Monday, May 16, 2011

Gay in the NBA - Hooray

Rick Welts, Phoenix Suns president and CEO, has announced that he is gay. During his nearly 30 years working in the NBA, this has never been talked about, although many who worked closely with the 58-year-old executive apparently knew. They just never brought it up because, well, it didn't make any difference in how well he did his job.

It is a big deal for somebody to come out, especially a public person like Welts. And he's relieved, apparently, and hopes that this will encourage others to live honestly. It remains to be seen whether a gay player (and you know there must be some) is ready to do the same. Life in the locker room could be difficult.

I hope our society is ready for more of this. I just watched the most recent episode of Glee, in which Kurt Hummel, one of several gay characters, is traumatized by something that was done to him--but triumphed in the end by taking it on with guts and humor.

Let's face it--gay people are part of our world. I've had gay bosses, co-workers, friends, and even a relative. I also live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where this is more normal. I hope that more people will become tolerant and accepting of this with Mr. Welts' public admission. Maybe the day of gay marriage won't be too far away now. If you know and love anyone who's gay, you'll understand why that's so important.

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