Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Former MLB pitcher: Staying in the closet is the ‘best option’ for gay athletes

Friday, March 1, 2013

DENVER — Former Major League pitcher Mark Knudson says that the best thing that gay professional athletes could do for their teams is to stay in the closet.

Writing for Mile High Sports, Knudson — who played for eight seasons in Major League Baseball from 1985 to 1993 — says that it is “absurd” to think that “there wouldn’t be any sort of physical attraction for a gay athlete toward any of his straight teammates,” and that would result in “very uncomfortable situations.”

Mark Knudson


“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? … 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 concludes that “it remains the best option for any homosexual athlete in a team sport to keep his orientation private. He’s doing what’s best for himself by doing what’s best for the team.”

Besides, he says, “there will be plenty of time for pronouncements and getting that nice book deal after the playing days are over.”

Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , ,

Filed under: Newsmakers

31 more reader comments:

  1. i bet he loved looking at the bats int he showers..

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:35pm
  2. 24-29 record, career ERA near 5.00. Mediocre comments from a mediocre athlete.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:36pm
  3. Mark Knudson can suck my dick!!!

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:37pm
  4. So what’s to stop the gay athlete from being attracted to “some of the most physically fit and desirable human beings on the planet” if he or she hides in the closet? “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.”

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:37pm
  5. Who?

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:39pm
  6. And he should tie his cock in a tight knot.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:44pm
  7. Never heard of him. I don’t follow the volleyball.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:45pm
  8. s othis FOOL who was NO star…thinks being i nthe closet is right? how about ugly people people of color and other NON standard people? wha t if the MLB required clea nshaven pitcherS? would he revolt? whata jackass

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:45pm
  9. depends on who you define their team as being

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:46pm
  10. Then they should also stay in the damn closet!

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:53pm
  11. fuk him. What an arrogant ass hole.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:57pm
  12. Ignorant fuck, I mean really.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:59pm
  13. I understand when articles are written because someone in power does or says something hateful, or when someone who has influence on others does, but why put this guys negative energy into our consciousness? all this article does is remind us that there’s bigots, and we already know that. Not only do we look to athletes wayyy too much as celebrities and role models in society (when theyre just entertainers) but this guy isn’t even a current or star player, all this article can do is anger people. We shouldn’t care what any athletes do or say because it’s not our business, and we shouldn’t give them the forum to speak so much, they shouldn’t be celebrities… and we definitely shouldn’t pay any mind to what people like this who don’t matter have to say. I’m sure the only people who heard what this guy has to say are the people he’s hoping to piss off, and because he can’t get attention any other way, he’s happy about it.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:00pm
  14. I can only think of Billy Bean. After he quit playing pro baseball and came out, a lot of guys said, had they known, they wouldn’t have cared. No one should try to speak for everyone.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:01pm
  15. Grrrrrr. I hate bigots

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:06pm
  16. Fuck him and his internalized homophobia

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:23pm
  17. how is staying in the closet helpful?

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:23pm
  18. I have just one word for Mark Knudson: SHUTUP!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:28pm
  19. Athletes are too insecure about sexual orientation. Knudson may be right, but I spent 40 years in the closet & it is not a good way to live.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:42pm
  20. Do the words piss off sound reasonable? Yep. :)

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:47pm
  21. Ha no one even remembers who he is. Glad there are guys like Matt Cain, Yovani Gallardo and Kevin Youkilis who have spoken about their support for gay baseball players.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 5:53pm
  22. Who the hell is he? From the 80′s? When USSR and communism was still around? Get real

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:16pm
  23. Mark Who?

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:16pm
  24. Interesting how no one knows about this guy until he spews hate. Maybe he should do something worthy of being in the news.

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:34pm
  25. Who the Hell is that? Why should I care?

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 7:06pm
  26. Who cares what some douchey, unknown sports figure says? Like his opinion has any weight…

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8:13pm
  27. Idiot athletes would serve the world better by not playing (or maybe opening their minds and hearts and letting everyone else in the world have fun and be happier)

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 8:43pm
  28. Obviously not the brightest bulb in the package ….,..

    Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 10:16pm
  29. hes an ex player so his opinion matters not at all in the now world

    Posted on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3:17am
  30. and ingnorant baseball players serve their teams best by keeping their mouths shut!

    Posted on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 5:17am
  31. I’d like to put you in a closet, lock it and throw away the key.

    Posted on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 9:04am