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Detroit Tigers Pitcher Justin Verlander Says Gay Player Would Be Welcomed by the Team: VIDEO

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CNN's Carol Costello was at spring training with the Detroit Tigers and sat down with pitcher Justin Verlander, asking him if there are gays in Major League Baseball and whether an openly gay player would be accepted.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Verlander: "I'm sure there are [gay players]. I think as with any sport, a gay player would probably be hesitant to come out, but the sheer number says there absolutely is."

Verlander added that a gay player would be welcome in the Tigers' clubhouse:

"Yeah, I don't see why not.  Given the right situation, and a team that's a family atmosphere, and I feel like we have that atmosphere here. I don't think one of our players would be scared to come out. We got 25 guys, it's a family, and our goal is to win a World Series. What your sexual orientation is, I don't see how that affects the ultimate goal of our family."

Costello then asked Verlander why he thinks there is so much controversy about it:

"I think it's a tricky subject because you start getting into locker rooms and walking around nude, or whatever. And I think that would be more of a tricky subject than anything. You know, your life decisions and sexual orientation - like I said, I don't think that plays any effect on what we're trying to do as a team, so I don't see why that would matter."

Added Verlander: "I wouldn't mind it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Gosh I love this guy. Michigan can be pretty backwards and uber-conservative about sexual orientation sometimes, even in our urban areas. It's nice to see someone visible and well respected being supportive, especially when he doesn't really have anything to gain by it.

    Posted by: Thomas | Mar 6, 2013 12:39:17 PM


  2. Funny, because he has pinged by gaydar for years. Him, Jason Varitek and Roy Oswalt. He just made my fever dreams all the sweeter.

    Posted by: Bollux | Mar 6, 2013 12:48:35 PM


  3. Funny, because he has pinged by gaydar for years. Him, Jason Varitek and Roy Oswalt. He just made my fever dreams all the sweeter.

    Posted by: Bollux | Mar 6, 2013 12:48:38 PM


  4. "You know, your life decisions and sexual orientation - like I said, I don't think that plays any effect on what we're trying to do as a team, so I don't see why that would matter."

    Life decisions?

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 6, 2013 12:50:17 PM


  5. I surely hope so. JV is a nice looking guy.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 6, 2013 12:55:25 PM


  6. "Life decisions?" Yeah, life decisions. Like whether to be out at work or not. The man said sexual orientation, not preferences, for crying out loud. Stop looking for enemies in our allies.

    Posted by: jefhamlin | Mar 6, 2013 1:07:40 PM


  7. He does make sense.
    Why would being gay make any difference whatever ?
    If fact I would expect a decent bunch of team mates to be very supportive of a gay team mate....and protective.

    Nor do I see that there should be an issue with gays and straights walking around naked......
    Have they not being doing that for years ? in every locker room in every sport in all countries of the world ? .......just not declaring it ?
    WTF is the point of all this ? Is it just another DADT ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 6, 2013 1:09:43 PM


  8. I mean, is not coming out just a self imposed DADT ?
    Mr. Verlander sees no problem with gays and he says they are already there ....just not telling. i guess that's the whole issue; someone must stand up, and eventually a brave soul will.
    He will be the hero.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 6, 2013 1:14:21 PM


  9. You're always reporting on who's gay, who's not, who cares about these athletes? Does this empower you? Why not write something about real gay relationships? Gay people.

    Posted by: GB | Mar 6, 2013 1:22:10 PM


  10. @JEFHAMLIN

    "Stop looking for enemies in our allies."

    I never criticized the use of the phrase "life decisions"- I just didn't understand that phrase in the that context- you're the one that made the assumption that I was criticizing him.

    But now that you bring it up, I think we can all agree that our allies should help us rather than harm us, and one of the best ways that they can do that is by using clear language that might not be misunderstood to reinforce the popular and harmful idea that being LGBT is always a choice.

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 6, 2013 1:29:23 PM


  11. "Nor do I see that there should be an issue with gays and straights walking around naked......
    Have they not being doing that for years ? in every locker room in every sport in all countries of the world ? .......just not declaring it ? "

    I can see both sides of this issue. Certainly women do not like the idea of a man being in a locker room naked with them and taking showers with them. So you ought to be able to understand why many straight men would be uncomfortable with a gay man in the same situation. KNOWING that you are being ogled and that someone ogling you is thinking sexual thoughts about you can feel a little creepy for anybody in an environment that should be non-sexual.

    On the other hand, I do think straight men do make too big a deal out of it and there certainly is no risk of them being hit on in the locker room, particularly when you have one gay guy among 24 straight guys.

    "Life decisions?"

    We all make life decisions around our sexuality. Like it or not, most men are at least somewhat bisexual and many, many of those--even the ones who are more homosexual than heterosexual--will choose to marry a woman and have children with her, even in the year 2013, when it is no longer necessary for survival.

    Those of you who want us all to live in little "gay" and "straight" boxes are the true enemies of liberation, not those who recognize sexual ambiguity.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 6, 2013 2:17:37 PM


  12. G8: There's a simple answer to your question and then there's a more (not by much) complicated one.

    Simple: If you don't like the topics this blog covers, don't read this blog. It's not as if you've paid to be here.

    More complicated: This story is not about who's gay and who is not. It's about an LGBT ally making a statement about what has become a contentious issue: being out in pro sports. Who cares about these athletes, you ask? A LOT of fans who may be persuaded to become our allies. They don't call baseball the US national pastime for nothing, you know.

    Posted by: RyanInWyo | Mar 6, 2013 2:18:55 PM


  13. As time goes on gay people are just not going to be willing to hide in the closet their whole lives (the closet is dying by the day) and maintain a lie when they don't have to--and as time goes on, they won't have to, even in the backwards world of sports. Attitudes like this, and the ones from major allies like Chris Kluwe, are the future. Bigotry among athletes still exists, of course, but they're getting called on it--wouldn't have happened just a few years ago. And the whole locker room worry is much ado about nothing. If the military can carry on with barely a hitch, so can a sports team.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 6, 2013 2:37:10 PM


  14. I like this guy and his attitude.

    I would have preferred he not imply that this issue has anything to do with being 'naked in the lockeroom'. Some people might read into it that gay people are okay as long as they are never naked in a lockeroom. (This is a little like the old chestnut the churches like to trot out - hate the sin but love the sinner; clothed gays in public = okay but unclothed gays near unclothed straights = questionable).

    But I'm nitpicking. Here is a public sports figure saying gay men on his team are not a problem and welcome into his 'family'. I thank him for his support. Yay for us!

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Mar 6, 2013 2:49:54 PM


  15. I like this guy and his attitude.

    I would have preferred he not imply that this issue has anything to do with being 'naked in the lockeroom'. Some people might read into it that gay people are okay as long as they are never naked in a lockeroom. (This is a little like the old chestnut the churches like to trot out - hate the sin but love the sinner; clothed gays in public = okay but unclothed gays near unclothed straights = questionable).

    But I'm nitpicking. Here is a public sports figure saying gay men on his team are not a problem and welcome into his 'family'. I thank him for his support. Yay for us!

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Mar 6, 2013 2:49:55 PM


  16. I like this guy and his attitude.

    I would have preferred he not imply that this issue has anything to do with being 'naked in the lockeroom'. Some people might read into it that gay people are okay as long as they are never naked in a lockeroom. (This is a little like the old chestnut the churches like to trot out - hate the sin but love the sinner; clothed gays in public = okay but unclothed gays near unclothed straights = questionable).

    But I'm nitpicking. Here is a public sports figure saying gay men on his team are not a problem and welcome into his 'family'. I thank him for his support. Yay for us!

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Mar 6, 2013 2:49:56 PM


  17. Sorry for the multiple posts. I was too quick in thinking there was an error.

    Posted by: MikeBoston | Mar 6, 2013 2:51:07 PM


  18. "the backwards world of sports"

    The "world of sports" is not "backwards", Ernie. It does however--rightly--espouse masculine values and expects adherence to such values among its participants. So the real challenge is to enlighten men in such a way that they realize that sexual attraction to men and sexual activity with other men is not contrary to masculine values, but a form of expressing those values.....where3as effeminate behavior is not consistent with those values.

    Distinguish between the two.

    The good news is that the gay men who are involved in sports are necessarily going to be the sort that espouse masculine values and eschew effeminacy to begin with; otherwise they would not have been attracted to sports in the first place.....so as they come out, they will not only make their teammates more comfortable with male-male sexuality, but they will also function as role models to young gay men, who will see that you can be accepted among other men as long as you embrace the same masculine values they do and reject the artificiality that effeminate behavior represents.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 6, 2013 2:51:57 PM


  19. That's really funny, Troll Coward Rick, as the You Can Play project up here in Canadialand negates every single one of your talking points.

    They don't care how "masculine" a guy is or isn't or is perceived to be by either ignorant straight bigots or closeted homosexuals with no balls. It's about the being who you are.

    They've marched with us in the "stereotype-laden" pride parades, and even the ulta-manly-macho-masc-bro dudes from the pro-sports world have proudly stood alongside us. ALL of us.

    You show me a "fem-hating" gay man and I'll show you a cowardly wimp who's never grown the spine to stand up for himself.

    Every time you insult and demean "effeminate men" you're only proving to everyone that you never got over the fact that your piece of s**t father didn't love you.

    werk.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 6, 2013 2:57:49 PM


  20. If an athlete would feel awkward with an out gay player seeing them in the locker room, what must the feel now? If I had that mind-set, I think I would feel more uncomfortable knowing that there are gay men in the locker room, but not knowing who they are.

    Posted by: Jellybean | Mar 6, 2013 2:58:54 PM


  21. "If I had that mind-set, I think I would feel more uncomfortable knowing that there are gay men in the locker room, but not knowing who they are"

    As long as they are not certain there are gays in the locker room, they can assume that they are all straight and therefore put their minds at ease about the thought that someone is ogling them and thinking sexual thoughts about them while they stand there naked.

    I know it sounds strange, but this is one of those instances where you have to try and put yourself in the shoes of someone else to understand the point.

    I mean, do you think women should be comfortable with the idea of a straight man taking showers with them and/or watching them take showers? I am sure you don't. Think about it.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 6, 2013 3:08:40 PM


  22. The fem-masc paradigm is both irrelevant and obnoxious in the context of this discussion.....or any other discussion for that matter.

    And where does the odious idea that gays would be "ogling" their team mates come from ?
    This is simply reading a prejudiced pre-judgmental attitude into a locker room situation. And it is nonsense.
    Gays in the locker room do not ogle their team mates now; why would it be any different if they were known to be gay ? they are there as a part of a team.....team means "all together".

    @ Little Kiwi :
    I hope you have not given up on your New Year's resolution !!!!!!!

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 6, 2013 3:17:35 PM


  23. Jack - i think i've already more than slipped ;-) LOL!

    forgive - i've been Out since I was a teen and have long tired of grown-adult closet cases blaming "gays like me" for their own inability to act like adults, Come Out, and stop regurgitating the insecurely projected homophobia they've been fed and throwing it onto others.

    why would we ogle straight guys, anyway? we're gay. we like GAY men.

    the only gay man who waste time and energy fantasizing about Seducing Straight Guys are those insecure dunces who never got over their 14yo lockerroom jerkoff fantasies. you know, the types who live solitary lives, fearing anything Visibly Gay, and projecting their pent-up lusts on straight men. *tragique*

    if you're a straight man who's worried about Gay Guys in the Locker or Shower, i suggest you never ever attend any form of gym, at any point in your life, ever.

    for real, yo.

    but again - there's nothing less masculine than demeaning or denigrating "perceived effeminacy" - that's entirely the domain of the insecure male whos junk wouldn't fill even the smallest of briefs.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 6, 2013 3:23:46 PM


  24. "The fem-masc paradigm is both irrelevant and obnoxious in the context of this discussion.....or any other discussion for that matter."

    If you actually believe this, then you understand neither straight men nor sports culture and have imprisoned yourself ideologically and psychologically in the gay ghetto.

    "Gays in the locker room do not ogle their team mates now"

    Put any gay man in a locker room or shower with a bunch of other attractive, naked men and he is going to enjoy looking at those other naked men and think sexual thoughts about them. You know that; we all know that.

    So stop pretending otherwise. This is the problem with you gay ghetto types--you just have no sense of the real world about you.

    Can the situation be "managed"? It can be, but some sensitivity has to be shown to straight men and their comfort level. Just dismissing it out of hand does not serve any purpose and they are and will always be the majority, so you really don't have the choice of dismissing it.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 6, 2013 3:27:11 PM


  25. What a good guy! And he doesn't ping my gaydar in the least. And he brings up the naked thing in specific response to the question of why this bothers some people. He's right. That's what I hear the most often. He can't pretend that it's not the case. But good for him for pointing out the guys will be able to deal with it.

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Mar 6, 2013 3:28:50 PM


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