Top 10 Famous Athletes You Didn’t Know Are Gay

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Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL, received another major hit, being cut from Cowboys’ practice squad on Tuesday.

Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL, but he is by no means the first openly gay athlete. Here are the Top 10 famous athletes who have announced they are gay, including athletes who have "come out" during their active play and athletes who have come out as gay after retirement.

10. Darren Young (WWE)

Darren Young (WWE)

WWE superstar Darren Young was picking up his bags after arriving at LAX when a TMZ reporter asked if he thought a gay wrestler would be welcome in WWE. He responded without a gut check (his signature move), “Absolutely. Look at me. I’m a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay. And I’m happy. I’m very happy.”

9.Brittney Griner (WNBA)

Brittney Griner (WNBA)

The WNBA and Baylor Bears star came out in 2013 after her college coach urged athletes not to discuss their sexual orientation. The No. 1 draft pick also said childhood bullying made her consider suicide as a teen.

8. Orlando Cruz (WBO)

Orlando Cruz (WBO)

The featherweight boxer from Puerto Rico came out in October 2012, describing himself as "a proud gay man." He is believed to be the first pro boxer to come out as gay while still competing.

7. Billy Bean (MLB)

Billy Bean (MLB)

The outfielder with the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres came out in 1999, after his retirement from Major League Baseball. While a player, he had divorced his wife and secretly moved in with his first lover. He is a board member of the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.

6. Robbie Rogers (MLS)

Robbie Rogers (MLS)

In February 2013, Robbie Rogers, an American professional soccer player, came out as gay in a post on his personal website. In May 2013, he became the first openly gay man to compete in Major League Soccer when he joined the L.A. Galaxy Team,

5. Jason Collins (NBA)

Jason Collins (NBA)

In April 2013, the former Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards center announced that he is gay. He is now a free agent. Collins came out in a first-person Sports Illustrated story, and later said response to it had “been remarkable.”

4.Sheryl Swoopes (WNBA)

Sheryl Swoopes (WNBA)

Often referred to as the Michael Jordan of women’s basketball, Sheryl Swoopes was one of the most celebrated female basketball players. Her pro career was just as impressive, being named WNBA MVP and winning four WNBA championships. She also won three Olympic golds With Team USA. Swoopes was married to a man for four years and had a child. But in 2005 she came out, while still an active player. By 2011, however, she was reportedly engaged to a man

3. Megan Rapinoe (NWSL)

Megan Rapinoe (NWSL)

Megan Rapinoe was instrumetal in helping the United States women’s soccer win the 2012 Summer Olympic gold medal, scoring three goals and adding four assists in the tournament. She came out days before the start of those games in London.  

2.Billie Jean King (USTA)

Billie Jean King (USTA)

Billie Jean King was a professional tennis player who in 1961, at the age of 17, took the doubles championship at Wimbledon with Karen Hantze. King then went on to win six Wimbledon singles championships and four U.S. Open titles. She was the first-ranked player in the world for five years, according to ESPN. King admitted her bisexuality in 1981.

The tennis legend was one of three gay athletes President Obama chose to represent the United States as a delegate to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

1.Glenn Burke (MLB)

Glenn Burke (MLB)

Once touted as "the next Willie Mays," the former outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A’s, said he had lived a double life as a gay man while playing in the major leagues. He was the first known Major League Baseball player to have come out as gay to teammates and team owners during his professional career. He died in 1995 from AIDS-related causes.

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