Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott is the first active male official to come out as gay in the four major professional American sports leagues.
Scott discussed his sexuality in an interview with OutSports published Tuesday. He previously came out in the October issue of Referee magazine, in which the umpire was profiled. Referee, which is subscription-only, has a circulation of roughly 45,000.
A photograph showed Scott with his husband and had the following caption:
Scott has been an MLB umpire for 29 years. Major League Baseball officials and other league umpires were already aware of Scott’s sexuality even before theReferee magazine story was published, according to OutSports. Scott told OutSports that when the piece ran in the magazine, nobody even mentioned the photo to him.
Scott also said that while he would have been “horrified” if a story came out that he was gay early in his career, individuals around the league have personally given him their support throughout his career, making the decision to go public easier.
“I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else and that’s the way it should be,” Scott told OutSports.
Violet Palmer, the first female referee in the NBA, announced in July that she is gay.
No active Major League Baseball player has publicly announced he is gay.