Wednesday, May 4

Major Leaguer Has Two Mommies (and Other Stories)

The Cincinnati Reds' 26-year-old relief pitcher Joe Valentine is not gay, but thinks that there's nothing wrong with it. What could possibly motivate this baseball pro to weigh in on such a touchy subject? Maybe because he was raised by his mom and her lesbian partner.

While we're on the subject, last month Patrick checked in with what he called a "Beav-worthy" story: SI took the occasion of a new film about boxer Emile Griffith to cover homophobia in sports. (Griffith killed an opponent in the ring who called him a faggot.) In mid-March, Sports Illustrated conducted a survey about the public's attitude about gays in sports. The upshot: When asked if they'd personally object to gays openly participating in professional sports, the public claims not to be biased. Yet a majority also says it thinks players would hurt their careers and be discriminated against by sponsors if they came out. That sounds like a classic example of "mean world" psychology, but in this case, it also may also prove self-fulfilling -- since bigotry always finds its courage in groups of cowards.

Slap o' My Own: Meanwhile, in other, happier gay sporting news, Cal Bear and [blisteringly hot] Instinct cover boy Graham Ackerman has won a 2005 NCAA Men's gymnastics championship.