafted in the baseball draft. Of course, I cannot speak for others, but I know for certain that the Pirates would make our draft decision based solely on whether we believed that the man could play.”

Derrick Hall, Arizona Diamondbacks president: “The Diamondbacks do not tolerate any form of discrimination and take pride in being an inclusive and accepting organization.”

Thanks to Steve.

Repoz Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:06 PM | 168 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. bookbook Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4654572)
This is admirable of these executives, but I wonder if they're being 100% honest with themselves here.

I never cease to be astonished at how broadly ballplayers seem to share what I think of as rural, white 1950's America attitudes. A friend who played ball at liberal bastion Stanford a couple of decades ago faced open racism. The number of mlb players who belong to organizations that oppose legal access to birth control is great, etc.

An openly gay professional baseball player will encounter resistance from his teammates beyond what is seen in NFL, NBA, etc. It ain't fair, but when actually faced with this choice, some of these seven would probably go for another almost equal longshot (since every player is a longshot when drafted), rather than face the uncertain added brouhaha of introducing a gay player to a resistant clubhouse.

   2. frannyzoo Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4654579)
Amidst all this I'm equally, if not even more, interested in how the current MLB/NBA/NFL etc. "closeted" gay players respond in the next year or so. Will there be a steady stream of players "coming out"? Will they see the eventual reaction to Sam and get deeper in that closet?

I'm thinking at least one, and an important, current major U.S. sports player (i.e., not MLS) will do "what's right" and come out in the not-too-distant future. We all know there's plenty of current MLB, etc. players who are gay/bisexual. It's just going to take a few, but what a price to pay being one of those few. Tough decision. Tough, but it needs to happen.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:02 AM (#4654581)
The most telling development in this ongoing story is how the bigots among the ballplayers are getting to be more and more circumspect in their public comments about gays, while at the same time acceptance is becoming more openly expressed. That wasn't the case all that long ago, and it's one positive benefit of the social media that open bigotry by public figures is so quickly exposed and condemned. It's nice to see snakes forced out from under their rocks, and brought to the light of day.
   4. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:12 AM (#4654584)
An openly gay professional baseball player will encounter resistance from his teammates beyond what is seen in NFL, NBA, etc. It ain't fair, but when actually faced with this choice, some of these seven would probably go for another almost equal longshot (since every player is a longshot when drafted), rather than face the uncertain added brouhaha of introducing a gay player to a resistant clubhouse.


I've been saying for three years that the first openly gay baseball player will face little resistance, and that's certainly more true today than it was then. Anyone inclined to open bigotry on the subject will be shouted down within their own clubhouses, in addition to by society at large.

   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4654588)
l
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:26 AM (#4654590)
l
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:29 AM (#4654592)

I've been saying for three years that the first openly gay baseball player will face little resistance, and that's certainly more true today than it was then. Anyone inclined to open bigotry on the subject will be shouted down within their own clubhouses, in addition to by society at large.

happily, some politicians agree
   8. bookbook Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4654593)
I was going to joke that the first baseball player to openly be a Democrat would face considerable resistance, but my little jest pales in comparison to the reality that "Pasta-diving Jeter" shared above. I sometimes feel bad for political satire sites--there's no way they can keep up with the outlandishness of the people they cover
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4654597)
I'm certain the experience of Sam in the Missouri locker room is far closer to what we can expect the first openly gay ballplayer to endure than what he might if he joined the kookier wing of the Michigan GOP.
   10. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 11, 2014 at 01:02 AM (#4654604)
Given a team's personnel churn throughout its system, isn't it pretty much 100% certain at least one of these executives has signed at least one gay player?
   11. Select Storage Device Posted: February 11, 2014 at 01:07 AM (#4654607)
Yeah, be a cynic (no aspersions thrown to those above).

I think this is cool.
   12. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 11, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4654610)
What would Billy Bean do?
   13. God Posted: February 11, 2014 at 01:35 AM (#4654611)
Having spent time in a lot of clubhouses, I think baseball would probably lag behind the NBA and NFL in acceptance, mostly because baseball has a much higher percentage of white evangelical Christians and rednecks than those sports do. I'm speaking here of players, not management. I assume management would act in much the same way they claim they would in this article.

One time I was in the Astros clubhouse -- a look at BB-Ref tells me it had to be 2002 or '03 -- when Gregg Zaun just unleashed a loud, vile homophobic rant addressed to nobody in particular. It made me uncomfortable, but I was a clubhouse newbie back then and didn't feel I had any standing to call him out on it. None of his veteran teammates or coaches told him to cool it either, which probably speaks volumes.

And Gregg Zaun went to high school in, ironically, Pasadena, California. One can only imagine what kind of attitudes the players from Alabama or Mississippi would have.
   14. Select Storage Device Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:16 AM (#4654625)
Having spent time in a lot of clubhouses, I think baseball would probably lag behind the NBA and NFL in acceptance, mostly because baseball has a much higher percentage of white evangelical Christians and rednecks than those sports do.


Dear God,

My assumption is that most baseball players at the professional (2014) level live in largely isolation but with respect to team, meaning unless your teammate's name is Helton or Chipper or Jeter, you pretty much don't have to deal with a long-term veteran presence on most teams, and therefore most players stick to their circle of friends, even if a lot of those friends are on other teams?

Certainly MLB doesn't foster the kind of blind devotion to the locker room that the NFL does? These guys are on guaranteed contracts. Eff the clubhouse?

I'd be a little shocked. It's in MLB's interest to continue the narrative they've sown -- that they are not only inclusive, but willing to work harder to include those deemed marginalized or "out of cycle."
   15. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:25 AM (#4654632)
It's almost certainly easier for an MLB team to draft a gay player than the NBA/NFL. Unlike those other two sports even super-prospects spend significant time in the minors, and it's much less of a risk to draft a gay high school or college player knowing that you can see how he does in the minors without having to risk your major league clubhouse or even much attention on the major league team day to day.
   16. madvillain Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:27 AM (#4654633)
Just from my experience, baseball just tends towards "individuals", especially in contrast to football. Football is visceral, man. It's (literally) blood, sweet and guts. Baseball is more "I'm a badass wohoo double I'll paint my toenails at 2nd".

Barry Bonds mighta got run out of New England in the midst of the greatest pass catching via a TE run in history for being a huge dick otherwise.. In baseball, being a prick / ####### / wierdo / gay / whatever doesn't really matter, just go hit or pitch.
   17. God Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:37 AM (#4654635)
My assumption is that most baseball players at the professional (2014) level live in largely isolation but with respects to team, meaning unless your teammate's name is Helton or Chipper or Jeter, you pretty much don't have to deal with a long-term veteran presence on most teams, and therefore most players stick to their circle of friends, even if a lot of those friends are on other teams?


From what I've seen, the clubhouse dynamic usually works something like this:

Starting pitchers hang out with other starting pitchers.

Relievers hang out with other relievers.

White hitters hang out with other white hitters.

Black hitters hang out with other black hitters, unless it's a team with only one or two black hitters; then they hang out with the white hitters.

Latin American hitters hang out with other Latin American hitters, and sometimes with Latin American pitchers.

American-born Latinos (Adrian Gonzalez, Ricky Nolasco, Matt Garza, A-Rod, etc) tend to hang out with the white guys, although sometimes they migrate between the white guys and the Caribbean-born players.

The Asian guys all keep to themselves.

There are exceptions to all these rules, of course, particularly when you have a player like Juan Uribe or Jerry Hairston Jr. or Pedro Martinez, who's friends with everybody on the roster regardless of race or position. It'll be interesting to see who the gay guys (when that actually becomes a group in MLB) hang out with in the clubhouse.
   18. Bhaakon Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:31 AM (#4654642)
I never cease to be astonished at how broadly ballplayers seem to share what I think of as rural, white 1950's America attitudes.


That's because they're actually multi-ethnic, 2010's world-wide attitudes. There are still a lot of people who aren't all that thrilled with gay folks. That ranges from just being skeeved out to open hatred.
   19. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4654659)
happily, some politicians agree


In the OTP thread, someone posted an excellent rebuttal to these sorts of articles. The politician in questions happens to be the vice chair of a podunk GPO district in the UP of Michigan. IOW, she has slightly more power and influence than I do.
   20. zonk Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4654663)
I believe all these executives and I think it's generally true of MLB... the nature of the sport and the clubhouse is such that despite what people say about 'chemistry' - when you've rolled the dice time and time over on the Zambranos, the Milton Bradleys, the Reggie Jacksons, the Billy Martins, the Shea Hillenbrands, etc - if you can play, you'll get paid until you can't play.

There probably are more than a few clubhouses where the bellyaching would get loud, even public. For all its warts - baseball does, after all, have a history with this sort of thing... Certainly, the color barrier was a terrible thing -- but Jackie Robinson was playing major league baseball a decade before Brown v. Board of Education, almost 20 years before Selma, etc. No doubt, there were clubhouse issues then... and that was all happening in a world where it was wholly acceptable for the fans, the players, and various other peripheries to spare no bile publicly decrying the integration.

I'm not comparing the two movements - just saying that baseball's been through it before and came out better in the other end, ahead of society in that regard, even. Baseball wouldn't be ahead of the curve here, but I can tell you this...

Even the players who would have a problem with it would most definitely have an agent in his ear warning of how his words might impact bank accounts -- I tend to doubt one's endorsement power goes UP when you automatically signal to a potential advertiser you will drive away a certain demographic.
   21. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:36 AM (#4654665)
Barry Bonds mighta got run out of New England in the midst of the greatest pass catching via a TE run in history for being a huge dick otherwise.. In baseball, being a prick / ####### / wierdo / gay / whatever doesn't really matter, just go hit or pitch.


Unless Bonds went legitimately Terrel Owens crazy on his team he would be on the field. And even if he did get cut for being Terrel Owens crazy, he would have multiple chances with other teams. The NFL is about performance on the field and salaries, if you are cheap and good, you stay, pretty much no matter what. Once you slip in either of those two categories, you are liable to be gone.

Marvin Harrison was a huge dick, and the Colts were quite happy to employ him. Or, more recently, Aaron Hernandez for the Pats...not the nicest of guys, they had just given him a huge new contract before the murdering came to light.

Unless you are a really vocal #######, if you produce, in whatever sport you play, you will be employed.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM (#4654680)
Unless you are a really vocal #######, if you produce, in whatever sport you play, you will be employed.


But whether you produce in the NFL depends so largely on what scheme you run, who your coaches are, who your teammates are. Its not like you get four trips to the plate every game to show what you can do. There were already doubts about Sam's ability to be an every-down player. In the wrong situation, I can definitely see him not getting a full shake. That's why I think it was so important he come out before the draft, to avoid a bad situation.

Having spent time in a lot of clubhouses, I think baseball would probably lag behind the NBA and NFL in acceptance, mostly because baseball has a much higher percentage of white evangelical Christians and rednecks than those sports do


I would probably add Latin American players in there too. They don't strike me as the most progressive on gay rights, and many I would guess are Catholic?
   23. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4654691)
One time I was in the Astros clubhouse -- a look at BB-Ref tells me it had to be 2002 or '03 -- when Gregg Zaun just unleashed a loud, vile homophobic rant addressed to nobody in particular. It made me uncomfortable, but I was a clubhouse newbie back then and didn't feel I had any standing to call him out on it. None of his veteran teammates or coaches told him to cool it either, which probably speaks volumes.


I find it disturbing that God himself felt he did not have the standing to call out Greg Zaun. Come on, embrace your omnipotence.

Unless you are a really vocal #######, if you produce, in whatever sport you play, you will be employed.


Unless you are actually 42 year old Barry Bonds, then nobody will sign you for the league minimum after you lead the league in OPS+.
   24. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4654705)
But whether you produce in the NFL depends so largely on what scheme you run, who your coaches are, who your teammates are. Its not like you get four trips to the plate every game to show what you can do. There were already doubts about Sam's ability to be an every-down player. In the wrong situation, I can definitely see him not getting a full shake. That's why I think it was so important he come out before the draft, to avoid a bad situation.


Almost the exact same things can be said about baseball - who is blocking you at your position, which pitchers you are facing, will your manager keep playing you through a slump, will your manager play young players at all, are you playing in the ideal defensive position, are you trying to hit home runs in Safeco, etc.

Obviously everything you mentioned is important for NFL players, but the NFL is not unique in that. Every sport has players that will do well no matter where they are, has players that will not do well no matter where they are, and is mostly filled with players that will do well in the right organization with the right group of teammates.

EDIT:
My overall point being this - no league is going to be appreciably worse at accepting gay players and no league is going to be appreciably better at accepting gay players. Some athletes will say ridiculous, offensive ####. Most players won't say anything and it will be business as normal. If a gay player can produce, they will play.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4654710)
I guess my point is in baseball, its pretty obvious who is producing. You have discrete opportunities to produce. A guy hitting .340 is going to keep getting at bats, or at least be called out by the press as someone that should keep getting at bats.

Its less clear in football. A guy could be playing well, but because of the scheme or his teammates messing up, or poor coaching, it doesn't appear he's doing well.

I hope we start seeing other players in other sports start coming out. I'm kinda puzzled why we haven't seen more of this yet. I imagine the gay population (particularly the gay population willing to be out) in sports might be lower than that in the general population, but I cant' believe the population is zero.
   26. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4654715)
I guess my point is in baseball, its pretty obvious who is producing. You have discrete opportunities to produce. A guy hitting .340 is going to keep getting at bats, or at least be called out by the press as someone that should keep getting at bats.


And yet Joey Votto gets called out by the Cincinnati press for not hitting enough...
   27. Answer Guy Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4654727)
Having spent time in a lot of clubhouses, I think baseball would probably lag behind the NBA and NFL in acceptance, mostly because baseball has a much higher percentage of white evangelical Christians and rednecks than those sports do. I'm speaking here of players, not management. I assume management would act in much the same way they claim they would in this article.


1. The "next man up" factor seems to be higher in the NFL though. It's there but at a lower level in MLB. A big percentage of NBA rosters are effectively indispensable, Jason Collins notwithstanding.

2. You think that the NFL is less Evangelical? I don't get that sense.

3. I think a lot has changed since 2002-03.
   28. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4654757)
I think MLB management is probably more progressive on gay rights than NFL management. (I know little to nothing about NBA management, and hockey is in a mental bucket in the back of my head labeled "weird #### Canadians do.") I doubt MLB players would be notably more open to gay teammates than are NFL players, for the reasons mentioned above. White baseball players tend to be strongly of the redneck and Bible-thumping crowd. (In the NFL the Bible-thumping comes from the black players as often as not, but Richie Incognito isn't going to be opening doors with his defense of gay rights any time soon either.)

I think NFL management is probably more throwback than MLB management.
   29. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4654758)
I guess my point is in baseball, its pretty obvious who is producing. You have discrete opportunities to produce. A guy hitting .340 is going to keep getting at bats, or at least be called out by the press as someone that should keep getting at bats.


For a star player it's obvious who's producing. For a marginal player the difference between you and the guy in AAA who wants a shot at your job is not much. Is a long reliever with a 4.25 ERA producing? How about a utility infielder with a 75 OPS+
   30. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4654771)
If the Milwaukee Brewers sign one gay player, and then another, and then another, pretty soon their home games will be nothing but sausage fests.
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4654787)
and hockey is in a mental bucket in the back of my head labeled "weird #### Canadians do.


Hockey is probably the most progressive about this right now.
   32. alehman42 Posted: February 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4654790)
Kaz Tadano, anyone? His teammates in Cleveland were universally accepting, at least in their public statements. I suppose you could argue that being gay on film (and for money) is different from being gay in your personal life, but I have a hard time believing that gay-bashing is usually that nuanced.

And that was 10 years ago.
   33. attaboy Posted: February 11, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4654846)
I think NFL management is probably more throwback than MLB management.

I would have thought so, as well, but apparently Vince Lombardi, all the way back in the late 60's (maybe earlier) was a very strong (relatively speaking) supporter of Gays rights.

I put that in a, 'I never woulda guessed it' pile!
   34. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4654897)
I really think a big part of why pro sports have been so slow to accept gay teammates is because it's one of the only businesses where you're required to be naked in front of each other every day. So many of the 'homophobic' responses from athletes mention showering in front of a gay teammate.

It's a bigger hurdle than getting along with a gay accountant.
   35. madvillain Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4654899)
Listened to about 20 minutes worth of local Seattle sports radio on this last night. It's fugging pathetic how insecure some people are and also how some people cling to "their faith" to justify bigoted, ignorant attitudes. Caller: "you know my faith tells me it's wrong and...". Caller: "you know I wouldn't want that dude tackling me or showering with me".

Get. Over. Yourself.

I really think a big part of why pro sports have been so slow to accept gay teammates is because it's one of the only businesses where you're required to be naked in front of each other every day. So many of the 'homophobic' responses from athletes mention showering in front of a gay teammate.


And yet there are almostly certainly gay players in every single NFL lockeroom, or at least the vast majority, and there are no issues. This is a non starter argument imo. If anything, the rampant homo-eroticism of sports, in parcicular football, already acts as a cover.

If you slapped your accountant on the ass after nailing that return for you, he probably wouldn't be your accountant anymore and you might be getting a visit from the law.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4654900)
"you know I wouldn't want that dude tackling me or showering with me".


Please list which men you would want tackling you and showering with you. Feel free to attach additional pages if needed.
   37. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4654906)
I really think a big part of why pro sports have been so slow to accept gay teammates is because it's one of the only businesses where you're required to be naked in front of each other every day.


Have you ever been to the gym?
The last time I went, I was confronted with naked male genitalia almost every where I looked while I was changing into/out of my work out clothes.
I wonder if these homophobic players requested proof of heterosexuality from every guy at a gym before going into the change room.
   38. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4654909)
you know I wouldn't want that dude tackling me or showering with me


Announcer: "That's a nice sack by Michael Sam, but he's probably going to draw a penalty if he doesn't stop repeatedly humping Tom Brady."
   39. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4654912)
The last time I went, I was confronted with naked male genitalia almost every where I looked


Which gym is this? Asking for a friend.
   40. Stevens Posted: February 11, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4654924)
when you've rolled the dice time and time over on the Zambranos, the Milton Bradleys, the Reggie Jacksons, the Billy Martins, the Shea Hillenbrands, etc


...and Mike Crudale
   41. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: February 11, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4654932)
I think MLB management is probably more progressive on gay rights than NFL management. (I know little to nothing about NBA management, and hockey is in a mental bucket in the back of my head labeled "weird #### Canadians do.") I doubt MLB players would be notably more open to gay teammates than are NFL players, for the reasons mentioned above. White baseball players tend to be strongly of the redneck and Bible-thumping crowd. (In the NFL the Bible-thumping comes from the black players as often as not, but Richie Incognito isn't going to be opening doors with his defense of gay rights any time soon either.)

I think NFL management is probably more throwback than MLB management.


I agree with you here, but it's funny you should mention Incognito...
   42. winnipegwhip Posted: February 11, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4654935)
Setting: openly gay player batting on Sunday Night Baseball Broadcast>

Dan Shulman: This player is off to a good start for the season, hitting .324 but with a lot of hits to his pull side. A right handed hitter...he likes the ball up and in.

Schilling: I think that is player that would like you Kruk.
   43. Lars6788 Posted: February 11, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4655023)
Even the players who would have a problem with it would most definitely have an agent in his ear warning of how his words might impact bank accounts -- I tend to doubt one's endorsement power goes UP when you automatically signal to a potential advertiser you will drive away a certain demographic.


Phil Robertson disagrees with you - it took less than a week for A&E cave in after suspending him for whatever bigoted things he has spouted, mainly about gays but also to blacks.
   44. God Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4655040)
Obviously the Phil Robertson case is different since he's on a show that's expressly designed to appeal to rednecks and bigots.
   45. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4655054)
I agree with you here, but it's funny you should mention Incognito...


And thus am I given an object lesson in my own presumptions and biases. Good on Cognito (and Jonathan Martin) for publicly supporting Sam. I seem to have underestimated either Cognito's person, or the level of respect given to someone who has the guts to come out publicly before the draft by players.
   46. Craig in MN Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4655058)
I suspect coming out in MLB might be a bigger issue than in the NFL...not because of the sociology of the sociology/psychology of the groups/people involved, but because of the structure of the season. In the NFL there is more of a 9 to 5 culture, with just 8 travel days a year. In MLB, the team is team is together much more....they do 8 travel days in the first 3 weeks of the season. Players are all constantly sitting around the stadium all day, or trying to fill time on off days on the road, and reporters are always around trying to fill their time too. In the NFL there are only really 3 or 4 days of media access to players a week, and then only for a couple hours. I bet a MLB beat reporter has more face-to-face access to players in a day than an NFL reporter has in a week. There is just so much more chance in MLB for a reporter to make an issue, a player to get annoyed or slip up and say something dumb, or tweet something dumb, or to have some festering issue grow. If there is an issue in a MLB clubhouse, it will almost certainly come out sometime over the course of the season.

There are 16 NFL games a year, with intense focus on what that game means for the standings, or fantasy standings, or whatever. There is almost always plenty of real, quick-hit football news to fill newspaper inches and tv shows. The reporters and players may not be more enlightened or tolerant...they are just focused on the next game and more likely to not. Each game matters more and the off-the-field stuff matters less.
   47. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4655059)
Phil Robertson disagrees with you - it took less than a week for A&E cave in after suspending him


That entire scenario was nothing but a marketing ploy. The network "suspended" a reality TV personality between filming seasons, while he was out selling books. It was nothing but a marketing gimmick, and it worked perfectly as designed.
   48. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4655067)
Schilling: I think that is player that would like you Kruk.


I like the idea of Curt Schilling talking like a caveman.
   49. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 11, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4655077)
Setting: openly gay player batting in ALDS on TBS

Chip Caray: "FISTED past Pujols into right!"
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 11, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4655124)
I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd bet that within five years any openly (or "not sayin', just sayin'") anti-gay NFL or MLB player will be seen as little more than a variant on John Rocker, which will prove to be the happy if rare junction of moral right and marketing strategy.
   51. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4655137)
Announcer: "That's a nice sack by Michael Sam, but he's probably going to draw a penalty if he doesn't stop repeatedly humping Tom Brady."


The names are different but this actually happened.

I wonder if these homophobic players requested proof of heterosexuality from every guy at a gym before going into the change room.


"Sure man, what's your sister's number?"
   52. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 11, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4655141)
Announcer: "That's a nice sack by Michael Sam, but he's probably going to draw a penalty if he doesn't stop repeatedly humping Tom Brady."

I don't know. I mean, if I'm playing contact friendly tackle football (or even touch), I know it when I tackle a chick rather than a dude. If the chick's hot, it's different than tackling some doofus generic bro.

I'm as pro-gay as the next guy, but I haven't let it turn my brain to mush. It certainly isn't inconceivable that a gay guy in the NFL could be physically attracted to another guy in the NFL. (Nor does it necessarily matter that he doesn't know whether the attractee is gay; I certainly don't have to know whether the chick is straight in the example above.)

There aren't really any action points that ensue from this analysis, other than not sitting idly by while the stupid propagates itself.
   53. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 11, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4655144)
I seem to have underestimated either Cognito's person, or the level of respect given to someone who has the guts to come out publicly before the draft by players.


From what I know about hockey Sean Avery is considered one of the biggest jerks in the league but he has been extremely vocal in support of gay rights. I don't doubt that Incognito is a complete jackass but that doesn't preclude him from having an open opinion on this. Which makes sense to me, your feelings on homosexuality aren't generally determined by whether you're a nice guy or not (though being a jerk AND anti-gay makes for some loud quotes in the media)
   54. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4655146)
I don't know. I mean, if I'm playing contact friendly tackle football (or even touch), I know it when I tackle a chick rather than a dude.


Did you repeatedly hump her?
   55. theboyqueen Posted: February 11, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4655152)
It certainly isn't inconceivable that a gay guy in the NFL could be physically attracted to another guy in the NFL.


On the field I think it's quite inconceivable, bordering on ridiculous. Do you get a boner when you shake hands with women at work?

In any case, women have managed to deal with undesired objectification by heterosexual men in every realm of their lives. I have no pity for heterosexual men who now may have to face the same reality, even if it only exists in their minds.
   56. theboyqueen Posted: February 11, 2014 at 07:42 PM (#4655156)
Also, I don't have anything against jokes made at anybody's expense as long as they are funny, but I can't imagine the jokes in this thread being funny to anybody over the age of 12.
   57. Lars6788 Posted: February 11, 2014 at 07:54 PM (#4655162)
I think it would be difficult to have an outed gay athlete in the locker room in one of the four professional sports but if you are a professional athlete, that should triumph over your sexual preference, possibly creeping on your teammates and sexually harassing them.

If you are a gay pro athlete who can't adhere to the clubhouse rules, then you simply don't belong, regardless of talent or whether or not you are supposed to be a pioneer.

On another tangent what if your locker room Richie Incognito just happens to be gay - how would that play into the dynamics of the locker room where the strongest, abrasive personality also uses his sexuality to rule the locker room to intimidate 'weaker' teammates.
   58. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4655167)
All I'm getting at is, there are many explanations for why professional sports teams are lagging so far behind everyone else when it comes to acceptance of gay people--I honestly believe the shower issue is a major one, and a lot of the responses I'm hearing from pro athletes opposed to gay teammates seems to support that.
   59. theboyqueen Posted: February 11, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4655172)
This guy Ray did just fine as an uncloseted gay man in a locker room full of unpaid 18 year olds most of whom are probably from the rural south/midwest. None of his teammates even bothered to out him even though he never told them not to. Folks, I am pretty sure we will all be ok.

On another tangent what if your locker room Richie Incognito just happens to be gay - how would that play into the dynamics of the locker room where the strongest, abrasive personality also uses his sexuality to rule the locker room to intimidate 'weaker' teammates.


I have very little clue what you are implying here. Whether or not someone is gay has nothing to do with their ability to use sexuality to intimidate weaker people. How many of the "alpha dogs" in prison who use rape to intimidate fellow inmates (which is perhaps where you are going with this question) do you think would identify themselves as gay?
   60. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4655225)
I really think a big part of why pro sports have been so slow to accept gay teammates is because it's one of the only businesses where you're required to be naked in front of each other every day. So many of the 'homophobic' responses from athletes mention showering in front of a gay teammate.


Whether you have an openly gay player on your team or not, how the hell much would it cost to install individual stalls in the showers? The concept of "the whole team must shower together" is nonsensical to begin with. How have we not rethought that yet?
   61. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM (#4655227)
Do you get a boner when you shake hands with women at work?

Really? In fact, yes -- shaking hands probably won't do it, but I get boners quite a bit when talking with women at work that I find attractive.(*) (I never act on them, but that's not the point).

And even that's not really the question. The question is whether I would get boners if women at work that I found attractive regularly pranced about naked in front of me in the workplace.

That question answers itself.

(*) Right now, there's one frequent and another that is nearing frequent. And a third that I definitely would if we got just a little more flirty, which only office geography is standing in the way of.
   62. BDC Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4655236)
I get boners quite a bit when talking with women at work

And BBTF has now just officially provided Too Much Information.
   63. zenbitz Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:46 PM (#4655237)
What about Centaurs?

Gay Centaurs?
   64. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:53 PM (#4655240)
I get boners quite a bit when talking with women at work


Are you the guy who regularly whines & cries about how the decline of society, or is that someone else?
   65. flournoy Posted: February 11, 2014 at 10:57 PM (#4655241)
Setting: openly gay player batting in ALDS on TBS

Chip Caray: "FISTED past Pujols into right!"


I can't believe you went with "into right" rather than "up the middle," or even better, "through the hole."

Also, the person who posted #61 is clearly twelve years old, although I think even a twelve year old would at least know enough to be ashamed.

EDIT: I missed the Pujols pun, but even still, you definitely had better options.
   66. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4655242)
Also, the person who posted #61 is clearly twelve years old,

Actually, he's the adult. The 12-year-olds are the ones up in the treehouse where neither Mom, Dad, nor the real world can upset the fantasyland they've built in their minds.

   67. Lassus Posted: February 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4655256)
I saw a name in the sidebar, I came for the insanity, and I was not disappointed.
   68. Guapo Posted: February 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM (#4655262)
   69. theboyqueen Posted: February 12, 2014 at 12:25 AM (#4655267)
Really? In fact, yes -- shaking hands probably won't do it, but I get boners quite a bit when talking with women at work that I find attractive.(*) (I never act on them, but that's not the point).

And even that's not really the question. The question is whether I would get boners if women at work that I found attractive regularly pranced about naked in front of me in the workplace.

That question answers itself


I must admit that was not the answer I was expecting at all, but I certainly appreciate your candor.

Consider the following scenarios:

1. Your testicles are examined by a female doctor to address a concerning lump.
2. You are part of the security staff at a strip club.
3. You are in a figure drawing class with a nude, female model.
4. You are a male doctor performing a pelvic exam on a female patient.

Would you have "difficulty" with any of these scenarios?
   70. Greg K Posted: February 12, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4655268)
Would you have "difficulty" with any of these scenarios?

I have to admit, I thought the question after those four options was going to be "which of the preceding was the premise to a Mr. Bean sketch".
   71. base ball chick Posted: February 12, 2014 at 12:55 AM (#4655277)
The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 11, 2014 at 09:20 PM (#4655227)

Do you get a boner when you shake hands with women at work?

Really? In fact, yes -- shaking hands probably won't do it, but I get boners quite a bit when talking with women at work that I find attractive.


- you know sometimes i have thought it would be kewl to get wood. i mean my very own personal wood. just to see what it is like

but then again
no

it would be eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwww if some guy at work got a boner when talking to me. not that i would be lookin there when talkin to him anyhow. unlike him lookin at me, uh, breathe.

i know i wouldn't want to be in a locker room full of youknowwhats flappin in the breeze. and if womens gyms anything like it is in school, all the grrls cover up so can't no other grrrl see nothin. it ain't worry about lesbians droolin and grabbin. it's shame. which is dumb but us grrls do it to our self. so to speak.

anyhow i really do not get all the hate about gays. i really don't. what is the problem? do people really think it is contagious or something? so they do icky stuff. like so what. straights do icky stuff too.
   72. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 12, 2014 at 12:57 AM (#4655278)
None of your scenarios sound disconcerting, boyqueen (well, I'd be terrible at security) - though I will note that I once felt awkward when changing before a show in the same space as a friend/co-worker that I was already attracted to and who I did not altogether expect to see in the altogether (we were supposed to have separate rooms and more time to prep). Anyway, we got changed, did our show (and I, for one, did not think about any of this during the performance^), and moved on with life - it was never something (for either of us, I presume) to dwell on. If changing together was a normal prerequisite of what we did, then even that would have been a non-issue, I think the surprise of the thing motivated my (hopefully entirely internal) awkwardness.

^ 'Cause we were professionals, even if much less so than are NFL athletes.
   73. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 12, 2014 at 05:48 AM (#4655306)
It's been a while since I've played baseball seriously, but it seems like nowadays showering and being naked plays an incredibly huge role in it? When did that happen? I honestly do not remember that from my sporting days.

I remember some poor kid getting a lot of #### from a star player and me not doing as much as I should have about it, (which I'll probably regret for the rest of my life) but that's about it. Of course, pros probably spend a lot more time together in the locker room than we did, but on the other hand, they're grown men. If the military can handle women and gay dudes in combat, I think MLB can manage.
   74. Drexl Spivey Posted: February 12, 2014 at 06:49 AM (#4655308)
Nixon Tapes: Homosexuality

The above link is of Richard Nixon (from the Nixon tapes) talking about homosexuality for ten minutes.

It is one of the funniest things ever posted on Youtube.
   75. BrianBrianson Posted: February 12, 2014 at 07:22 AM (#4655311)
Do you get a boner when you shake hands with women at work?


C'mon - when I was young enough to call them boners, I routinely got them from a stiff breeze.
   76. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 12, 2014 at 07:31 AM (#4655312)
When the suggestion that men sometimes pop wood around attractive women is a contrarian and controversial idea, if not downright "trolling," we're pretty much all the way through the looking glass.
   77. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 08:21 AM (#4655313)
When the suggestion that men sometimes pop wood around attractive women is a contrarian and controversial idea


Nah, it's just hilarious. I hope you don't get called in front of the class to do a math question on the board.
   78. Lassus Posted: February 12, 2014 at 08:45 AM (#4655320)
Not as hilarious as the phrase "pop wood"


but I get boners quite a bit when talking with women at work

But I see you're backing off now above to "sometimes". Or - gasp - placing your own virility above the average of men. Where's my fainting couch?
   79. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 12, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4655339)
Yeah... Just... Yeah...
   80. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:01 AM (#4655341)
It has never been, "His bad."

His two cents are worth 37 dollars and change.

When he worked in an office and talked to attractive women, he never popped wood.

He is ... The Most Interesting Man in the World.
   81. Answer Guy Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4655351)
i know i wouldn't want to be in a locker room full of youknowwhats flappin in the breeze. and if womens gyms anything like it is in school, all the grrls cover up so can't no other grrrl see nothin. it ain't worry about lesbians droolin and grabbin. it's shame. which is dumb but us grrls do it to our self. so to speak.


As a regular user of a locker room at a gym where somewhere between 25-50% of the men in there (depending on day/time) as likely gay, the reality is nowhere near as dramatic as the imagination. It's pretty banal 99% of the time. (Every so often there's a dude in there who clearly wants other dudes to check him out.)
   82. Answer Guy Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4655357)
When the suggestion that men sometimes pop wood around attractive women is a contrarian and controversial idea, if not downright "trolling," we're pretty much all the way through the looking glass.


I suppose there's a range of responses to a woman one finds attractive in a social and non-sexual situation, and that's in there, if sharply to one end of the scale.

The straight guys in this discussion would happy to hear that this gay man does not pop wood when he shakes hand with a man he finds attractive.
   83. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4655358)
As a regular user of a locker room at a gym where somewhere between 25-50% of the men in there (depending on day/time) as likely gay, the reality is nowhere near as dramatic as the imagination.


During my youthful clubbing days there was a gym off Washington Ave on South Beach that was well-known for having a large gay clientele and features a bank of stair climbers facing away from one exterior glass wall (so as to provide streetside passers-by with a full compliment of writhing butts). This being South Beach, about as "out" a place as you might hope to find, the gym did not lack for exhibitionists of all stripes, prompting one of my friends to comment as we walked by, "I wouldn't mind being gay if I didn't have to get into that kinda shape."

Never trained at that gym but I imagine the locker rooms were a happening scene.
   84. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4655359)
The straight guys in this discussion would happy to hear that this gay man does not pop wood when he shakes hand with a man he finds attractive.


But do you get a chubby? A stiffy? Is there a little voice in your head crying out, "SCHWING"?
   85. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4655360)
when I was young enough to call them boners, I routinely got them from a stiff breeze.


Amen. Consult your doctor if your erection lasts more than four hours? I think mine lasted from 6th through 9th grade.
   86. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4655363)
The straight guys in this discussion would happy to hear that this gay man does not pop wood when he shakes hand with a man he finds attractive.


Hell, I'd be flattered. But considering how profoundly unattractive the wood-incapable portion of the population has found me, I'm skeptical of my ability to get a rise out of even the SugarBeariest of gay males.

   87. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4655365)
I feel this is the appropriate time to admit that every time my old office ordered catering from the BBQ place down the street, I came in my pants.
   88. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4655366)
The straight guys in this discussion would happy to hear that this gay man does not pop wood when he shakes hand with a man he finds attractive.


Back in the day I got hit on a bunch by gay men. It was nice to be wanted (even by the wrong team). I would have gotten much more action if I were gay.
   89. Answer Guy Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4655367)
Never trained at that gym but I imagine the locker rooms were a happening scene.


Could be. Some gyms like that feature a lot of cruising. DC is generally too buttoned-down for that sort of thing, though there are a few places for people whose proclivities lean that way in the area. This place is not one of those - it's mostly office drones in their 30s and 40s who want to stay in shape.
   90. Answer Guy Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4655372)
Hell, I'd be flattered. But considering how profoundly unattractive the wood-incapable portion of the population has found me, I'm skeptical of my ability to get a rise out of even the SugarBeariest of gay males.


Well, the big asymmetry is that a gay man has also been in showers and locker rooms and bathrooms with his own gender his whole life. Controlling ourselves in that sort of situation is kind of a survival skill. Even if you don't get beat up for getting stiff around other unclothed guys, it's hard to function if that's your reaction. So it goes away pretty much regardless.
   91. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4655376)
I normally disagree with almost everything SBB says, but I sort of agree with him. I also agree with Answer Guy here:

Well, the big asymmetry is that a gay man has also been in showers and locker rooms and bathrooms with his own gender his whole life. Controlling ourselves in that sort of situation is kind of a survival skill. Even if you don't get beat up for getting stiff around other unclothed guys, it's hard to function if that's your reaction. So it goes away pretty much regardless.

I think the key here (and apparently it doesn't apply for anyone other than myself and SBB) is that the perspective of these straight guys is not "Gay men have been doing this all their lives" as much as it is "If I was on a women's team and showering them, what would it feel like/what would be running through my mind." You are a better man than me if you have never felt attracted to female coworkers or were aroused in some form, not necessarily manifesting itself in an erection, by your interactions with them where sometimes only the slightest physical contact has occurred.
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4655382)
Well, the big asymmetry is that a gay man has also been in showers and locker rooms and bathrooms with his own gender his whole life. Controlling ourselves in that sort of situation is kind of a survival skill. Even if you don't get beat up for getting stiff around other unclothed guys, it's hard to function if that's your reaction. So it goes away pretty much regardless.

Funny. I pretty much have avoided being naked around other men (medical professionals excluded), or around naked men my entire life. There's really no need for it.
   93. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4655401)
You are a better man than me if you have never felt attracted to female coworkers or were aroused in some form, not necessarily manifesting itself in an erection, by your interactions with them where sometimes only the slightest physical contact has occurred.


It's one thing to be aroused while working in an office or other rather physically mundane job. It's quite another thing to be aroused in the middle of a sporting event. I consider my libido quite healthy, and even in high school during the peak of the typical lack-of-control days I wouldn't just spontaneously get an erection during practice or games, even if the women's team was nearby and being enticing in their female ways.
   94. Answer Guy Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4655403)
I think the key here (and apparently it doesn't apply for anyone other than myself and SBB) is that the perspective of these straight guys is not "Gay men have been doing this all their lives" as much as it is "If I was on a women's team and showering them, what would it feel like/what would be running through my mind."


And that's a great articulation of the difference.

I think there's a tendency on the part of a lot of straight men to think of women they aren't related to in terms that don't necessarily translate directly to the gay context. (But yes, I've been attracted to other men at work, some of them fellow gay men.)
   95. BDC Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4655408)
If I was on a women's team and showering them

Is there a "with" that got omitted from that clause? It might make all the difference.
   96. zonk Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4655412)
A part of me wants to call it progress... you know, suddenly men start having body issues because of the dawning realization dudes that prefer to bone dudes have seen them naked and might very well have judged them as non-boneworthy.

I feel some great symmetry coming on in our society...



   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4655416)
A part of me wants to call it progress... you know, suddenly men start having body issues because of the dawning realization dudes that prefer to bone dudes have seen them naked and might very well have judged them as non-boneworthy.

I feel some great symmetry coming on in our society...


I wouldn't hold my breath. Very few men have their physical looks as a major pillar of their self esteem.
   98. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4655420)
It's one thing to be aroused while working in an office or other rather physically mundane job. It's quite another thing to be aroused in the middle of a sporting event. I consider my libido quite healthy, and even in high school during the peak of the typical lack-of-control days I wouldn't just spontaneously get an erection during practice or games, even if the women's team was nearby and being enticing in their female ways.

The only co-ed sport I participated in competitively in High School was track and...there were a lot of erections involved. My peers who went on to compete in Track at the collegiate level, to a man and woman, say the same thing went on there as well.

I think there's a tendency on the part of a lot of straight men to think of women they aren't related to in terms that don't necessarily translate directly to the gay context. (But yes, I've been attracted to other men at work, some of them fellow gay men.)

I agree with this.
   99. Answer Guy Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4655422)
Very few men have their physical looks as a major pillar of their self esteem.


I guess we can quibble with what "very few" means, but I don't think you're right.

It's still true that men are not judged by their appearance to the same degree as women.
   100. formerly dp Posted: February 12, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4655423)
I feel this is the appropriate time to admit that every time my old office ordered catering from the BBQ place down the street, I came in my pants.
There's an inappropriate time to admit that?
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