On Breaking Barriers

Y'all might have heard that Major League Baseball has decided to honor Jackie Robinson on the 60th Anniversary of his breaking the color barrier in baseball by allowing a player on each team in the bigs to wear Robinson's universally-retired #42 next Sunday. This got me to thinking about the color barrier and the unofficial "Rainbow Barrier" that we see in the major sports right now. We've had athletes like John Amaechi (basketball), Glenn Burke (baseball), Esera Tualo (football) come out of the closet after their playing careers have ended and others, like Martina Navritolova, who play individual sports come out while still active.

But who will be the first major sports (football, baseball, basketball, and, to a lesser extent, hockey and soccer) athlete to come out and what will it take?

I think that the athlete will probably come out of baseball, a sport where there is less body-to-body contact. He'll probably embody the "straight-acting" type, lest straight America get scared off by flamingness. I'd bet that he's not a star but a solid, established veteran player, probably in the twilight of his career (hence having nothing much to lose).

Those are my thoughts--what about the rest of you? What will this Jackie Robinson be like?
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