Five anonymous closeted gay college basketball coaches have spoken to Outsports about homophobia in the game and forced lifestyle contracts that are driving them to suicidal thoughts and out of the profession.
One of the anonymous players says that although the National College Athletic Association and many sports corporations have attacked Indiana’s anti-gay law, they “have been perennially silent about the tacit and overt discrimination being levied against gay people in college basketball on a daily basis.”
“As the rest of the nation moves toward inclusion in the workplace, discrimination in college basketball is taking a heavy toll.
“That toll was present in all of the conversations I had with closeted gay college basketball coaches in Indianapolis and since. Each expressed outright pain they felt living a lie in college basketball. Yet they say that lie has been mandated by coaches, administrators and school policies that at best turn a blind eye to homophobia and at worst promote it.”
Jim, an assistant at a Division 1 school, says he hit rock bottom because of “a team atmosphere built around years of anti-gay comments by coaches and team members.” His team “was engaged in homophobia so rampant that it drove him to that brink of suicide.”
"I think about coming out every day. I want to do it every single day. I try to get myself prepared to do it every single day. But that fear of breaking those relationships or losing my job or losing recruits, it just kills me.
"When I get to be around the gay community and my friends, and when I'm home with my friends, that feeling is just becoming way more important to me than holding onto this job. I love the game but I need to have an authentic life.
"If I can't come out soon, I'm going to have to leave the sport. I can't do this much longer."
Watch Andrew Goldstein (above), the first openly gay American male team-sport professional athlete, explain "Why It Is No Longer OK To Say 'Fag' and 'That's So Gay,'" AFTER THE JUMP…