As there usually seems to be after an athlete or ex-athlete comes out of the closet, there’s a few notes in the news today about how NBA players would react if NBA baller were to take the league a step closer to the NB-Gay. Today, we get Paul Pierce, Danny Fortson, and Robert Parish.
“I probably wouldn’t want to guard him.”
And yesterday Fortson said he would have a problem with a gay teammate.
“I sure would,” Fortson said. “I wouldn’t want to be on that team. It wouldn’t be a good idea.
“As athletes, we still have a grade-school mentality where we pick on people a little bit. It’s not going to work with us. I don’t think it’s very acceptable behavior for men as far as I’m concerned.”
Fortson also said “he wouldn’t doubt it” if there were a gay player in the NBA but hopes he’s not a Sonic.
“That would be a bad deal,” Fortson said. “He might want to keep that one in the closet.”
Yeah, grade school sounds about right, Danny.
And from The Chief:
“Pro sports are all about macho, having that chip on your shoulder from all that testosterone flowing through the locker room,” Parish said. “Nothingâ€™s taboo in a pro locker room, except family members. Everything else is free game. Itâ€™s a male chauvinist environment at its highest. A player like that could even suffer some bodily harm if he wasn’t careful.
“I’m afraid we’ve got a long ways to go. I know I won’t see a change in my lifetime. Maybe my children’s lifetime, though.”
Parish’s acceptance of gay culture may be connected to his NBA roots. He started playing in San Francisco for the Warriors in 1976. After spending his life in rural Louisiana, the Bay Area’s denizens were, as Parish said, “eye opening – oh my goodness, umm umm umm.
“I had never seen anything like that,” he said. “It made me pause. But I never was appalled. The only thing that shocked me was that it was going on in public. I had never seen such a blatant display.”
Nothing too surprising there. Fortson is an idiot, and the fact that he’s a homophobe would be about as shocking as learning that Darius Miles owns the movie Friday. The NBA is like anywhere else… some guys are cool with it, some guys aren’t. And The Chief is right, the atmosphere in locker rooms is not exactly high culture. No one’s going to confuse an NBA (or NFL, MLB, or NHL) locker room with the Algonquin Round Table.