Sports ‘coming out’ of starting gate


MCT Photo

Gay and former football player Michael Sam is talking to the media when he was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. He came out as the first gay player in 2014 before the April draft. He came out to his college team, the University of Missouri but they kept it a secret during the 2013 season.

Claire Lefton, A&E Chief

Sports never used to be a safe space for the LGBTQA+ community, but as more athletes are coming out, the atmosphere is changing for the better.

One of the most recent athletes to come out was Olympic British racewalker Tom Bosworth, who revealed his sexuality on BBC Two’s “Victoria Derbyshire Show.”

Bosworth said, “It is a big decision, but it’s not one that’s going to change my life personally. I’ve been comfortable in my sexuality and in a happy relationship for the last four and a half years.”

He may be the first out British track and field athlete, but in 2013, fellow Team Great Britian diver Tom Daley came out as bisexual.

Daley said in his coming out video, “Come spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone, and they make me feel so happy, so safe, and everything just feels great. And that someone … is a guy.”

On Oct. 1, Daley announced his engagement to long-time partner Dustin Lance Black in the births, marriages, and deaths section of The Times.

American athlethic spaces are normally not as accepting, so Duke University is establishing a sports and social justice initiative with the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and Athlete Ally.

CGSD Director Bernadette Brown explained to The Duke Chronicle, “There’s a rich history of athletes impacting change when they speak out against violence, harassment and discrimination, and promote equity and inclusion across a range of social justice causes.”

Despite progress being made by athletes like Daley and Bosworth, athletics still has a lot of progress to make with the LGBTQA+ community.