Former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mark
Knudson believes gay athletes should remain quiet about their sexual
Knudson, who played all or part of
eight seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), argued in a column for
High Sports that an openly gay player would lead to “awkward
“In a normal work environment, people
are individuals with jobs. In pro sports, it's all about as George
Karl puts it, 'teamness.' Individualism and personal agendas might
be okay in a normal workplace, but it's not okay in team sports.
Teamness is what fans demand from the teams they pay to watch. Any
individual with an agenda that's even slightly different from that of
the team hurts that cause.”
“Just as absurd as comparing
workplace environments is the ridiculous claim by some in the gay
community that there wouldn't be any sort of physical attraction for
a gay athlete toward any of his straight teammates – which would
cause those very uncomfortable situations. He's gay; he's not dead.
He can't just flip a switch and turn off his feelings when he walks
into the locker room.”
“Of course he's going to have
feelings of attraction toward a teammate or two. It's human nature.
These are some of the most physically fit and desirable human beings
on the planet. The gay athlete isn't going to notice that? And
obviously, the straight teammates are going to feel the same sort of
vibe that the attractive girl on the co-ed softball team gets from a
few of the men on her team. Attractive people know when they're
being 'checked out' and it leads to those very awkward moments. It's
human nature for people to be attracted to other people and it's not
going to stop happening because the workplace environment is a locker
room rather than a typical office setting.”
Knudson, 52, retired in 1993.