Warriors’ Welts, first openly gay sports exec, applauds Cook

A Warriors executive who took the same trailblazing path as Apple CEO Tim Cook looks forward to the day when a gay executive “is no story at all.”

In a statement to this newspaper, Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts applauded Cook for declaring in an essay published yesterday that he is “proud to be gay,” becoming by far the most prominent leader in corporate America to come out.

“I’m extremely proud of Tim and, in general, where our society has come and the progress we’ve made in regards to social acceptance and equal rights, especially in major corporations and among leadership positions,” said Welts, who is also chief of operations for the Warriors.

Cementing his place as the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Cook has done in the world of business what Welts did in the world of professional sports. Three years ago, Welts, then president and chief executive of the Phoenix Suns, became the first openly gay sports executive. His move may have touched off a period of greater openness in professional sports: Two years later, NBA player Jason Collins came out as the first openly gay  male athlete playing in major U.S. sports. In May, the NFL drafted its first openly gay player, Michael Sam.

Now, Cook’s move will propel progress in the boardroom, Welts said.

“We are slowly but surely inching closer to the point where we need to be and courageous steps like the one Tim made will certainly help accelerate this process across the board in the workplace,” he said.

Yet Welts suggested that he wished the the moves he and Cook have made weren’t still so groundbreaking.

“I look forward to a time when this is no story at all,” Welts said.

Above: Rick Welts, the first openly gay sports executive, applauded Apple CEO Tim Cook’s decision to come out (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty).


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    Nobody cares about your sexuality folks! Why are we even giving people the time of day on this issue? Its certainly NOT newsworthy in any way!