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 Outsports.com] 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