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Gay in sports remains "taboo in the locker room"

Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times has written an article titled: In pro sports, gay athletes still feel unwelcome.

He notes that about 4,000 players were on active rosters in the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball in 2012. With the gay/bisexual population in U.S. estimated to range from 2% to 10%, it's likely anywhere from 80 to 400 of those athletes are gay or bisexual.

Yet not a single active player has come out in the major sports. Ever.

"It's still taboo in the locker room," explains the Clippers' Grant Hill.

Former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter, considered among baseball's most thoughtful and intelligent players, isn't kidding when he says an "out" teammate could divide a team.

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

Yet, many professional athletes are coming out in support of LGBT rights, including Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens, Scott Fujita of the Cleveland Browns and Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings — all of whom are straight.

Baxter points to a generational divide within locker rooms, as younger players are more supportive of gay rights than older players.

Things could be changing, though. Puerto Rican featherweight boxer Orlando Cruz came out late last year, and fans in Orlando, Fla., cheered him to a decisive victory in his first bout since coming out. That SDGLN article was one of the top read stories of 2012.