During the bottom of the fifth inning of Monday’s Mets-Marlins game, the broadcast crew discussed NBA center Jason Collins’s decision to come out as gay. Gary Cohen and Kevin Burkhardt did almost all of the talking; Keith Hernandez did almost none, which I found quite curious.
Burkhardt brought up the subject during one of his reports, saying he spoke with three Mets players who were all supportive, pointing out that Robert Carson and Ike Davis have gay relatives. Cohen talked about how the changing culture could make it easier to come out.
Keith Hernandez, however, made just one cursory comment, and that was all. The main question about gay athletes coming out is how they would be treated in the clubhouse, and Hernandez was really the only one who could have offered insight into that (Ron Darling was off tonight). However, Hernandez chose to remain noticeably mum.
It’s likely that Keith Hernandez had a gay teammate somewhere along the line; it certainly was not his place to out him, but he could have given a statement about how that teammate was treated, and how things might be different today. If Hernandez didn’t feel comfortable talking about his own experiences, he could have discussed the general clubhouse culture.
Who knows what Hernandez was thinking — perhaps he has a differing opinion. If that’s the case, he was probably smart to keep his mouth shut. Hernandez often talks without thinking and gets himself in trouble; this is not a topic where he wants to get himself in the middle of a controversy.
The silence of Keith Hernandez said something. We’re just not sure what it said.