MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Orlando Cruz (R) of Puerto Rico during his NABO Featherweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In Hollywood it has become relatively common for stars to reveal their homosexuality, but this is not the case in the world of professional boxing.
In fact, there has never been a pro boxer to come out of the closet while still active in the sport. That changed Wednesday when Orlando Cruz, a 31-year-old featherweight, released a statement that said, “I have always been and will always be a proud gay man.” Cruz, who was a member of the Puerto Rican Olympic boxing team in 2000, also said being closeted was a major “distraction,” but that he has received “unconditional, 100% support” from colleagues, celebrities, and fans after coming out.
How big of a milestone is it for LGBT community to have an active professional male boxer reveal that he is gay? Might Cruz’s revelation be a watershed moment that encourages other prominent men and women to be open about their homosexuality?
Lance Pugmire, sports reporter, Los Angeles Times