I've been hesitant to write about the newly outed retired basketball star John Amaechi, simply because over the last week he has become the topic of conversation everywhere from blogs, to newspapers and of course television.
In a weird way he has become the new gay spokesperson for masculinity. We all know that gay people exist in professional sports, but the climate in the NFL and the NBA has never been safe for a gay person to come out. John Amaechi has done what many players in the past and present wish they would have had the courage to do. I'm only waiting for the one brave individual who will come out while he's an active player and change the league forever.
John Amaechi's coming out has forced the extremely homophobic NBA to deal with the issue of homosexuality and the reality that their might come a time when they will have to deal with an openly gay player. The reactions have been mixed, from total acceptance to the old fear that a gay man would "hit on me" in the locker room.
Over the past few days John has revealed the death threat's he's received via e-mail, "I have received emails that would make you sick. "I'm doing this for the high school (American football) quarterback who is thinking about sticking his head in a noose because he can't come to grips with the fact he's gay.
With all of the progress our community has made when it comes to debunking stereotypes we still have a long way to go.
John Amaechi will be signing copies of his new book Man In The Middle at Outwrite Bookstore on February 28th at 8 PM in Atlanta.