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A Frank Discussion About Gay Athletes

from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal at the Vancouver Province,

The Oilers and (Edmonton) Capitals, said Oilers president Patrick LaForge, will conduct in-house diversity training for both the staff and athletes on both its baseball and hockey clubs, also welcome news.

Those who believe any of this makes it more likely that a gay athlete employed anywhere in North American pro sports will feel secure enough to declare his homosexuality while an active player may be in for disappointment. There have been gay players in major league baseball, NFL football and basketball who have gone public, but only after they retired. No male hockey pro has ever come out.

“In a way, I don’t blame them because in the changing room, where everything is wide open, for a lot of players, they just don’t want to [declare], if they’re not comfortable,” said Georges Laraque, retired NHL player and deputy leader of the Green party. “For me, I couldn’t care less.

“But, a lot of times, if you’re a member of a team, you just don’t want to make guys uncomfortable around you. They shouldn’t be, but you know that if others know [about your sexual orientation, the atmosphere) could be colder.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: georges+laraque

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Guilherme's avatar

Fair enough! I didn’t even notice where you were from, and I can definitely understand why you would have a different perspective on this. My mother lived in Sao Paolo for two years, so I have some understanding of what you’re saying.

Yeah, it’s tough for minorities in here. While Americans talk about accepting homossexuals, a lot of people here still have problems with black people. And I hope your mother wasn’t too shocked with what she saw here.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/14/10 at 08:44 PM ET

Avatar

No - her employer had seminars on what the workers going to Brazil should expect with things like that, so she was prepared for it. Actually, she misses your country (and its people) a lot - especially at winter time! wink

Posted by dzuunmod on 08/14/10 at 08:51 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Freak’s argument is basically that HE is the victim of an evil, manipulative homo. The courts said otherwise. Either the judicial system is totally broken, or there is a lot more to this story. Still, it’s sad that the NHL has not had anyone step up (or out) and shatter the stereotype. I suspect that there are lots of gay hockey players (and not all of them play for the rival of my team - ha), but as in all walks of life, are stellar at what they do. If we were to learn that Rocket, Howe or Orr were gay, would that tarnish their legacy or just make a person reconsider the impact homosexuals made on the sport?

BTW - the Nazis didn’t only hate and blame Jews for everything. They also had a big time hate-on for homosexuals.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 08/15/10 at 04:09 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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