SAN DIEGO – Professional athletes on the West Coast almost universally think that a gay teammate would be welcome in the locker room and on the field.
Matt Calkins with the UT San Diego informally surveyed players from the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers and reports that he found only one athlete who appeared resistant to the idea.
America’s major league sports remain places where openly gay athletes are non-existent.
Recently, the macho world of professional boxing was shaken up when Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz came out publicly. Last Friday, Cruz won his first bout since coming out and said he was grateful to be greeted by a cheering crowd in Florida.
Chargers tight end Dante Rosario told Calkins that he would be supportive of a gay teammate.
“I can only speak for myself, but personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with it,” Rosario said.
NBA guard Steve Nash, a Canadian who has had a stellar career with the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Sun before joining the Lakers this fall, said athletes are evolving just like the rest of the country.
“I actually think you’d be surprised how accepting guys would be,” Nash said.
Grant Hill, a forward for the Clippers, said the first gay athlete in the major leagues would be a hero.
“Honestly, I think he would probably be celebrated for it,” Hill said.
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