Former Gay Baseball Player ‘Throws a Save’ for College Athlete
Sean Karson didn’t hide his sexuality from other gay geeks. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology junior recently attended the Out For Undergraduate Technology Conference in Palo Alto, California.
While at the conference he tweeted:
Facebook, keep up the good work. The Out For Undergraduate Technology Conference was so much fun, and I hope I see you all again soon!
— Sean Karson (@spongysean) February 8, 2013
That was just days before he came out to his baseball teammates, who had no idea Karson was gay.
According to the Boston Herald, he asked his coach, Andy Barlow, if he could have a few moments with him and his teammates, that’s when he decided to take the biggest risk of his playing career and come out to his team
“They came up and gave me high fives and said they’d have my back and everything,” he told the Boston Herald. “It was so supportive, it was ridiculous.”
Ridiculous is right. Karson said one of his inspirations on coming out was James Nutter, a former college baseball player, who was so scared about the possible repercussions he pondered taking his life rather than coming out to his teammates.
Nutter told SFGN he and Karson had been emailing each other in the days prior to his coming out.
“That was really brave of Sean. Coming out like that took a lot of guts,” Nutter said.
That night after coming out, the emotions of what Karson had just done finally got to him.
“I barely held it together,” Karson said. “I was probably not the most coherent person when I was giving that speech, but that was the third time I cried in the past week. And this is the fourth, I guess.”
Karson said that only a few of his teammates were reserved after his speech, but that they did email him to offer their respect to him.
Nutter never had his teammates respect or support because he was closeted.
He said that the jokes and slurs he heard in the locker room hit him hard, and were the driving force behind his contemplated suicide.
Karson hopes no more athletes have to worry about coming out in the near future.
“I can’t wait to see what [the future] brings, actually,” Karson told the Boston Herald. “But sports are never going to be a scary place for LGBT people again. The locker room is going to be a safe space everywhere.”