Gay athletes are coming OUT of the locker room in more ways that one: The National Hockey League has announced support of gay athletes. The National Football League is working with gay advocacy groups to smooth the way for acceptance of gays. All four major professional US sports leagues are getting ready for the first time when a player comes out publicly.
The NHL has formed a partnership with the You Can Play Project–an advocacy group pledged to fighting homophobia in sports–in order to plan training and counseling on gay issues for its teams and players.
In the April 12th edition of the New York Times, Jeff Z. Klein and Judy Battista quote NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo as saying, "The thing is, we’re in contact with several players. I’m not going to name numbers. Several gay players in more sports than just football, and what we’re trying to facilitate is to get them together and do what they want to do, do what is right for them."
The authors quote NBA commissioner David Stern as saying, "This has been our policy for years, and we strongly support the NHL’s approach to it, and it’s our fervent hope that this draws less attention, not more, when a player eventually comes out."