|Robbie Rogers - Photo by Isaiah J. Downing - USA TODAY|
And then there were none.
With the retirement of Robbie Rogers from the Los Angeles Galaxy, there are zero openly gay male athletes in the five largest North American pro team sports leagues — NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS. For good measure, there are no out male players in any of the major pro soccer leagues around the world.
In the acronym that encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity — LGBTQ — we have several L’s and some female B’s but zero men in the G, B, T or Q classification. Lesbians are prominent in the WNBA, winning championships, getting married and being advocates for LGBTQ rights, but out active male athletes are nowhere to be found.
At one point in 2014, Rogers was playing in the MLS, Jason Collins was in the NBA and Michael Sam about to enter training camp with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams. It seemed as if the sports closet door was about to be pushed wide open.
However, since Sam came out prior to the 2014 NFL Draft, there has not been another pro team male athlete who has come out. The situation is a little better in major college sports. Scott Frantz, who is openly gay, is the starting left tackle for Kansas State. My-King Johnson is a highly recruited redshirt defensive end for Arizona. It’s possible that one or both of these players could be on an NFL roster in a few years.
The situation is far more positive in high school and college sports and what might be called “minor” sports for both men and women. Outsports adds to its coming out list each week and every year since we started tracking the numbers has seen as increase of out LGBT people in sport. People at all levels, from the executive suite to the training room, are refusing to stay closeted.
It’s a very different matter for the men’s Big 5 pro sports. As to why there are no prominent gay male team athlete? There is no single reason, though the theories have remained fairly constant in the 18 years we have been publishing Outsports.
See full story here.