Feels nice out here, right? Ha!
Phoenix Suns' president and CEO Rick Welts has revealed that he is gay, making him the highest ranking official in the sports world to do so.
In an interview with the New York Times, Welts said:
"This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits. Nobody's comfortable in engaging in a conversation."
Unfortunately, his statement rings true, considering not a single active professional athlete has come out of the closet, but with so much support emerging from players and officials we don't think it will be off limits for much longer.
Before discussing his sexual orientation with the media, Welts spoke with NBA commissioner David Stern, WNBA president Val Ackerman, Hall of Famer Bill Russell and Suns guard Steve Nash, all of which gave him overwhelming support.
Nash was actually surprised by Welts admission, not because he was gay, but because he thought everyone already knew Welts was gay! Regardless, Nash admits it's time to take this taboo off of the table, saying:
"I think it's a shame, for all the obvious reasons, that this is a leap that he has to take. Anyone who's not ready for this needs to catch up. … He's doing anyone who's not ready for this a favor."
Absolutely! It's 2011 and if you're still shocked by homosexuality, you've been trapped in something smaller than a closet.
Rick Welts truly is an inspiration for both the sports and LGBT communities. We hope his courage will give others the strength to be honest with the world and be proud of who they are.
Tags: arizona, closet, interview, nba, new york times, officials, president, sports, steve nash, support