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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 13, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 19
A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life
Section One
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A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life

Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Rick Welts, the president of the Phoenix Suns, hopes his coming out can break the silence surrounding homosexuality in men's team sports.

By DAN BARRY
Published: May 15, 2011

Last month, in a Midtown office adorned with sports memorabilia, two longtime friends met for a private talk. David Stern, the commissioner of the National Basketball Association, sipped his morning coffee, expecting to be asked for career advice. Across from him sat Rick Welts, the president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, who had come to New York not to discuss careers, but to say, finally, I am gay.

Mr. Welts, far right on the front row, was an assistant trainer with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1971.

In many work environments, this would qualify as a so-what moment. But until now, Mr. Welts, 58, who has spent 40 years in sports, rising from ball boy to N.B.A. executive to team president, had not felt comfortable enough in his chosen field to be open about his sexuality. His eyes welling at times, he also said that he planned to go public.

full story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/16/sports/basketball/nba-executive-says-he-is-gay.html?_r=1

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