Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried of the Denver Nuggets made news yesterday when he became the first NBA player to join Athlete Ally, a non-profit organization dedicated to end homophobia in sports. Faried joins Athlete Ally along with NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Ravens, Chris Kluwe of the Vikings, Scott Fujita of the Browns, Connor Barwin of the Texans and other athletes from various sports around the world.
The Manimal has vehemently supported marriage equality as he was raised by two women who he refers to as “mom.” His two mothers got married in New Jersey in 2007.
“Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country,” said Faried. “I have two moms and I love them both very much. 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 LGBT community; whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities."
Executive Director of Athlete Ally, Hudson Taylor, expressed his excitement of Faried’s endorsement by stating "Kenneth is standing out not only as an incredible talent, but as an incredible ally. We are thrilled to have him on board and grateful to the NBA for its continued leadership."
In related news, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant responded to a fan’s tweet on Sunday that simply stated “You’re gay” as an insult to another fan. Kobe’s tweet read: "Just letting you know@PacSmoove @pookeo9 that using 'your gay' as a way to put someone down ain't ok! #notcool delete that out ur vocab." Ironically, Bryant was fined $100,000 by the NBA in April, 2012 for calling a ref a “fa**ot.”
There has yet to be a male athlete to come out as gay while playing in a professional American sports league. Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz made headlines in October, 2012 when he came out as gay as the first active athlete to do so.