Rick Welts Hired as President and COO of Golden State Warriors

Guess coming out of the closet in the world of professional basketball doesn't hurt your chances of being reemployed.

Welts Four months after becoming the first senior sports executive to announce that he's gay and less than a month after stepping down as president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, Rick Welts has been hired as President and COO of the Golden State Warriors, ESPN reports:

The team planned to introduce Welts on Tuesday at the team's practice facility. He replaces Robert Rowell, who resigned in June as the club's top executive for business operations.

After quitting the Phoenix Suns, Welts said he hoped to get a job in Northern California. Looks like that worked out well.


  1. G.I. Joe says

    Good for him, although from what I gather the Golden State Warriors are a pretty minor franchise, aren’t they?

  2. ohplease says

    Wow, a rich white man has made it in America. Will wonders never cease?

    Rick Welts spent decades lying to everyone in his life, even denying his own dead partner, when all the while he was accepted by his colleagues — who all knew the truth all along, anyway — and protected by his wealth. He’s a coward and a fool, not a hero. He is a cautionary tale, at best, to warn others about the costs of throwing away your life for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

  3. Jason says

    Wow, Ohplease and his argument really hit home for me. Speak the truth, friend. It’s rare we hear these perspectives and we really should be holding each other to a higher standard nowadays. We have kids coming out in elementary school amid taunting that are braver than many of these old queens.

  4. says

    Hold on guys, ten years ago an openly gay man would have NEVER been hired as president and chief executive officer of any sports franchise. Having to hide his relationship with another man and then losing that man to death was probably the main turning point in his life. If I recall he gave up his Sun’s position to move to Northern California to be with his new partner. He’s out now and how he handles life from here is probably more important than how he may have (mis)handled his private life in the past. Kudos to the guy.

  5. Rick says

    @OHPLEASE Your little bitter, jealous rant is a perfect example of why almost no prominent gay people in any field ever come out. When they do, instead of being praised for doing something courageous and providing young gay people with role models, they are demonized and hated on by people like you who resent their success. People like you who are almost without exception failures, usually because you are socially marginalized effeminate queens–and therefore banished from the social mainstream, especially the more masculine segments of it such as the professional sports world.

    Stew in your bitterness if you want to–the Rick Welts’s of the world are leaving you behind in the dust, succeeding as men and being accepted by other men while you dress some woman’s hair and paint her nails…..and hating yourself as much as you hate masculine gay men (even as you lust after them)…..

  6. B. says

    Rick, Jason, Ohplease

    Way too many haters on this website. How Rick Welts is now handling his life is praise worthy even if he mishandled it in the past. He’s clearly trying (and it seems succeeding) trying to be a better person now for his loved ones than he has been in previous years. There is no need to demonize him or “effeminate” gays to make that point clear.

  7. Brian in Texas says

    It’s not at all fair to criticize someone for the time in which they chose to come out. It’s a very personal decision. Rick Welts was not out fighting against our rights like a closeted politician. Nor did he ask to be anyone’s hero. I applaud him for making the personal decision to publicly come out (he did not have to do so) and the success he’s had as a professional sports executive. I have to agree with Rick on this one.

  8. says

    I think you should all take a deep breath understand that everyone’s journey is different.

    AND … there is nothing wrong with a aesthetics career if one so chooses.

    There is also nothing wrong with wanting to work in sports.

    Neither career makes you more gay or less of a man. Suggesting so is only a display of your insecurity.

    I was a sportswriter for a few years. It was the 80s, you could not be out and in a pro locker room in the 80s. By the way, you still can’t.

    I get that this guy might have been in his dream job and did what he thought he needed to do to be get and keep that job.

    I wanted to be out. I chose a different path but I can respect his.

  9. BK says

    Eh, good for Rick – moving from one presidency to another. I wish I had more hope for lower level gay and lesbian front office staff who are still scared spitless about coming out. I’m glad he came out – but I’m suspicious of anyone who waits til they’re 58 and they’ve already made a small fortune to do it. Did he really have much to lose?

  10. BobN says

    “Kudos to the guy.”

    I think the kudos go to the countless out gay people who made his current life choices possible. He didn’t create the circumstances in which he can remain at an executive level and join his partner in a legally recognized relationship in California.

    Now, that’s not to say he won’t continue in his very public role and become a force for even more change for those who work in professional sports and for society in general. I certainly hope he does. Let’s hope he earns those kudos over the next few years.