Out of the Locker-Room Closet

Upon hearing that former NBA player John Amaechi disclosed in his new book that he is gay, Shaquille O'Neal said that if he had a gay teammate, he would "protect him from outsiders." That's a revolutionary reaction compared with the crass comments that greeted NFL player David Kopay in 1975, when he became the first athlete from the four major professional U.S. sports to reveal his homosexuality. Still, the British-bred Amaechi, right, notes that most locker rooms aren't exactly gay friendly. He says some current NBA players have told him they're gay but remain terrified of acknowledging it publicly. To date,...

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