Phoenix Suns President and CEO Rick Welts has done something courageous for a guy in a macho-dominated industry: he came out of the closet.
In an article in the New York Times yesterday, Welts, 58, announced that he is gay -- a fact his colleagues had suspected but never felt comfortable asking the 40-year employee of the NBA.
News that Welts is homosexual comes in the wake of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant calling a referee a "faggot" after he disagreed with a call in the third quarter of a game against the San Antonio Spurs.
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Welts says he wants to change the attitude toward homosexuals in professional sports.
From the NYT:
In these meetings and in interviews with The New York Times, Mr. 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.
"This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits," said Mr. Welts, who stands now as a true rarity, a man prominently employed in professional men's team sports willing to declare his homosexuality. "Nobody's comfortable in engaging in a conversation."
See the entire New York Times piece on Welts here.