September 24, 2012

Bravo! Major League Baseball Executive Says “I’m Gay”


Following in the footsteps of the Golden State Warrior’s CEO Rick Welts, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball franchise revealed that he’s gay, in an interview with The New York Times OP-ED columnist Frank Bruni.

Kevin McClatchy was the owner and CEO of the Pirates from 1996 to 2007. When he assumed ownership of major league baseball’s Pittsburgh team, he was the youngest owner in baseball at 33.

Kevin is originally from Sacramento.  He is an heir, and chairman of the board, of the McClatchy Company, which publishes 30 daily newspapers across the country - including the Sacramento Bee.

Kevin arranged the interview with Bruni in order to publicly admit that he is gay. He acknowledges his internal struggles, and the myriad of sacrifices that he felt he had to make, in order to be a successful executive in the world of baseball.

The article is entitled “A New Inning, Late in the Game” and Bruni writes:
THE way Kevin McClatchy figured it, he had to choose. He could indulge his dream of presiding over a big-time professional sports team, or he could be open about his sexuality. The two paths didn’t dovetail.

And for all of that time, he took pains not to let his players, the owners of other teams or anyone beyond a tiny circle of family and close friends learn that he was gay.

McClatchy said that he frequently heard homophobic language during his days in baseball. It convinced him that keeping his sexual orientation hidden was best.

McClatchy loves baseball, and wanted to build a successful team for the city of Pittsburgh. Bruni notes:
That passion is also evident in his voice when he talks about baseball. He noted, proudly, that the sport’s caretakers ended racial segregation before some other segments of society did.

But, he added, “I don’t think they equate breaking the color barrier with Jackie Robinson to, ‘Hey, by the way, we’ve never had one player announce they’re gay while playing baseball.’ ”

“You’re not going to solve any problem until you start a dialogue,” he said. “And there’s no dialogue right now.” He hopes that his candor helps foster one, he said, though he doesn’t have any planned agenda of extensive public speaking. He can’t turn himself into an extrovert overnight.
Living a double life, and hiding who you are, adds a tremendous amount of stress to one’s personal and professional life. That stress often extends to the individual’s friends and family too. After reading the article it appears that Kevin is still living with a lot of that stress - which is too bad.

I give him a lot of credit for owning who he is. Sports is the last bastion in our culture, where a macho image reigns supreme. What I find most ironic is that gay men can be just as masculine as our straight brethren. Regardless, the world becomes more welcoming when a Kevin McClatchy is honest and owns who they are.

I have to thank Kevin for taking the difficult and courageous step to publicly concede that he’s a gay man. While he may not realize it right now, in a small way he’s following in the footsteps of Jackie Robinson - by raising awareness and being a gay trailblazer in the world of sports.

Bravo to that!

PS: Homophobe in Chief Rick Santorum is indirectly responsible for introducing McClatchy to his partner. I wonder if Santorum sends an anniversary card?
 


straight talk in a queer world.     jiveinthe415.com          
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