In this day and age, the idea of whether or not someone is gay or straight barely registers on the radar. For the most part, no one cares who anyone is attracted to any longer. After all, even that strange Jabba the Hutt looking creature from Honey Boo Boo could get a boyfriend. Guess there is no accounting for taste.
Sometimes, it takes a miraculous run, or some event of significance, to give someone the confidence to make an announcement that they are, in fact, gay. While Michael Sam and Jason Collins came out of the closet, it is still a rarity to have gay people in the four major sports. For Matt Schulte, marketing coordinator for the Royals, that postseason run gave him the confidence to come out and admit who he is.
In the macho world of sports, such an announcement is not always met with the same acceptance that it generally receives from the outside world. There are still players who did not want either Sam or Collins on their teams, regardless of whether or not they could contribute. Even though Schulte may not be in the locker room, given the attitude that is expected to be prevalent in sports, it is understandable why he was reluctant to say anything.
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Fortunately, after speaking with Billy Bean, the MLB’s Ambassador of Inclusion, and seeing the Royals come within a run of a World Series championship, Matt Schulte found that strength. He may have delayed, postponing meetings to come out to his co-workers, but in the end, he finally did so. Thankfully, and probably to his vast relief, Schulte has received nothing but support.
Perhaps having more people like Schulte in front offices around baseball, and in other sports for that matter, will help spread acceptance and allow athletes and executives alike to be comfortable in admitting who they are. Eventually, there may well come a time when stories like this are no longer considered to be a big deal in the sports world. Seeing the acceptance that Schulte has received will help make that happen.
Matt Schulte has become one of the few openly gay people in sports. Hopefully soon, he will not be such a rarity.