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Old 05-16-2011, 12:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Suns Phoenix Suns president reveals he's gay

The articles fairly long ... here is some of it

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Phoenix Suns president reveals he's gay

Last month, in a Midtown office adorned with sports memorabilia, two longtime friends met for a private talk. David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, sipped his morning coffee, expecting to be asked for career advice. Across from him sat Rick Welts, president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, who had come to New York not to discuss careers, but to say, finally, I am gay.

In many work environments, this would qualify as a so-what moment. But until now, Welts, 58, who has spent 40 years in sports, rising from ball boy with the Sonics to NBA executive to team president, had not felt comfortable enough in his chosen field to be open about his sexuality. His eyes welling at times, he also said that he planned to go public.

By this point, Welts had already traveled to Seattle to share his news with another friend, Bill Russell, one of the greatest basketball players ever and the recent recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He had also met with Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA, in New York, and would soon be lunching in Phoenix with Steve Nash, the point guard and leader of the Suns and twice the NBA's most valuable player.

In these meetings and in interviews with The New York Times, Welts explained that he wants to pierce the silence that envelops the subject of homosexuality in men's team sports. He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office. Most of all, he wants to feel whole, authentic.

NBA | Phoenix Suns president reveals he's gay | Seattle Times Newspaper
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