OK

Jared Max, host of ESPN radio sports show, "Maxed Out" heard in New York on 1050 radio, has joined National Basketball Association Phoenix Suns President Rick Welts in the "We're here, We're queer, get used to it" chorus. ESPN reports Max said this morning:

"Are we ready to have our sports information delivered by someone who's gay? Well, you know what, we are gonna find out," Max said. "Because for the last 16 years I've been living a free life among my close friends and family, and I've hidden behind what is a gargantuan-size secret here in the sports world. I am gay."

A podcast is available here.

Earlier, ESPN reporter Johnette Howard did little round-up exploring the come to Jesus the sports world seems to be having around the issue of LGBT rights. There have been a lot of scrimmages of late; Kobe Bryant's infamous f-word eruption, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and New York Ranger Sean Avery expressing support for marriage equality. Avery got a little flack, that mostly only served to rally the NHL to the defense of his position (and even ironically, Avery himself, not a position the league usually takes. Google "Sean Avery" + "Douchebag" sometime.).

The scores are racking up, and in favor of respect, dignity and equality.

Max also said:

"I don't share this news with you today to get a reaction or to make news, of being a New York sportscaster working on an all-sports radio station," Max said. "I do this today because it seems to me there's never been a better time."

It's always a good time to life your life honestly, but your timing is indeed, stellar. Congratulations, Mr. Max. Your toaster in enroute.

Sports fans can follow Jared Max on Twitter at @JMax2112

New York Daily News has a write up and judging by the picture, he's kinda adorable. It includes this nice passage:

Max, 37, talked about telling his mom, at the age of 21,  that he was gay. He also talked about his fears of ever fulfilling his dream, becoming a sportscaster.
Yes, you can, buddy. Well done.

Update: The LGBT sport blog OutSports has an excellent story up. It's here, and provides a lot of color and context beyond the headline. What his life has been like, how he came to his decision (Welts did play a part, as did Charles Barkley's recent comments.

“If I’d only known all the fear and anxiety could disipate by taking care of this,” Max said. “It was weird how easy it was to do this today. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. What a schmuck I am for waiting so long.”

Speaking to him on the phone Thursday afternoon was like talking to a kid who’d just graduated from high school and got a red Ferrari as a graduation present. He was exuberant, gitty, talkative. There was a sense of relief and enthusiasm in everything he said as though he was, at the age of 37, finally living freely.

Truth be told, he’s been living a gay life in New York for years. He frequents Boxers and G in Chelsea, and he’s brought family and friends to Therapy in Hell’s Kitchen. But he’s a radio guy: No one ever recognized him by his voice. When he ventures out this weekend, for the first time he won’t care if someone does recognize him.

It's worth checking out. I have been impressed with OutSports coverage of these LGBT issues as they been breaking. Well done, Outsports. 

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Thu May 19, 2011 at 05:06 PM PDT.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

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