Former Pirates owner McClatchy admits he's gay

The SportsXchange

Former Pittsburgh Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy revealed to the New York Times that he is gay, according to ESPN.

McClatchy, the owner and CEO of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1996 to 2007, said frequent homophobic slurs he heard in baseball circles convinced him to keep his sexual orientation to himself.

Three years after selling the team, McClatchy said the time was right to open up about his sexuality.

"You're not going to solve any problem until you start a dialogue," McClatchy said. "And there's no dialogue right now."

The New York Times is publishing the story in Sunday editions.

"I've got a birthday coming up where I'm turning old," said McClatchy, who will turn 50 in January. "I've spent 30 years -- or whatever the number is specifically -- not talking about my personal life, lying about my personal life."

McClatchy credited Major League Baseball's ending of racial segregation but does not consider it similar to coming out as gay.

"I don't think they equate breaking the color barrier with Jackie Robinson to, 'Hey, by the way, we've never had one player announce they're gay while playing baseball.' "

McClatchy was mainly responsible for getting PNC Park financed in 2001 and sold the team only after he was assured it would be kept in Pittsburgh. However, the Pirates never had a winning season while he was in charge.

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