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Curt Schilling, Former Boston Red Sox Pitcher, Defends Gay Athletes

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The media firestorm over a San Francisco 49ers player's anti-gay proclamations has finally settled for now, but other key sports figures are speaking out in defense of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling -- who pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros throughout his career -- took to Twitter with his thoughts, noting:

Curt Schilling
Also, I've never understood this 'issue' with gay players? Who cares? I know I played with some, their sexual orientation never had much to

He then added:

Curt Schilling
To do with how they hit with RISP, or pitched in late and close situations, why the hell would what they do in the bedroom ever matter?

As Outsports' Jim Buzinski pointed out, Schilling wasn't alone among MLB veterans in his assessment. During a video podcast, the now-retired Jeff Weaver -- who pitched for the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals throughout his career -- said he'd similarly support a gay teammate.

“Just let ‘em be whatever they are," he is quoted as saying. "As long as they can hit or pitch, come on in.

Echoing those sentiments was young brother Jered Weaver, currently of the Los Angeles Angels. "I think it would just be a shock at first, but it’s still your teammate in the long run," he said. "They worked just as hard as us to get up to where we’re at."

The 49ers' Chris Culliver, who kicked off the controversy after he told Artie Lange that he "don't do the gay guys, man" and would not welcome an openly gay teammate, is set to begin sensitivity training before starting volunteer work with a number of LGBT youth advocacy groups including The Trevor Project.

“He’s so passionate about youth and people being comfortable with who they are and accepted by all,” Culliver's spokesman is quoted by NESN as saying. “He’s excited to learn. The plan is with The Trevor Project, and their concerns are that he is genuine about his words.”

Also on HuffPost:

Straight Professional Athletes Who’ve Come Out In Support Of LGBT Rights
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