Kevin McClatchy, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, has said he lived in constant fear of being outed as gay.

McClatchy, 49, announced his sexual orientation in an interview with The New York Times last weekend.

He told the paper that rampant homophobia in baseball convinced “him that keeping his sexual orientation hidden was best.”

In an interview broadcast Thursday on MSNBC, McClatchy added that he lived in constant fear of being outed.

“It was a constant fear you live with and you were sort of on eggshells, really. You know for the 12 years or so I was in the game I was constantly nervous somebody would find out and in some way that would bring my involvement down and also most important hurt the team. So, it's a pretty frightening experience. You definitely feel isolated, you feel alone. And that's not a great place.”

“My hope is that any kid coming forward in 2012 will not have to have that silence with their family or their friends or anybody else,” he added.

At the age of 33, McClatchy became the youngest owner of a major league baseball team. He was the Pittsburgh Pirates' public face for 11 years, stepping down as CEO in 2007. In April, he succeeded Gary B. Pruitt as chairman of the board of The McClatchy Company, a newspaper empire owned by his family.