Sporting-goods giant Nike is prepared
to back the first professional athlete who comes out gay.
According to Bloomberg News, Nike sent
a message to the closeted player through Rick Welts, the former CEO
of the Phoenix Suns, who came out gay in 2011.
Before his announcement was published
on the front page of The New York Times, Welts told senior
executives at Nike, among others.
“They made it clear to me, Nike would
embrace it,” said Welts, now president of NBA's Golden State
Warriors. “The player who does it, they're going to be amazed at
the additional opportunities that are put on the table, not the ones
that are taken off.”
Speculation over an impending coming
out spiked last week after former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon
Ayanbadejo, a strong supporter of gay rights, remarked that an NFL
player could come out “sooner than you think.”
He explained during an appearance on
CNN that one idea is have several football players come out on the
Ayanbadejo on 4 NFL players coming out: It's fathomable.)