The following quotes go to the heart of why gay athletes have trouble being honest with their teammates and why articles like this are necessary.
San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst: "Aww, hell no! I don't want any faggots on my team. I know this might not be what people want to hear, but that's a punk. I don't want any faggots in this locker room."
The Chicago Cubs pitcher Julian Tavarez, after being booed by San Francisco fans, said: "Why should I care about the fans? They're a bunch of assholes and faggots here."
After NBA star center John Amaechi disclosed he was gay, NBA player Tim Hardaway said: "First of all I wouldn’t want him on my team. and second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think he should be in the locker room when we’re in the locker room. Something has to give. If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that's upset and can't concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it's going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate."
Can you picture Hardaway as a helpless defenseless virgin while Amaechi had his way with him right there in the locker room and in front of his fellow team members too “worried” to come to his rescue? Can you imagine network television having to put an extra 30-second delay on a telecast just in case Amaechi decided in the middle of the game that Hardaway was so attractive that he might lose control and play grab-ass with him instead of making that crucial three pointer?
In the spirit of “you're damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” LeBron James expressed a problem with closeted gays on his team saying, "With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy. So that's like the No. 1 thing as teammates — we all trust each other... It's a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor."
Englishman John Amaechi didn’t even take up basketball until he was 17 years old. It would be an understatement to say he’d entered the sport a little late in life, so people scoffing at his desire to be an American basketball star would be considered reasonable. Of course if you’d ever met the six-foot-10, 270-pound athlete in person, it’d probably lessen the shock of his latter achievements.