Dennis Rodman is never shy about giving his 2 cents and recently he spoke on the recent state of sports and its relationship with the LGBTQ community.
There are currently no out athletes in any of the four major American sports, but Rodman thinks that could change soon. “I don’t know why people haven’t came out before,” Rodman told Business Insider. “It’s cool that people are coming out being, you know, gay or homosexual or whatever, lesbian and stuff like that.”
Rodman said he believes 10-20% of the players in the NBA and all of pro sports are gay.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, literally, I’ve said it all along, if 10% or 20% of people in the NBA, or any sports, [are] gay,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised. It wouldn’t shock me at all. I think today, it wouldn’t shock anyone. I think that’d be more acceptable now than anything.”
Rodman reflected on his relationship with the LGBTQ community in the interview while discussing his upcoming “30-For-30” documentary for ESPN, “Rodman: For Better or Worse.”
Back in his league playing days, Rodman spoke openly about partying at gay clubs and having sexual fantasies abolut men even though he denied being gay. He was also known for dressing in drag.
The documentary also talks about Rodman’s famous 1995 Sports Illustrated cover, which showed him in lingerie, and how he was embraced by the LGBTQ community for it.
“They didn’t know the fact that when [they] shot that cover for the Sports Illustrated that that was the best-selling Sports Illustrated ever,” Rodman said. “And then the gay community started to reach out to me and said, ‘Wow, we never knew that our community can be represented like that in sports.’ And people didn’t know at the time that I was doing that.”
“I was, you know, doing all the drag clubs, I was dressing in drag. I was dressing in women’s clothes, I was doing lingerie and stuff like that and people in the gay community started embracing me,” he added. ” If you’re gay, I didn’t give a damn.”
Rodman said he thought that moment was the time for gay athletes to come out. He also said Magic Johnson’s announcement in 1991 about him being HIV-positive was a landmark moment, noting that it didn’t change his feelings about playing against Magic.
“They asked all the players in the NBA, nobody wanted to play with him. They asked me, I said, I don’t give a damn, I just wanna play. I don’t give a damn if he got that,” Rodman said.
He talked about a recent ESPN article about NFL free agent Ryan Russell coming out as bisexual.
“It don’t matter if [you’re in] sports or entertainer or actor or whatever in the world … Who cares? Okay. Who cares? You know, as long as he play and perform, does it matter?”
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