Why most gay athletes are still reluctant to come out

"A 2006 Sports Illustrated survey asked pro basketball, football and hockey players whether they would “welcome an openly gay teammate?” Over half the athletes polled from the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL) and National Hockey League (NHL) said yes," reports Xtra.ca. "The NHL was the least homophobic, with 80 percent of the 346 players polled saying they would have no problem with a gay member on their team."

Even as popular culture makes space for gay and lesbian lives, the sports world remains cloistered in its own heterosexist silo, says former Canadian Olympian Mark Tewksbury (pictured). “It’s incredible that sport has remained the last bastion of 18th-century thinking,” says Tewksbury, who brought home a gold medal for the 100 meters backstroke at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona while still closeted. READ MORE

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