QUEER VOICES
03/01/2013 04:07 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Mark Knudson, Former Milwaukee Brewers Pitcher, Says Gay Athletes Should Keep Their Sexual Orientation Private

A former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher has chimed in on the recent debate over whether or not professional gay athletes should come out of the closet while still active in their sport.

Mark Knudson -- who played for the Brewers from 1986 through 1991 -- cited current speculation over Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's sexuality in an Op-Ed for Mile High Sports, suggesting that players "who are able to keep their sexual orientation private" should be applauded because it's "best for the team."

"No one has said that gays should not be allowed to play in the NFL," he writes. "What has been said is that having a gay teammate would make some players uncomfortable."

He goes on to note:

"It’s also important to consider that the heterosexual players involved have feelings, too, and they’re no more or less valid than the feelings of those in the gay community. It’s amazing how many people feel free to criticize and tell athletes how they are supposed to feel, as if that’s anyone else’s right."

Calling it "human nature" for a gay teammate to "have feelings of attraction" toward a straight teammate or two, he adds, "He’s gay; he’s not dead. He can’t just flip a switch and turn off his feelings when he walks into the locker room."

You can read the full editorial here.

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

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