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NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman Believes 10-20% of Pro Athletes Are Gay and More Should Come Out

Claudine Varela
Sep 14, 2019
09:20 A.M.
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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman who famously dresses in drag predicts a good number of athletes are gay, most of whom are bisexual. "I wish all of them would come out," he encourages.


Dennis Rodman thinks pro athletes shouldn’t be ashamed to come out as gay. He also believes there are 10-20% out there who may be closeted.


Rodman opened up to Business Insider about his affinity with the LGBTQ community and why he thinks athletes who are gay should come out. According to the NBA Hall of Famer, there are a lot of them out there.

Rodman is currently doing the rounds promoting his ESPN documentary, “Rodman: For Better or Worse” which, among other things, delves into his relationship with the LGBTQ community.

“I wouldn't be surprised, literally, I've said it all along, if 10% or 20% of people in the NBA, or any sports, [are] gay."



Though he doesn’t identify himself as gay, the former NBA star is known to walk the gay path by dressing in drag, hanging out in gay bars, and even posing in lingerie for the most successful Sports Illustrated cover to date. Rodman claims that cover paved the way for the third sex to be identified in the sports community.

“The gay community started to reach out to me and said, 'Wow, we never knew that our community can be represented like that in sports.' And people didn't know at the time that I was doing that… people in the gay community started embracing me…If you're gay, I didn't give a damn."


“I’m sorry guys, to expose everybody. I wish all of them would come out. It’s acceptable today. Just come out, man.



At the time, Rodman was hoping gay athletes would finally find the courage to come out having opened the doors for them. But that wasn’t the case.

In fact, only one player in the history of the four major American sports has confessed to being gay – Jason Collins. Not even after Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive back in 1991.

Regardless, Rodman is more than certain there are many gay athletes out there, even pegging a percentage who remain closeted.

“I wouldn't be surprised, literally, I've said it all along, if 10% or 20% of people in the NBA, or any sports, [are] gay,” he said. “I wouldn't be surprised. It wouldn't shock me at all. I think today, it wouldn't shock anyone. I think that'd be more acceptable now than anything."



Speaking to the Associated Press in a separate interview, Rodman suggests that there are “more bisexual than gay in sports.” He also described how men behave in the locker rooms whether gay or straight.

"I don’t know any man on this planet — any man on this planet — that don’t go in the shower and look at another man. I don’t know any man that don’t do that. Gay or not gay, I don’t care who you are — a man is going to look at another man. I don’t give a damn how you look at it. He’s not gay, though, but you got that pride and that image."

At the end of the day, all Rodman really hopes for is for people to be happy in their own skin.


“I’m sorry guys, to expose everybody. I wish all of them would come out. It’s acceptable today. Just come out, man. Have a good time. Enjoy yourself.”



Rodman won two championships with the Detroit Pistons and three with the Chicago Bulls before bowing out of the NBA in 2000. He has since been making noise through his notoriety and even found his way to be on the good side of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

More recently, the 58-year-old made headlines when he was accused of being an accomplice in a bizarre theft in a yoga studio. The former basketball star was caught on camera making a scene in order to distract the studio’s employees from hhis three companions who were robbing the place.

Rodman has been battling with his sobriety for quite some time. He entered rehab shortly after he was arrested for a drunk driving incident in January 2018. He’s on a three-year-probation and has been in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous. He confessed to TMZ that it may “take time” for him to sober up.

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