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Former MLB Pitcher: Stay in the Closet, Gay Teammates

Former MLB Pitcher: Stay in the Closet, Gay Teammates

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Mark Knudson says it's inevitable that a gay player will be attracted to teammates, and that will hurt team solidarity.

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Gay athletes should stay in the closet in the name of team solidarity, says former major league baseball pitcher Mark Knudson.

In a column published Thursday on website Mile High Sports, Knudson says gay athletes will inevitably be attracted to some teammates, and realizing they're the object of attraction will make straight teammates uncomfortable. It will become the source of "internal strife and locker room drama," says Knudson, who pitched eight years in the majors, for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, and Colorado Rockies.

"That's why it remains the best option for any homosexual athlete in a team sport to keep his orientation private," Knudson writes. "He's doing what's best for himself by doing what's best for the team."

USA Today sportswriter Ted Berg, however, takes apart Knudson's logic. "If there are in fact closeted gay guys in the clubhouse who can't keep their eyes off super-hot teammates like Mark Knudson ... then what difference does it make if the gay teammates are out or not? Wouldn't Knudson, as an attractive person, know either way?" Berg writes. "So it seems like his actual suggestion, then, is not that gay baseball players keep their sexuality to themselves so much as that gay baseball players just not be gay."

He adds, "To me, it doesn't seem like it's in the spirit of so-called 'teamness' to ask a teammate to live in fear of rejection and to shoulder the internal damage caused by secrets."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.