Kenneth Faried Joins Fight Against Homophobia in Sports

by February 12, 2013

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has been quite public with his views on gender and equality, and has now joined Athlete Ally, an organization whose aim is to combat homophobia in sports (he’s the first NBA player to do so). Per the NY Times: “Faried, 23, was raised by a lesbian couple in Newark. ‘I have two moms and I love them both very much,’ Faried said in a statement from Athlete Ally. ‘I respect, honor and support them in every way. The bond I have with them has made me realize that I want all members of the L.G.B.T. community – whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans – to feel welcome in the N.B.A. and in all of our communities.’ Athlete Ally, founded by a former Maryland wrestler, Hudson Taylor, in January 2011, has enlisted other professional athletes to push the cause against antigay bullying. The former N.H.L. player Sean Avery is on the organization’s board of directors, and four N.F.L. players have signed on as supporters: Baltimore’s Brendon Ayanbadejo, Minnesota’s Chris Kluwe, Cleveland’s Scott Fujita and Houston’s Connor Barwin. So far, no Major League Baseball players have publicly joined Athlete Ally. No active player in any of the major American male team sports has publicly disclosed that he is gay. The topic was debated again before this month’s Super Bowl when San Francisco defensive back Chris Culliver said during a radio interview that he had no gay teammates and would not accept one. He later apologized. At, nearly 11,000 people have signed an online ‘pledge’ to respect others ‘regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.’ The N.B.A. welcomed Faried’s association with Athlete Ally. […] On Sunday, Athlete Ally took note of a Twitter message from Kobe Bryant, who was fined $100,000 in 2011 for referring to a referee with a homophobic slur. Through Twitter, Bryant chastised followers having an online conversation.”