The sports world is still waiting for the first out professional gay male athlete, despite much poking and prodding from gay and lesbian sports fans. Women’s professional sports have featured several openly lesbian and bisexual athletes, from soccer star Megan Rapinoe to women’s basketball icon Sheryl Swoopes.
But gay men, especially in the country’s five largest sporting leagues — National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Football League, Major League Soccer and National Hockey League — have been reluctant to come out of the closet during their careers. Sure, there are some high-profile allies, like NFL players Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo, but we’re still waiting for an open, active professional male athlete.
The Human Rights Campaign hopes to change the environment in which players can come out with a new campaign called Athletes for Equality, which engages LGBT and straight athletes while raising money for the national LGBT rights organization.