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Friday, January 7, 2011

Boston hails gay sports scribe

By Jessica Heslam -

Herald columnist Steve Buckley came out
to readers in yesterday’s paper.
Veteran Herald sports scribe Steve Buckley’s courageous coming out was hailed by prominent Hub sports figures yesterday even as he faces warnings that he could have trouble in the locker room.
Buckley said it’s no big deal. “I’m not going to guess other people’s emotions,” he said. “I’m just going to show up and do my job.”
Buckley’s revelation — in a moving column in yesterday’s Herald — dominated all four hours of Glenn Ordway’s “Big Show” on WEEI-AM (850).
Afterward, Ordway told the Herald he didn’t think Buckley’s announcement would affect his show, during which guests and listeners often trade anti-gay jabs. Ordway described himself as “an equal-opportunity basher.”
“I don’t think it changes it at all,” Ordway said last night. “We were still busting his chops during the course of his show. Big deal — he’s gay.”
But the “Big Show” host said the locker room could be a different story.
“My gut feeling is, you’re probably going to get some immature, young player somewhere down the line who’s going to get (angry) because Buck criticizes him,” Ordway said. “And he’s going to reach for the easiest way that he can get back at Buckley and call him a name or something like that.”
During the show, Ordway asked Buckley — a longtime WEEI regular — whether he’d ever felt uncomfortable on his program. Buckley paused and said, “Yeah — a few times.”
Buckley told the Herald last night that he wants sports talk radio to continue to be fun and edgy, but if he finds something offensive he’ll speak up and talk to Ordway.
“I’ll take Glenn aside after the show and I’ll say that’s something we might work on right there,” Buckley said.
Buckley said it’s going to take him a month to respond to the hundreds of supportive e-mails he’s received from around the country. “The reaction has been overwhelming positive,” said Buckley, calling it “one of the greatest days of my life.”
A legion of local sports celebrities — from Patriots [team stats] owner Robert Kraft to Red Sox [team stats] honchos Terry Francona and Theo Epstein — reached out to Buckley.
The veteran Herald columnist said he’s always looked on the bright side, and if the likes of Kevin Youkilis [stats] and Dustin Pedroia [stats] are taking the time to text him their support, that “certainly points me in the direction of optimism.”

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