Monday, October 28, 2013
Gay Haters Effective Campaign in NBA
Something ugly, sinister and vicious is afoot in the NBA, which opens its season this week.
It's about gays in the league. You think the NBA is gay-friendly, with all the players having a live-and-let-live policy?
There's a toxic layer of fear, hatred and homophobia that's slithering through the underbelly of the league. Yes most of the players have a positive attitude toward gays but, unfortunately, there's more gay haters in the league than you'd think. And they have been quite busy since April, the end of the last regular season, when Jason Collins came out of the closet, a first for an active player in a major American pro sport..The haters been waging a quiet, sneaky and effective campaign to keep other gay NBA players either out of the league or in the closet.
This is the word from Dr. K, a Brown university alum who operates mostly on the East coast. He's in touch with many NBA players and very active in the underground that handles some of the players' dirty business.. Says Dr. K: "Since Collins came out there's a bunch of players who don't want more NBA guys to come out of the closet. They're sneaky and very effective. They don't want this to become a league that's overrun with gays. They've leaked their feelings to NBA management, which is aware that openly gay players may cause some problems."
So far, Collins hasn't been hired.by any team. A 34-year-old, seven-foot veteran, his stats aren't impressive and he's no more than an aging, marginal, end-of-the-bench player.. But, with his experience and savvy, he could help some playoff-bound team. Explaining why Collins is still unemployed, the GMs are saying they not only can sign a younger, equally talented player for much less money but they don't want the media distraction Collins would create.. .
Notes Dr. K: "That's only part of the story. The GMs don't want to make waves. They know there's part of the NBA that doesn't want gays in the league. Why antagonize these players to sign a guy who's not an impact player?"
This means the NBA's gay haters have power.
"Oh yes they do," Dr. K says emphatically.
Why are the gay haters hating?
Replies Dr. K: "It's religion in some cases. It's culture in some cases, where guys grew up in anti-gay hoods.. Or it's just that some guys just want to be able to walk around undressed in the locker room and not think they're being sized up by some gay guy..Sure there are gay guys in the league now but they're very quiet and nearly all in the closet."
Which teams are most likely to sign gay players?
Says Dr. K: "The ones in big cities, like L.A. or New York, or maybe Golden State,, which is near San Francisco. I wouldn't expect to find openly gay players going to a small, mid-western city--or to Utah. Even blacks and Latin players aren't crazy about going to Utah. If you're not white and straight and religious, you don't want to be in Utah."
What's going to change this situation?
Says Dr.K: "If somebody would hire Collins that would get the ball rolling. If teams could see that having an openly gay player isn't so bad or so disruptive, that would help. But what would really make a difference is if some openly gay player was really good, among the league's best, a player who's a major factor on a playoff team. If some guy like that was openly gay, many teams would want him. If some gay player could put their team in the championship hunt , the GMs wouldn't give a damn what the gay haters thought."
Posted by Dennis Hunt at 4:02 PM