February 9, 2007

Retired NBA journeyman comes out of the closet ...

and he turns out to be exactly the kind of player you'd expect to be gay.

As I've been pointing out for years, male homosexuals are quite rare in most professional sports, except, tellingly, for the dance-like sports such as figure skating, where gays are common.

You can tell by counting all the athletes who died from AIDS in the 1982-1994 era: many figure skaters, but only about one in each of the other major sports (except boxing, where heroin addiction, perhaps to ease the pain, is more common among washed-up fighters).

And, of course, no AIDS deaths in golf, which has almost zero appeal to male homosexuals.

So, now the media is all excited that an obscure former NBA center named John Amaechi is publishing an autobiography in which he announces he is gay, only the sixth male athlete in the history of any of the big four professional team sports. (Economist Tyler Cowen wonders, rather cluelessly, why that number is so low at Marginal Revolution. I try to educate his readers in the comments.)

What's interesting about Amaechi is that he exactly fits my model -- that sports are most obsessively interesting to the most masculine little boys, who are the ones least likely to grow up to be gay -- of what kind of gay would be most likely to wind up a highly paid pro athlete: a gigantic basketball player.

Amaechi is 6'-10" and 270 pounds. There are so few men in the world that size that the NBA will take even a gay Englishman as a project and try to turn him into a productive player.

Amaechi is an interesting Barack Obama-type: born in Boston but raised in Manchester, England, his father was a Nigerian who abandoned his white mother, a doctor, when he was three. And, yes, Amaechi is … articulate. His sole distinction as an NBA player was being named to the 1999-2000 NBA All-Interview First Team. He's now pursuing a Ph.D. in child psychology and has donated lots of money and time to child charities.

Fitting my model beautifully, Amaechi was completely bored by basketball, and was only in it for the money, "earning" $9.6 million over five seasons.

He told Nigeria World that he had never played basketball until he was stopped on the street as a 6'-9" 17-year-old in England: "I wasn't really a sports fan and I didn't like sweating, or anything that puts physical pressure on me, but I just said yes. Maybe, it's because I'd played Rugby before then and I didn't like it and anything else-apart from Rugby-would do."

Basketball Digest enthused during his playing career:

Erudite Orlando center John Amaechi relishes his standing as the most unique player in the NBA

He reads books on child psychology. He visits art galleries and museums. He looks for seminars to attend when his team has an off-day on the road. He writes poetry--and he writes it well. Yes, John Amaechi plays basketball in the NBA, but he isn't really a basketball player. He is a Renaissance Man. The Orlando Magic have uncovered a real breath of fresh air.

Amaechi is bidding to become one of the better centers in the Eastern Conference this season, yet basketball actually bores him. … He would rather be sipping tea in his favorite coffee shop than scouting one of his rivals on television. His life is too short to be consumed by a game. There is little passion to his play, but a wonderful love for his life. "Basketball does not define me," he says. "It's my occupation for now, but it's not my definition." …

Although the NBA is peppered with players who are there only because it's a very lucrative profession, Amaechi might be the only one who openly admits it. "I'm going to be a better child psychologist than I ever could be a basketball player," he says, matter of factly. … Hey, I don't even like to sweat." … "I'm really not a fan of the game, and I'm not keen on this NBA lifestyle. I'm part of the NBA, but I've never been part of the NBA psyche," he says.

Not surprisingly, Amaechi's teammates were less impressed by his basketball-phobic attitude. The Salt Lake Tribune reported:

"[Teammate Jarron] Collins' memory, though, is that Amaechi wasn't just indifferent toward his job, but irritated by it and the pro sports atmosphere. "He just wasn't interested in basketball, period," Collins said. "I never knew someone who just disliked the game. I would say that everyone has different motivations to play the game of basketball. John was very clear that money was his. But it really was like, he didn't like the game. It's kind of hard if you hate it."

Nor is it surprising that, hating basketball the way he did, he was awful. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Steve Luhm explains:

"That's because John Amaechi remains one of the worst players in franchise history. … So on July 19, 2001, the Jazz signed Amaechi to a four-year, $12 million contract. Over the next two seasons - before being traded - the young Brit redefined the cliche, "Take the money and run." Amaechi took about $6 million of Larry Miller's money and didn't run . . . didn't shoot . . . didn't rebound. Looking back, the price tag for his astonishingly unproductive layover in Utah is mind-boggling. …

Oddly, Amaechi suggests the Jazz should have known his level of play might drop after he secured his first big-money million-dollar contract. "Why does the performance of so many players decline after they sign multiyear guaranteed deals?" he wrote. "It's a little thing called human nature. Plenty of guys - Karl Malone and John Stockton are the obvious examples - play hard no matter how much they make. Other guys lack the discipline. Predicting which player falls into which category is the key to scouting."

A few paragraphs later, Amaechi explained: … "The truth is Sloan and Jazz management hadn't done their research - otherwise known as scouting. They could tell you all my court tendencies, how I played the game and why I should fit into the system. But they knew nothing of my character."


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Another story that has a link to Barak Obama. Does everything link to that guy?

Anyway, this story touches on interesting stereotypes of race, nationality and sexuality.

This guy is British/English which to many White Americans equals gay.

He has a White mother, which means he's part white which to many blacks equals gay or at least less masculine than black men.

He had a black father who abandoned his White mother. How many times have we heard that one? Impregnate the "White man's woman" and hit the road.

Are mulatto males born to White women and who lack the presence of a black father more likely to be homosexual than other black males ?

Anonymous said...

His new career in child psychology is an unusual choice. You'd think that troubled children would be intimidated by such an huge man.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Anonymous said...

He´s not the type of person I´d trust around troubled children, either.
Homosexuals should keep away from children, troubled or not.

Anonymous said...


Fascinating comments by Amaechi, he's basically proving everything you've said. And it's all coming right from the source.

He's not even the exception that proves the rule because he's not an exception.

Also I give kudos to him for making a concious choice to take advantage of his size to earn a few mill doing something he hates, taking advantage of some poor decisions by others, and setting himself up to be carefree for the rest of his life, doing what he really likes.

Anonymous said...

i never met a mulatto who didn't have a black dad that left their white mom. i even dated one in high school. these kids are becoming more common, you will often see them out around town with white grandma and grandpa.

black men use women to spread their genes and then leave them. it's absolutely true. they have a winning tactic in a gene competition. white societies have gone far out of their way to crush any resistance to this tactic, too.

amaechi was not the only smart player but there have not been not many. david robinson went to annapolis and graduated with a math major. michael doleac is studying to be a doctor and said he will practice after he retires.

amaechi sucked, but it's common for tall players to suck and still get paid a million dollars a year. people that tall are rare. the NBA is still a lot more efficient at getting the right players in the game than the NFL. i'd say the NBA is 90% efficient whereas the NFL is only 70% efficient.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget--Lyle Alzado was gay & died of AIDS, but lied about both...The reported cause of death may not be the real cause of death; don't be too trusting of the "official stories" or "official statistics."

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts on this:

1) This is one reason why NFL regular season games are on broadcast network prime time while NBA games are relegated to basic cable: too many basketball players mail it in. Partly, this is due to the large number of games (and hence lessened importance of each) in the NBA season, but it's also partly due to the physical nature of football.

You dramatically increase your chances of getting seriously hurt when you play football without maximum intensity.

2) Re Ballet as a sport: Candace Bushnell (the writer of "Sex and the City") recently married a principal dancer for the NYC Ballet. This guy was 6'4" and athletic looking. In the Styles Section of the NY Times, where their marriage was announced, Bushnell said her first two questions on meeting her future husband were "are you gay?" and "are you single".


Anonymous said...

jody -"black men use women to spread their genes and then leave them. it's absolutely true. they have a winning tactic in a gene competition. white societies have gone far out of their way to crush any resistance to this tactic, too."

White societies? I don't think so. It's White WOMEN who are to blame for actively, and often very aggressively, participating in this black male reproductive strategy.

Like the black pimps say -"Use the White man's woman to make the White man's money".

In this case it's all about using the "White man's daughter to make the black man's baby". Except in cases of interracial rape, which are common enough, the blame falls on White WOMEN not this mythic 'White societies'.

Anonymous -"Don't forget--Lyle Alzado was gay & died of AIDS"

Lyle Alzado was not gay and didn't die of AIDS. He was a heterosexual who died as a result of 20 years of steroid use.

Anonymous said...

Man what a f###ing great blog. I have read 5 articles about Amaechi and it's the same PC blather. Steve nails this one- how come I have to come to his blog to find anything insightful about Amaechi's story- somebody make this guy a millionaire please. I'll start with oh, I don't know $25. Dan Redmond

Anonymous said...

"Using the white man's daughter to make the black man's baby".

LOL!!!!! This should be made into a bumper sticker.

I guess the real question is why some many white women fall for it.
Maybe it has something to do with a joke lisa lampanelli tells when she says "I suck the black man's d**k to pay for slavery. Think of it as reparations."

Anonymous said...


i said women. not white women. black men generally use this tactic on women. all women. any women. as somebody else said, this is standard practice between black men and black women.

and it is definitely true that white society has been an enabler for this tactic. socialism protects single black mothers. white society provides for them. it puts single black mothers in a much better position to raise their kids than they would have in africa, ensuring that the kids survive, mature, and go on to practice this tactic as adults.

this tactic is more effective in white nations than it is in africa. it can only spread.

Anonymous said...

DYork -

Lyle Alzado died from a form of brain cancer seldom seen except in HIV+ people.

Steroids have many bad side effects, but brain cancer is not among them.


Anonymous said...

>>DYork -

Lyle Alzado died from a form of brain cancer seldom seen except in HIV+ people.

Steroids have many bad side effects, but brain cancer is not among them.


Indeed. And Alzado's homosexuality was well known among many people (google is your friend), from those who hung around the WEST HOLLYWOOD restaurant he OWNED, to those who knew him in the gym, to his beards, er, wives.

Anonymous said...

One interesting aspect is about his attitude towards his former employer - essentially that it was the Jazz's fault that they gave him a contract when they should've known better.

This is similar to the rationales offered by Nigerian e-mail scammers (e.g., "I've $20 million waiting on me in a Swiss bank, but I need your credit card number to get it"). I've read somewhere that this is a function not just of relative Nigerian poverty, but of their attaching less social opprobrium to running cons. As they see it, it's the mark's fault for getting taken.

This guy isn't even paying the standard lip service to the work ethic expected of athletes.

The willingness to con others certainly isn't unique to Nigerians, but their openness about it is. Maybe, in this respect, long-lost Dad exerted more influence than we suspect.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't make too much out of that; he's just doing what lots of other people do. Any animal (not even human) avoids unnecessary effort. Look at all the white workers who slack off when they join unions. Just because the media ignores race doesn't make it responsible for everything.

Anonymous said...

OK jody, you make a good case.

You guys with the Alzado was gay routine are in dream land. There is no evidence that Alzado was gay and if he was there would have been no way to keep it secret.

This is just another example of the White homosexual obsession with trying to prove that handsome actors are all secret gays, or that traditional macho figures had a secret gay life.

It reminds me of the utra liberal fantasy film that Steve has written about, "Far From Heaven". In it the White husband turns out to be gay and leaves his wife who then falls in love with her dark black gardener.

Perfect. The masculine Dennis Quaid is the gay guy and the dark black guy is the "real man" for the White woman.

Anonymous said...


Again, my point (observation, really) wasn't that Nigerians, or Africans, for that matter, are somehow uniquely predisposed to conning people. It's just that, based on the comments of people engaged in it, it doesn't seem to get you ostracized as quickly in Nigeria as it would in other countries.

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia (not that it can always be trusted; it certainly can't) claims that Lyle Alzado's doctors denied that Alzado's brain cancer was caused by steroids, but makes no mention of AIDS or any other alternative explanation. Maybe it was just a coincidence?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that we side-tracked into a discussion of white women with black,uhmm,males. Like Bareback Obama's mom,the women are ususally beaten and dumped. I know an E. European girl who is divorced from a negro(does this perverted union EVER work??)and has been flirting with me. She may have been pretty once,but she looks haggard and worn out now,like 5 miles of bad road(sorry-she is still a nice lady.Nothing's gonna happen!I digress...and I really DO hate b/w mixing! Yech!

Anonymous said...

Dear god, this is one of the most ignorant blog posts I have ever read... Not to mention the ignorant comments. Wow. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Anon (above) you really dont get out much do you?

Or perhaps you do and the quality of blogs you read are sooo superior to this one, so come on, do tell us which ones.


Anonymous said...

"Dear god, this is one of the most ignorant blog posts I have ever read... Not to mention the ignorant comments. Wow. Just sayin'."

I have found that when someone responds to a point of view by calling it "ignorant" it's usually just a White girl's way of saying - 'That truth is too threatening for me and you should not be ignorant of my feelings and make comments like that because I care more about my feelings than whether or not the statement corresponds to reality. And so should you.'

As in - "Like, oh my god that's like incredibly ignorant and stuff and junk...dddddddduuhhhhhhhhhh!!!"

Anonymous said...

Calling Barack Obama "Bareback Obama" is about the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

Unity said...

Please tell me all of this racism and bigotry is a JOKE. It is right? There can't be that many offensive people still around.

Anonymous said...

Unity - "Please tell me all of this racism and bigotry is a JOKE. It is right? There can't be that many offensive people still around."

Sorry girl, the horror is all too real, all too genuine.

I know that although I'm aging horribly, I'm still around.

Anonymous said...

This guy is British/English which to many White Americans equals gay.


Anonymous said...


Where does Steve deny the existence of gay athletes? He doesn't. He merely says they are quite rare.

Anonymous said...

He's now pursuing a Ph.D. in child psychology and has donated lots of money and time to child charities.

Uhh, doesn't "gay" and "displaying an unusual interest in young children" raise some pretty serious warning flags?


O'Reilly: Former Virginia ACLU President busted by I.C.E. for possession of violent child porn


Anonymous said...

Someone say something intelligent in this post. It's the god damn 21st century. Most of you people have so many sweeping generalizations it's disgusting, which is no better than being a racist or a nativist.