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Major League Baseball to Honor Late Gay Player Glenn Burke at All-Star Game

Burke

MLB player Glenn Burke, who spent his career closeted before coming out as gay in 1982, will be honored by the League at Tuesday's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. Burke died in 1994 of AIDS-related causes. There is still no openly gay player in professional baseball.

The NYT reports:

“He was a pioneer, and should be recognized,” Pat Courtney, a Major League Baseball spokesman, said.

Attending the game will be Lutha Burke, one of Glenn Burke’s five surviving siblings, who cared for Burke in his final months as he withered and died from the effects of AIDS, and her daughter Alice Rose. Burke died in 1995.

“It was overdue, and Glenn has a story that needs to be told,” Lutha Burke, 66, said over a cup of coffee, sitting beside Rose. “Glenn wouldn’t be upset that it took this long. He’d just say, ‘It’s about time you guys showed up.’ ”

Another announcement will be made at the game as well:

The league will also announce that Billy Bean, who played six seasons in the majors and came out publicly in 1999, four years after he retired, will work with the league on its inclusion efforts.

Read the full NYT article on Burke here.

A documentary on Burke's life premiered back in 2010. You can watch the trailer HERE.

The SF Chronicle wrote at the time about Burke's experience:

"Burke made little secret of his sexuality during his time with the Dodgers and A's in the late 1970s. Several former teammates contend this bothered management of both clubs, to the point where the Dodgers traded Burke to Oakland and then-A's manager Billy Martin later ridiculed him in front of his teammates. He abruptly retired from baseball in 1980, publicly revealed his homosexuality two years later and landed in San Francisco's Castro district, where he initially was welcomed warmly. But his life there eventually spun out of control, sending him spiraling toward drug use, prison time and AIDS. He died of complications from the disease in May 1995, at age 42."


‘Brozen’ - A Mash Up of Navy Baseball Players and Disney’s ‘Frozen’ That Will Melt Your Heart: VIDEO

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Navy baseball players Brad Borosak and Matt Kilby posted this infectious rendition of “Love is an Open Door” from the hit animated film Frozen

Cute guys, a wedding proposal, and a Disney soundtrack. What more could you ask for?

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "‘Brozen’ - A Mash Up of Navy Baseball Players and Disney’s ‘Frozen’ That Will Melt Your Heart: VIDEO" »


ESPN Poll: 81 Percent Of Pro Baseball Players Believe MLB is Ready For Openly Gay Athlete

MLBpollIn February, Joe Girardi, manager of the New York Yankees, stated that he believed major league baseball is ready for an openly gay player. Now, a poll by ESPN The Magazine helps confirm his suspicions. The informal questionnaire asked a group of players if they agreed with Girardi's statement and a resounding 81% replied affirmatively.

GLAAD reported on a couple of player's responses:

NL All-Star: "We come in here and we're all trying to do the same thing. Who cares what a guy does in his own time?"

NL infielder: "Are there people who are going to give a guy a hard time? Yeah, but not too many. There will be a couple of jerks. But the majority of people are going to be like, 'So what?'"

Now we wait with bated breath for the big day! 

Image via ESPN The Magazine infographic. Check out the rest of it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "ESPN Poll: 81 Percent Of Pro Baseball Players Believe MLB is Ready For Openly Gay Athlete " »


Drew University Baseball Player Comes Out as Gay To His Team

Kaplon

Visibility of gay athletes increased one notch further last Sunday as Matt Kaplon, baseball player for and student of Drew University, came out of the closet to his teammates. Inspired by the story of gay NCAA basketball player Derek Schell, Kaplon credits him with saving his life and said of his own coming out,

Everyone tells me that college is supposed to be the best four years of my life. I've had a great time, but for three and a half of them, I've been hiding things and not being the real me. Building friendships and meeting people and with my teammates, they know part of me but I finally feel like I want them to know everything. I want to be me 100% and make sure they know I'm not hiding anything. I'm ready for that. I'm ready to start not having to hide.

Kaplon was welcomed warmly by his team and congratulated on his decision to come out. Even his coach, Brian Hirschberg, was proud of him.

He's as close to a family member as anyone I've ever coached. He's like a younger brother to me. When Matt shared his story with me, I respected him more, if that's even possible.


Houston Astros Pitcher Jarred Cosart Apologizes for Calling Justin Bieber a 'Fag'

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Houston Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart used an anti-gay slur on Monday in a Twitter conversation about the Sochi Olympics in a conversation with Canadian baseball player Tyson Gillies.

The exchange began when Gillies said to Cosart, "Sorry about Canada ruining careers in Sochi right now...funny men's hockey hasn't even started yet."

To which Cosart replied: "Yes you guys claim that fag bieber too smh about right".

Cosart apologized via Twitter last night: "I used a very poor choice of words in one of my tweets earlier today that I need to apologize for. The tweet does not reflect who I am...Or what I stand for as far as an organization. Go astros."

NJ.com reports: "The Astros released a statement Monday night calling Cosart's tweet 'unacceptable.' Team officials said they talked to Cosart about the post and he is 'extremely remorseful.'

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College Baseball Player Chandler Whitney, Boyfriend of First Out College Football Player, Comes Out

Whitney

Chandler Whitney, a baseball player at Walla Walla Community College and the boyfriend of Willamette University kicker Connor Mertens, who came out last week, has come out of the closet, Outsports reports:

MertensLast week when the baseball team gathered for the first practices of the new year, talk turned to stories from winter break. Because he'd spent much of the break with Mertens, Whitney felt the time was now. He stood up in front of the team, said he had contemplated whether to tell them a secret or not, and shared a "confession" he'd been holding back from them since they first met:

"I'm gay."

The team broke into spontaneous applause. It took Whitney off-guard.

"Being where I am in eastern Washington, it's not the response I expected. I'm in Walla Walla, there's not a lot of open-mindedness on the surface."

The players have been dating for six months.


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