Former pro football player Dave Kopay, who was the first professional athlete to come out of the closet (after his retirement), has given a $1 million gift to the University of Washington’s Q Center, a support, advocacy, and mentoring center for LGBT students.
Said Kopay: “The greatest gift we can give one another is the vision and beauty of life. I continually hear from people all over the world that my act of coming out especially when I did in 1975 has empowered them in their search for self and to see their vision. Hopefully my million-dollar pledge will influence others to support the University and the Q Center continue to help others to do just that.”
The Q Center is reflective of a change in times, and was noted by the center’s director Jennifer Self: “When David was a student-athlete at the UW in the early 60’s, as a gay man, he had nowhere to go for support, affirmation, resources, or safety. That is no longer the case, and thanks in part to him, the Q Center will be here in perpetuity.”
Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer talked to Kopay, who says the gift is “about (half) his estate”, after the announcement. Said Kopay: “Hell yeah, it’s a lot of money to me! I struggled, and I suffered while in college because it was a different time. But it was a wonderful time, too. If I had not gone through some of that stuff, I wouldn’t be who I am now. I owe the university everything. And I think a lot of people feel that way.”
Gay athlete Dave Kopay donates $1 million to UW [seattle times]
(bottom image via outsports)