Amaechi comes out
Former center becomes first openly gay NBA player
Posted: Wednesday February 7, 2007 1:43PM; Updated: Wednesday February 7, 2007 9:02PM
John Amaechi is the sixth pro male athlete from the four major American sports to publicly discuss his homosexuality.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The small, exclusive club of openly gay professional male athletes has a new member.
Former NBA center John Amaechi, who spent five seasons with four teams, on Wednesday became the first NBA player to publicly come out.
His admission comes three years after his playing career ended, making him the sixth professional male athlete from one of the four major U.S. sports -- basketball, baseball, football, hockey -- to openly discuss his homosexuality.
Amaechi details his life in his autobiography Man in the Middle, which will be released Feb. 14.
"He is coming out of the closet as a gay man," Amaechi's publicist Howard Bragman said.
Martina Navratilova, perhaps the most famous openly gay athlete in the world, praised Amaechi's decision and said it's imperative for athletes to come out because of what she called an epidemic of suicides among young lesbians and gays. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/basketball/nba/02/07/amaechi.ap/index.html?cnn=yes