The Real Reason No NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL Players Have Come Out Yet

The average NFL career lasts 3.2 years; baseball, basketball, and hockey between four and five. There are only 3,436 jobs available, with millions of potential applicants. In such a fiercely competitive industry, the last thing anyone wants to do is give any employer, no matter how open-minded he might believe him to be, a reason not to give him a chance [by being an openly gay “liability” in the first place] . “If athletes could play until they were 65, they would not be in the closet their entire life, because people do not want to be closeted forever,” Buzinski says. “There is this feeling that I can compartmentalize this now and when I am out of my career, I can deal with it then.”…

[Jim] Buzinski [of] agrees, but notes that in many ways, once the player comes out, he will be so embraced—not just by the sports media, but by the larger culture (it is not difficult to see the first openly gay pro athlete landing on the cover of Time magazine) that it will become difficult for a player’s team to cut or trade him. This is a funny idea. It sounds like the premise of a bad sports comedy, in which a straight player must pretend to be gay to keep his job.

New York Magazine‘s Will Leitch discussing homophobia and pro-sports in his article, “The Last Closet: When will a gay professional athlete finally come out?”

Image via Ed Yourdon

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #jimbuzinski #sports #willleitch stories and more


  • Mike


  • Little Kiwi

    i don’t get it. if you’re good at the sport, and you command respect and admiration, and you think you’re such a “man”, then why not grow a fucking pair and Come Out?

    what, do the think fans are gonna say “Oh, well, i didn’t BELIEVE he scored that touchdown because he’s gay” or “i dunno, he’s gay, no way he can work offense”

    hey sports-playing homos – enough with the excuses already. it’s tired and cowardly.

  • Thomas Maguire

    I know of at least one gay guy playing for the Denver Broncos.

    He’s on Grindr.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    I think one reason is the outsized influence of the extremely anti-Gay Fellowship of “Christian” Athletes, who are entrenched in coaching staffs and players throughout sports in the USA.

  • Skeloric

    People who are into football and other sports are naturally bigoted and homophobic, probably even secretly working with America’s enemies in order to finally destroy America.
    I don’t watch any sports and never will, I’d rather start crusading for legislature to passed banning all forms of sports.
    Why should I care if some self-loathing coward hides his sexuality in order to pander to the wretched scumbags who are into watching/playing sports?

  • Pedro

    @Skeloric: Get some help dude…Tu es muy loco! You think anyone who enjoys watching or playing sports are “naturally bigoted and homophobic”? Que locura!

  • JayKay


    You got picked last for dodgeball, didn’t you?

  • Kev C

    @Skeloric: I may not have said it that way but I agree with the sentiment. Men who like to watch men playing contact sports with other men, and admire their physical prowess .. are mentally and emotionally gay. But they don’t want to be called gay or associated with anything gay. They actively seperate their homosexual tendencies and homoerotic energy (and that’s exactly what it is), from being identified with open homosexuality. The last thing sports fans want is openness because it forces them to confront their own tendencies.

  • Dave

    @3 Thom Maguire-Who is he?

  • Skeloric

    @JayKay: Actually JayKay, they tended to go an entire hour with even the teacher not realizing that I hadn’t ever gotten picked at all.
    I just stood there on the sidelines wondering when I’d finally get picked.
    That tended to be the best part of my day as a child, usually the day was much worse.

  • Skeloric

    @Pedro: Maybe you never grew up in the Midwest where the entire town would roll their eyes and exclaim “boys will be boys” when the local high school football team were a pack of deranged serial killers who got their kicks on chasing down people to murder them for fun.
    That is what i saw about school sports in my town — complete with the local cops covering it up just because “boys will be boys”.

  • Robert in NYC

    And I don’t think if Derek Jeter were gay it would make that much difference, given his super record and winning games for the NY Yankees. I couldn’t imagine the Yankees’ manager firing him over that, let alone rejecting him considering the money he’s made for the team.

  • KarteB

    Being Michael Vick in the NFL is okay. Just don’t be gay.

  • Marcus

    @Robert in NYC:

    I agree. It would be a story for a week or two, and people would move on.

  • xtiaan

    Im with barbra kruger on sport,
    “you create intricate rituals that allow you to touch the skin of other men”

  • robbieoros

    in the locker room, i was speaking with a buddy, linebacker with DC Redskins, and the gay topic came up…i asked him how its handled on the team…he said…’no one really cares, the only deal ur job..what u do outside of the locker room is no one’s biz unless its illegal..than its a problem for team moral’…matt then stated that everyone from team to team know what the sexual preference is of any one player.
    given the macho image that these pro players must project, thinking of some player takin it up the ass or suckn on some guys bone doesn’t portray that best macho image i suspect… for me.
    Matt told me of a number of past and present NFL players that are at best Bi…names that even suprised me..sort of..

Comments are closed.