I’m not one to follow contact sports, at least not the ones that are televised, so I admit I don’t know a touchdown from a hashbrown. That said, I know that for most of my time on this planet, male-dominated sports such as football, baseball, and basketball have been some of the most homophobic organizations in existence.
In recent years though, we have seen ‘norms’ challenged as the world has progressed to more inclusionary place, delivering major triumphs such as marriage equality, and a few national sports figures who have come out publicly as gay or bisexual. One such figure is Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts, who wed his longtime, same-sex partner last week in San Francisco.
— Rick Welts (@RickWelts) January 11, 2020
As reported by NBC Out Sports, Welts, a prominent NBA executive with a career in sports going back to the early 70s, publicly came out in a bold New York Times article in 2011. At that time, he was the president of the Phoenix Suns, and his heart-felt admission rocked the sports world. Shock value was far from Welts’ intension in going public, but rather his purpose was “to break the silence surrounding homosexuality in men’s team sports.”
The lesson that hopefully resonates from Welts’ sharing his life openly with the world is that sexuality is irrelevant to one’s abilities and performance on a job. Case in point – since Welts came out in 2011, he has played an integral role in the ‘Warriors’ success for the past nine years. Their victories include five straight NBA Finals and three championship wins.
Here, at Instinct Magazine, we have long been supportive of Welts, with high regard for his bravery and integrity – traits that have made him an admirable presence for LGBTQ+ people for nearly two decades. We actually featured him as a cover story in our print edition in 2011, and now, Welts is to be commended once again for continuing to be a positive representation and role model within our community.
Congratulations to Rick Welts and Todd Gage from the team at Instinct Magazine!