CHAPTER 4

Michael Sam Makes Great Gains for the LGBT Movement

Before February 2014, discussions of Lesbian, Gay, Black, and Transgender (LGBT) rights in America had largely focused on same-sex marriage. At the same time, though, LGBT Americans considered employment discrimination to be a top priority (Brown 2013). One ongoing area of employment concern was the exclusion, and support of, openly gay athletes in professional sports.

While public sentiment and policy toward LGBT individuals has changed greatly over the last decade, and entertainment celebrities have come out publicly more and more, professional sports has often been labeled “the closet” in America (Chibbaro 2013). While athletes themselves have been coming out more often in recent ...

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