There are currently no out athletes on teams in any of the four major professional sports, but former Bulls legend Dennis Rodman believes that we could see a change in that area soon.
Rodman spoke to Business Insider about his relationship with the LGBTQ community and professional athletes coming out.
I don’t know why people haven’t came out before,” Rodman told Business Insider while promoting ESPN’s new “30-for-30” documentary, “Rodman: For Better or Worse.” “It’s cool that people are coming out being, you know, gay or homosexual or whatever, lesbian and stuff like that.”
Rodman was featured on a 1995 Sports Illustrated cover wearing lingerie where Rodman discussed his thoughts on sexuality. The cover and the interview ultimately endeared Rodman to the LGBTQ community.
They didn’t know the fact that when [they] shot that cover for the Sports Illustrated that that was the best-selling Sports Illustrated ever,” Rodman said. “And then the gay community started to reach out to me and said, ‘Wow, we never knew that our community can be represented like that in sports.’ And people didn’t know at the time that I was doing that.”
As far as athletes in professional sports today being openly gay, Rodman believes that there already are some in these leagues that haven’t come out yet.
I wouldn’t be surprised, literally, I’ve said it all along, if 10% or 20% of people in the NBA, or any sports, [are] gay,” Rodman said. “I wouldn’t be surprised. It wouldn’t shock me at all. I think today, it wouldn’t shock anyone. I think that’d be more acceptable now than anything.”
Time will tell if Rodman’s prediction comes true and more professional athletes feel more comfortable coming out while they’re still on active rosters.
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