Ed Gray, a sportswriter for the Boston Herald, came out today.
“I’m out because I no longer, in good conscience, choose to ignore the unabashed homophobia that is so cavalierly tolerated within the world of sports. I’m out, because the silence of a closeted gay man only serves to give his implicit approval to bigotry. I’m out, because I refuse to continue hiding from the truth that an openly gay man has as much right as a straight man to play sports or report on them.”
It’s not a superbly written article, and Ed Gray isn’t a top tier Boston sportswriter, but he’s a brave guy and I admire him. Come to think of it, the Herald also deserves some praise. They didn’t have to print that piece, and if you buy into stereotypes you might think that the conservative Boston paper formerly owned by Rupert Murdoch would be unlikely to print a pro-homosexuality piece. Goes to show that stereotypes are tricky things.
I found out about the story while listening to WEEI on my drive into work this morning; Dennis and Callahan gave him a call, and he agreed to do an interview. He doesn’t want to be a pioneer or a trailblazer. He just wants to be able to say “I’m gay” without people like Todd Jones, Garrison Hearst, and Jeremy Shockey insulting him. He was quiet, calm, and didn’t rant. He sounded a little worried. He sounded like he was utterly sure he made the right decision.
He also said, during the call, that he thinks a gay player could come out and survive. I hope he’s right. I do know this: whether or not he wants to be a pioneer, he just made it a little bit easier for the first gay player to make that decision.