Nuggets’ Faried First To Boldly Step Forward To Fight Homophobia

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Kenneth Faried plays for the Denver Nuggets. He is now officially a trail blazer.

The second-year power forward nicknamed “The Manimal” for his ferocious style of play, has become the first NBA player to join Athlete Ally, an organization determined to end homophobia in sports. Faried has spent a lifetime immersed in the importance of raising awareness and fighting for equal rights in the gay and lesbian community.

The 23-year-old was raised in New Jersey by two lesbian mothers. Faried stood up in January to support marriage equality with a PSA geared toward legislation in Colorado. His moms married in 2007.

Stepping forward as the first NBA activist into an arena still mostly taboo in professional sports locker rooms is a bold move for a player who has made an immediate and significant impact on the court.

“Becoming an Athlete Ally gives me the opportunity to spread a message of inclusiveness throughout the NBA and our country,” Faried said in a statement. “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 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community — whether they are parents, players, coaches or fans — to feel welcome in the NBA and in all of our communities.”

The dread-locked Faried will be highly visible during this weekend’s NBA All-Star extravaganza in Houston as a first-time participant in Saturday night’s Sprite Slam Dunk contest. He will also play in Friday’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.

As a member of Athlete Ally, Faried joins Super Bowl champion Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens, Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings, Scott Fujita of the Cleveland Browns, Connor Barwin of the Houston Texans, plus Australian rugby star David Pocock, Australian Rules Football player Brock McLean and scores of college athletes who have already signed on.

Faried will serve as a liaison between the organization and the NBA, help promote Athlete Ally’s mission to end homophobia in sports by speaking out to his team, league and fan base, and encouraging his colleagues to join in the effort. In August, Faried joined with the organization in partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to deliver a pioneering awareness training to the 2012 NBA rookie class.

 

While there have been some women athletes to come out during their professional careers, no American male athlete has taken the leap and come out while playing a team sport. How professional athletes and organizations would handle such a scenario within the hallowed confines and forever hetero-dominated world of the male locker room has been hotly debated.

Some suggest today’s athletes still are not equipped to embrace a gay teammate, while others believe the time is finally here, that an openly gay player can coexist.

Recall it was just April 2011 when Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 by the league for using a gay slur during a game. Recently, Bryant reprimanded a fan on Twitter who tweeted, “You’re Gay” to another fan. The NBA has run a series of television ads about not using the word “gay” to put someone down.

Simply looking at the percentage of gay men in society suggests that the NBA and every other professional sports leagues have gay players within their ranks, and always have. Faried, the trail blazer, is working to ensure that soon those players will feel empowered to come out of the shadows without fear of repercussion.

“Kenneth’s advocacy for marriage equality was game-changing and his work to transform the culture of sports as an Athlete Ally will also make a huge difference,” said Brian Ellner, who led the Campaign for New York Marriage and who serves on the Athlete Ally Board of Directors. “Today, Kenneth sends a loud message to young people around the world that you can be who you are and compete at any level.”

21 Comments

  1. Francisco says:

    I was censored yesterday for telling my truth and By the way I will never vote for OBAMA

  2. Kimmy says:

    Faried is a great basketball player. Kudos to him and the organization he represents. It sounds positive. And there are many other players in the NBA (and other sports as well), who should consider helping or supporting this organization to raise awareness as well. It’s 2013 guys! I’m old fashion, but c’mon, school us! ..He’s a pretty brave guy. It’s important to be who you are, and take that leadership role when you are willing and able. I just hope Athelete Alley can be productive in their mission. You know how you guys can be. Good luck with that. Go Denver Nuggets!

  3. Trade Deadline says:

    WOW!

    What a great trade for the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Kenneth Faried for LaMarcus Alridge

    Unbelievable pick for them!

  4. TTKIN says:

    As a Laker fan, I love Faried. His style of play is exactly how everyone in the NBA should play. This story just made me like him more.

  5. mIKE says:

    I personally know people who have come out of homosexuality by the power of Jesus Christ to live normal heterosexual lives. Homosexuality is just like any sin, adultery, fornication, theft, lying, all of those warp the person engaging in them and all of them can be overcome by the power of Jesus Christ.

  6. Willy says:

    So, he is not Gay? Who cares, play basketball!

  7. mIKE says:

    There probably are homophobic players in the NBA just as in society. But what about the players who believe that homosexuality is a sin that warps the person engaging in it from who they are intended by God to be? There’s no hate or fear there, just a loving, truthful difference of opinion.

    Is the NBA going to support those players as well?

    • Aubreysdad says:

      This is the point I was attempting to make. You just said it in far few words than I was able to.

  8. Alex Lamar says:

    That young man seems to be as impressive off the basketball court as on it. Kudos to the Denver Nuggets for drafting him.

  9. ginobili says:

    Didn’t know Fareid was gay….
    Just kiddin. That’s awesome that he’s doin that. More athletes should speak out on issues like this.

  10. Aubreysdad says:

    Political agendas are being PUSHED everywhere now! It is getting rediculous! Play ball! (No pun intended)
    Just because you play in the NBA (or write for them) does not mean you are the expert on social matters!
    And, if I disagree with the definition of marriage being between one man and one woman, why am I accused of homophobia? I am not “afraid” of homosexuals, I just disagree. That being said, I believe anyone has the right to do what they choose as long as those rights do not effect another’s rights. But quit calling me names (i.e. homophobe) because I don’t agree with you!

    Where’s the article praising the players standing-up for traditional marriage?? I thought not!

    • genoa says:

      I wouldn’t accuse you of being homophobic, but one wonders why you have a problem with them getting married. What about a traditional marriage is so exclusive that two dudes can’t have it? Standing up for traditional marriage is exactly what you say you’re against – denying other peoples rights.

    • googergieger says:

      It isn’t homophobia it is ignorance. There is a big difference. There is literally no argument against gay marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman? Then make it so marriage isn’t recognized by the government. Make it so only the church recognizes marriage and civil unions are the only way the government will give you the benefits that come from marriage. Traditional marriage? What was traditional marriage in the fifties? Most people are growing up and moving forward. They don’t have that hate in them. That hate destroys. And it is born out of ignorance. It used to be if you were black. For a while it was if you were a woman. Now it is if you are gay. It isn’t as extreme as it was in the past, but the hate is still there. Because enough loud people in the world(and mostly in this country) need to notice the differences between people. Need something to blame. Something to hate. Something to distract them from themselves. When really we are all connected. Beliefs aside. Whether you believe in a grand creator or science, there is a belief that there was nothing and something was created out of or in that nothing. Meaning we all can be traced back to a time where we were the same. Instead of focusing on what makes us different so we can fight over it, we should focus on what makes us the same. We should focus on the fact that if you had a different dad or a different mom, you could have been born gay or straight. Black or white. Man or woman. If you took a left instead of a right that time you could have been a totally different person than who you are now. Take away the flesh. The mind. The soul. The idea of all those things. What is left?

      • Aubreysdad says:

        How ignorant of you to say I am ignorant! Calling me ignorant implies you think I don’t know something which you have been enlightened to. So if I don’t believe the same things the exact way that you believe them then I am ignorant?? As far as the actual issue of homosexual marriage, I believe people should be allowed to live any way they want as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others living their lives. Two women want to be together, or two men, or a man and a goat, that is their choice and theirs alone. There should not be hate because of the way people live, but it is not “marriage”. If two homosexuals want to commit their lives to each other, fine. Their business. But if I don’t agree with the lifestyle that does not imply I am ignorant, nor does it mean I am intolerant. It means I do not agree.
        “Marriage” is a concept from the Bible (and not just the Bible). It is for a man and a woman. So why is there the need to have a homosexual union to be called “marriage”? Is it all about being recognized by the government to receive tax credits? About money? If it’s not, then what is the issue? Go live the way you choose! Just stop ramming it down the throats of those who disagree.

    • Axe says:

      umm… this article doesn’t promote gay marriages, thus is not a political agenda. This article is about fighting against homophobia so that players can publicly by who they are. If you have nothing against gays, then congratulations – you are not a homophobe and therefore not an issue.

  11. RXQM says:

    Great cause. Great recognition of what he’s doing and spreading this kind of discourse. Nevertheless, come on NBA.com…if you’re going to promote yourselves as taking equality and homophobia seriously, at least get your facts correct on what professional male athletes have come out as homosexual to try and raise awareness of an existing LGBT community in both your own sport and in professional sports GLOBALLY. John Amaechi, a former NBA center for Cleveland, Orlando and Utah came out as the first openly gay NBA player. Esera Tuaolo, Dave Kopay, Roy Simmons??? Gareth Thomas the Welsh rugby player??? Publishing and celebrating these cases is important in getting people comfortable with the message.

    Nevertheless, glad that this is out there and being represented.

  12. W/E says:

    Wow thats great, in a couple of years we r gunna see NBA players get in relationships and marry with each other, i hope that doesnt affect their performance on court when couples play against each other.

  13. Chris says:

    Good on Faried! Wishing him the best in his crusade, he’s fighting for a good cause but that will be a tough one.

  14. 4dawyn says:

    “Kenneth Faried plays for the Denver Nuggets. He is now officially a trail blazer.” What a big troll this writer is!!! So tryhard!!! LOL

    • TV63 says:

      Agree I had to read it over to make sure he wasn’t traded to Portland Trial Blazers. Tell me he so innocently didn’t know he did this.

    • Aubreysdad says:

      Exactly!
      And it should read, “…he is now ‘unoffically’ a trail blazer”. He did not “officially” become recognized as a trail blazer! If it is “official” who gave him this title?
      These writers trying so hard to be clever.