Should Professional Athletes Have to Hide Their Sexuality?

Some recent comments by a couple of professional athletes show there is still a stigma in the locker room if the public knows an athlete is gay.

In the macho world of professional sports, athletes always want to come across as the tough guy, both in and out of the playing arena.

Last week, Detroit Tigers center fielder Torii Hunter told the Los Angeles Times that an "out teammate could divide a team."

"For me, as a Christian," Hunter told the Times, "... I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right," he said. "It will be difficult and uncomfortable."

Hunter later said he was misquoted.

Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes Tweeted earlier this season, "I have nothing against homosexuals or spiders but I'd still scream if I found one in my bathtub."

Spikes later said he was just joking.

There have been some athletes who have revealed their homosexuality after their careers were over, notably NFL player Esera Tuaolo, MLB player Billy Bean and NBA player John Amaechi, who wrote a book about his experience as a pro athlete who felt he needed to hide his sexuality to protect his career.

What do you think? Should professional athletes have to hide their sexuality? Tell us in the comments.

Barbara Laws January 05, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Personally, I don't think its anybody's business. If he or she wants to, its their personal choice. We live in modern times so except what's happening today.
GM January 06, 2013 at 12:02 AM
Seems to me that the more appropriate question is why is it so important for professional athletes to highlight their sexuality in the first place? If the issue is just one of having one's behavior become apparent through routine relationships outside of work, then to me, the next question is this -- what expectations of personal privacy are reasonable for people to have in sensitive environments like athletic team locker rooms? We have male and female locker rooms, presumably because we believe it's appropriate for males and females to have a degree of privacy between the sexes. As we become more accepting of homosexuality in our society, what should the standard of privacy be for members of the same sex, some of whom are attracted to other members of the same sex? Shouldn't the standard of privacy be the same in all cases? Maybe Brandon Spikes' joke wasn't a message of hatred but just an expression of the personal privacy he would like to think he has in the locker room,
Tim Maple January 06, 2013 at 06:57 PM
What doesn't each grown adult understand ?? We are taught as children from day one not to judge one another. Let the games go on !!!!!!!!!
Sly Lam January 10, 2013 at 10:37 AM
Please, I am gay and I played sports for many years and I did not give a rats ass if I see the other guys naked. Some heterosexuals have to get over themselves. What they should understand is that their more bisexuals than straight and gays put together. So how do you deal with them when you establish a standard of privacy? A locker for straight guys, a locker for straight girls, a locker for lesbians, a locker for gay men and a locker for bisexual men and women.... This is how ridiculous your point of view sounds like. *Rolling eyes*
SKK January 10, 2013 at 04:02 PM
What does sexuality have to do with playing a game? People are people. Game on! About the locker room thing, It doesn't matter if you are straight, gay, bi there is a way to act in a locker room and those rules go for everyone. Sexuality shouldn't be an issue.


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