The blessing and curse of progress is that you cannot choose your heroes, no matter how long you wait for them to emerge.
Such is the case for the movement of gays in sports – more specifically, openly gay men in major North American team sports.
There had not been any, until a few weeks ago, and suddenly there are two. Sort of. Finding meaning in the big picture is easy – it is progress, and it is moving fast. But if you insist on finding that singular moment, that Jackie-Robison-breaks-the-color-barrier-moment, this cause is not for you.
Whatever movie gets made years from now will be far more complicated than “42.”
Some advocates may have wished for the one big-name athlete to make the bold pronouncement and open the doors for all others to walk through with little fanfare. Instead, progress – while coming faster than anyone could have predicted just a year ago – is moving in incremental, hopscotch spurts.
On Sunday night, the soccer player Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay male athlete to play a major (sort of) North American team sport. Rogers, 26, took the field as a substitute for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, more than three months after coming out, and received a hearty standing ovation.
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ESPN documents Robbie Rogers' debut with Galaxy