This isn’t baseball-specific, but since we’ve talked about this stuff before, I think the quote is fair game. Here’s Charles Barkley talking in this morning’s Washington Post about how professional athletes would — or at the very least should — receive a gay athlete on their team:
“First of all, every player has played with gay guys. It bothers me when I hear these reporters and jocks get on TV and say, ‘Oh, no guy can come out in a team sport. These guys would go crazy.’ First of all, quit telling me what I think. I’d rather have a gay guy who can play than a straight guy who can’t play.
I still maintain that the biggest issue facing a ballplayer who came out would not be their teammates — for the reason Barkley suggests — and would not be the haters, because they would be quickly shouted down for the Neanderthals they are.
No, the biggest problem would be the positive or, at the very least, curious media hype that would surround it. The player would be asked to do so many interviews and personal appearances, mostly by non-sports media, that it would create a way bigger headache than the anti-gay stuff would. By far.