No male professional athlete would ever declare themselves as Gay in the beginning of their professional careers because of fear for not getting work. The rule of thumb for closet athletes is not to make head waves, make your money, and last as long as you can playing your sport.
I can think of a few male professional athletes who came out but not until their professional athletic careers were over - "including the NBA's John Amaechi, the NFL's Esera Tuaolo & Wade Davis and Major League Baseball's Billy Bean" . (espngo.com)
What we need are younger athletes to come out, not aged athletes with nothing to lose.
Professional soccer player Robbie Rogers recently came out but then quit his team because he didn't want to deal the pressure and politics of being a gay athlete, thats too bad because he would have made the perfect poster boy to champion this movement.
Professional Lesbian athletes are nothing new, they're actually the ones who've been pioneering the movement for a broader visibility of LGBT athletes:
- Retired WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, who came out in 2005 when she played for the Houston Comets. (She later married a man.)
- Brittney Griner of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.
- Chamique Holdsclaw, former WNBA player most recently with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
- Megan Rapinoe, member of the US Women's National Team, now playing soccer professionally in France.
- Lori Lindsey, USWNT member in the 2012 Olympics who currently plays for the Washington Spirit in the National Women's Soccer League. (motherjones.com)
Its hard to say if Jason Collins coming out is money motivated but the incentive is there for sure and no matter what kind of tone any of my readers got from reading this blog, its a start.