Former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he has never personally come across a gay athlete and inclusiveness of openly out players is “not necessary.”
“That’s a ridiculous question,” Jackson said during an interview with HuffPost Live. “I mean, none of us have probably ever seen it in all our careers. There’s no inclusiveness to be had, so it’s really a strange question.”
As an 11-time NBA champion, he coached the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.
The Live chat included Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss, Former Lakers Player Shaquille O’Neal, Former Laker Kurt Rambis and Current Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni.
“There hasn’t been a player who was openly gay in the NBA,” Rambis added during the chat. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was.”
San Francisco 49ers player Chris Culliver has said that a gay player would not be welcome in the NFL or on his team.
He quickly apologized after a great deal of media backlash, but received criticism from notable athletes like Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin, Baltimore Ravens’ Linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, Cleveland Browns Linebacker Scott Fujita Scott, New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski and Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe.
“Grow the f**k up,” Kluwe wrote in a CNN editorial last week. “This is our job, we are adults, so would you kindly act like one?”
Seattle Seahawks Defense End Chris Clemons said that it would be a “selfish act” to come out, while retired Milwaukee Brewers Pitcher applauded closeted players as “it’s best for the team.”
US soccer player Robbie Rogers came out last month, but also retired at the same time he announced the news.
Presently, there is no openly gay player in any of the professional sports leagues in the United States.
For more 429Magazine articles on sports and gay athletes, check out: