Openly gay athletes supported by most Americans, poll finds
By By Michael Gold
The Baltimore Sun|
May 17, 2013 | 4:00 PM
Almost three weeks after NBA player Jason Collins became the first openly gay active male athlete in a major American sport -- and yes, all those qualifiers are necessary -- new polling data shows a majority of Americans wouldn't care if their favorite athlete was gay.
In a comprehensive survey conducted by Reason-Rupe, only 12 percent of those polled said they would be less likely to support their favorite jock if he or she came out, while 77 percent said it wouldn't change their opinions at all.
Additionally, 25 percent of those surveyed said having an openly gay pro athlete was a positive development for society, and 57 percent said it had little-to-no impact at all.
In an article he co-wrote for SI, Collins wrote "I'm glad I'm coming out in 2013 rather than 2003. The climate has shifted; public opinion has shifted." While Rupe-Reason's poll doesn't provide a baseline for comparison (likely because nobody would have thought to ask the question before now), these numbers seem to back up Collins' assertion.