CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago City Council Committee wants to urge professional sports commissioners to state their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athlete, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
The Council’s Human Relations Committee wants to encourage athletes to be comfortable acknowledging their sexual orientation, as the NBA’s Jason Collins has.
The City Council resolution is largely symbolic. The National Hockey League, the NFL and teams like Chicago Fire Soccer have already said they will support and protect any players who are openly gay. The Aldermen are urging All top sports officials to do likewise.
But, Fawn Yacker, director with The Last Closet campaign to end homophobia in men’s professional sports, says the benefits of such support are substantial.
“Our ultimate goal was to have these athletes come out so that LGBT youth who so often are struggling with self-acceptance, and way too often attempting or succeeding in taking their own lives could finally have role models in professional sports,” said Yacker.
In testimony, restaurateur Vincent Pryor told Alderman he’d first hidden that he was gay from teammates on the Texas Christian University Football Team. He says there was an emptiness inside him. But after he came out—and helped lead the team to a bowl game—he says he found support.
The full City Council is expected to approve the resolution urging official support for athletes of all types.