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Marlins Comment on Gays in Baseball


DaGreatOne
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Posted on Fri, Feb. 27, 2004

 

The ultimate sports taboo hasn't evolved with the times

 

DAN LE BATARD

 

dlebatard@herald.com

 

 

J UPITER -- The champion Marlins are stitched together tightly, not unlike the baseball around which they bond. The potential barriers, of religion and politics and language, all get toppled in the name of team and triumph.

 

So there is first baseman Hee Seop Choi, bowing politely upon meeting new Marlins teammates with whom he can't really speak. And there is big-bellied Armando Benitez, all Latin machismo, tossing a tin of Copenhagen across the clubhouse to Kid Rock-ian A.J. Burnett, with whom he has zero in common beyond an ability to throw a baseball very hard. And there is jovial Dontrelle Willis, going from locker to locker, making his way in and out of the white, black and Hispanic clubhouse cliques with laughter and hugs and enough wattage to light a stadium.

 

But what if one of them were gay?

 

Would this still be the tightest, most fun clubhouse in baseball?

 

''What it would be,'' Marlins pitcher Brad Penny says, ``is very uncomfortable in here.''

 

The caveman culture of sports, allowing adults to remain adolescents for a living, is not yet one of tolerance, enlightenment or understanding -- nor will it be anytime soon. You will find more homophobia per square foot in a professional sports locker room than you will find just about anywhere else in America outside of a Klan meeting, ''faggot'' remaining the most common and searing of slurs. So while homosexuality makes that arduous walk toward America's altars, more mainstream than ever from South Beach to San Francisco, found amid the laughter on prime-time television, you still won't find it anywhere near here, in the locker room where being a felon, rapist or cheat remains preferable to being gay.

 

''I wouldn't have a problem with it, but some people in here would,'' Marlins reliever Tim Spooneybarger says. ``This is a very personal work environment. Very intimate. Not many lawyers get together after work and shower with 30 other lawyers.''

 

CRUSADER NEEDED

 

It is very hard for one of today's athletes to become Muhammad Ali or Jackie Robinson, to have that kind of cultural impact from the sports section, but this is the final uncrossed horizon in sports. It's an odd and amazing thing to say in 2004, the year a 14-year-old female played among male golfers and a transsexual has entered an Australian golf tournament for females, but there has never been an active athlete in major American sports to announce he or she is gay.

 

FINAL BARRIER

 

Swimming? Tennis? Golf? Sure. But those are loner sports that don't require harmony, reliance, teammates. It gets appreciably more difficult to come out of the closet when it will turn the guy dressing next to you, in your colors, into the opponent, too. And there hasn't been anybody with the conviction to risk unemployment, physical harm and ostracizing in the name of this cause.

 

So pity poor Kazuhito Tadano this season. He's a young Cleveland Indians pitcher who starred in a gay pornographic movie three years ago. Shunned by Japanese baseball, he held an awkward press conference recently to announce he isn't gay but made the movie because he needed the money to get through college. His only solace is that, because of the language barrier, he might not understand some of the awful words about to come his way.

 

Asked once how he would react to a gay teammate, Atlanta outfielder Andruw Jones said he would begin with a simple, ''What the hell is wrong with you?'' That's about the kindest of what awaits the gay athlete with the courage to be today's Ali, today's Robinson, wherever he might be hiding, afraid to come out.

 

I personally wouldnt have a problem if I was on a baseball team if one of my team mates were gay. Now if the gay player was to touch you or something that would be different but that would be unlikely to happen.

 

 

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I agree with the article. Someone from the gay community needs to be a Crusader. The "gay Jackie Robinson" if you will. I'm sure there are a few baseball players out there in college or the minors who are secretly gay. Now if one of them would just be talented enough to make the majors, they could then come out of the closet & we'd have a big story on our hands.

 

 

C'mon Piazza, it's time to admit it.... :D

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I am so fed up with all this.

 

"Omg what if he's gay, omg what if he's gonna touch me?!?"......GROW THE F UP

 

That's the most ignorant and childish thing ever. There shouldn't even be an article on that. We're in the 21st century and half of America still are some close-minded motherf'ers who can't handle homosexuals.

 

I mean I could understand if the guy is like a convicted murder or some crap but to feel uncomfortable or whatever just because he likes guys? Whoever said that means he likes you?

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Guest marlins02

as a woman would you feel uncomfortable showering with a man? even if the man is not attracted to you? like someone said in the article, i think spooneybarger said sports are so intimate, these people get dressed together and freaking shower together. if i knew i was doing these things with a homosexual i would feel uncomfortable

 

i would ask men the same question about showering with women but im afraid of the responses

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I am so fed up with all this.

 

"Omg what if he's gay, omg what if he's gonna touch me?!?"......GROW THE F UP

 

That's the most ignorant and childish thing ever. There shouldn't even be an article on that. We're in the 21st century and half of America still are some close-minded motherf'ers who can't handle homosexuals.

 

I mean I could understand if the guy is like a convicted murder or some crap but to feel uncomfortable or whatever just because he likes guys? Whoever said that means he likes you?

Great post. I agree wholeheartedly.

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I agree with the article. Someone from the gay community needs to be a Crusader. The "gay Jackie Robinson" if you will. I'm sure there are a few baseball players out there in college or the minors who are secretly gay. Now if one of them would just be talented enough to make the majors, they could then come out of the closet & we'd have a big story on our hands.

 

 

C'mon Piazza, it's time to admit it.... :D

:lol :lol

You may not be aware, but in the gay community there is a slang for someone who is gay, but closeted. The term is "He plays for the Mets." http://smilies.jeeptalk.org

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Ok i'll give you the shower and dress part. But it's people like Andruw Jones (refer back to article) that make me so pissed.

Why, are you gay? Who cares what Andruw Jones thinks - accept it for what it is. A barometer of where society stands at this moment.

 

Sexual preference is a private thing. It shouldnt be made public - heterosexual, bi-sexual, or homosexual.

 

What bothers me most is that Le Retard used the Marlins as his sampling for his article. Now, I am not going to claim he was trying to put a negative 'caveman' spin on the Marlins and their players, but one has to wonder where this came from and why (according to this thread anyway) there wasnt any attempt to sample from basketball, football, hockey, soccer, golf or even NASCAR or bowling.

 

Why must we believe pro athletes are exemplary people anyway? They actually seem to offer a very specialized yet redundant existence. Where is the value in that?

 

Just my rant...

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Ok i'll give you the shower and dress part. But it's people like Andruw Jones (refer back to article) that make me so pissed.

Why, are you gay? Who cares what Andruw Jones thinks - accept it for what it is. A barometer of where society stands at this moment. No, I'm not "gay" but even if I was, would it be such a big deal, would you treat me any different?

 

Anyhoos, the point isn't that it was Andruw Jones who said it, because frankly I could care less for him, but just what he said.

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Ok i'll give you the shower and dress part. But it's people like Andruw Jones (refer back to article) that make me so pissed.

Why, are you gay? Who cares what Andruw Jones thinks - accept it for what it is. A barometer of where society stands at this moment. No, I'm not "gay" but even if I was, would it be such a big deal, would you treat me any different?

 

Anyhoos, the point isn't that it was Andruw Jones who said it, because frankly I could care less for him, but just what he said. No - it wouldnt make a difference. Dont start a witch hunt here and stick to the facts.

 

I am going to let you in on a little secret - the world is an ugly place. There are biggots, racists, and pure demons lurking about out there. But dont let their existence blind you to the genuinely good people that exist too. Take the good with the bad. Truthfully, I want to know who the racists, biggots, etc are. So I know who NOT to associate with. Why? Not because I am morally superior - and neither are you - but because I choose not to have hate and close-mindedness in my life. Life is too short to be hating others and NO ONE has a premium on wisdom. But the second you can admit that you know nothing, you are on your way to really knowing something. Get off your high horse and treat people as they are and stop trying to blind yourself to that. You will be much happy, healthier and wiser.

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How am I not treating people as they are?

 

Ok I'm coming off to you a lot more negative than I really am. I know the world is an ugly place - you don't have to tell me that. But I was just getting fed up with all these discussions about this and hearing ignorant comments. It was pissing me off so I spoke my mind. I thought that was one of the things actually still allowed in America.

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How am I not treating people as they are?

 

Ok I'm coming off to you a lot more negative than I really am. I know the world is an ugly place - you don't have to tell me that. But I was just getting fed up with all these discussions about this and hearing ignorant comments. It was pissing me off so I spoke my mind. I thought that was one of the things actually still allowed in America.

Never said you couldnt. I am questioning why you are so bitter - why do you take something so personally that you have no personal attachment to? Maybe you should really think about that first. And perhaps, this is not the place to discuss it. But please, dont try and make something out of this that is not.

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Has anyone read the book Bloody Sunday its a Football book that pretty much discusses every ascept of football and they have a chapter on gay players in the NFL and one gay player claims that 10% of the NFL is gay.

 

He even claims that he has dated other gay football players. The author of the book did extensive research on this and he says theres defintely gay players in the NFL but not as much as the 10% the player claims. One experiment he did that he went to a house party the the gay told him about and when he got there he said he saw more than a few gay football players at the party.

 

This just proves that there are many gay players in sports but that they still havent come out and may never will until some star stands up and speaks out.

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