Longtime Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott says he's gay

Tue Dec 2, 2014 4:16pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott has revealed that he is gay, becoming the first openly gay referee in major U.S. professional sports.

In an interview published on Tuesday on the website Outsports.com, the 29-year MLB veteran umpire said he had been "out" in the workplace since the late 1990s and that his sexual orientation has never been an issue with Major League Baseball.

"You work with an organization for a long time and people figure it out," said Scott, who has worked the World Series three times, the most coveted assignment for an umpire.

"I've never had any pushback from other umpires. If anything else, it's been the opposite," he added.

Scott, 55, first opened up on his personal life in an article for the October issue of small-circulation Referee magazine by submitting a picture of himself with his husband to accompany a feature, Outsports.com said.

The Outsports.com interview is the first time Scott, who married last year, spoke publicly about being gay, a topic long unaddressed in the sports world until now-retired NBA player Jason Collins came out last year and Michael Sam became the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft this year.

Scott said he did not want to publicize his coming out and would not have done it publicly if it would have shocked people in Major League Baseball.

"I'm an umpire who happens to be gay," he said. "I'm not trying to be some gay person who happens to be an umpire."

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Richard Chang)