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Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 10/3/12

Boxer Orlando Cruz publicly revealed on Wednesday that he is gay, making him one of the first athletes to come out while playing professional sports. He is believed to be the first openly gay boxer in the sport’s history.

Cruz made his announcement through a press release distributed late Wednesday.

“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant career, I want to be true to myself,” said Cruz. “I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career. I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican. I have always been and always will be a proud gay man.”

Cruz is 18-2-1 with nine career knockouts. He is a former Olympian who competed for Puerto Rico at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, and currently ranked as the WBO’s No. 4 featherweight.

Cruz has been fighting professionally since December 2000. He started his career 16-0-1 and did not lose until 2009 when he lost to Cornelius Lock by TKO. Cruz also lost to Daniel Ponce De Leon in his next fight, but he won his two fights since then.

Cruz is scheduled to face Jorge Pazos on Oct. 18 in Kissimmee, Florida, for the WBO Latino featherweight title.

You can go here to everything related to gays in sports that we have covered.

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Comments 1-100 (of 191):
  • They keep saying no pro athlete came out as gay. What about Dennis Rodman? He was always dressed in drag! This website and the Huffington post don't know what they are talking about. They try and present gays more oppressed than what they really are.
  • Rodman isn't gay. He's a total head case and dressed in drag because he thrived on attention, whether positive or negative. But he isn't gay, just F'd up.
  • Rodman may or may not of tried that ... but he is just a head case ... for rodman you need to invent a whole new catagory of person.
  • You seem to be confused Bobusmc. When someone of one sex dresses up as the opposite sex they are referred to as transvestite. It's usually if they do in routinely. See the definition here at dictionary.com


    Dressing up as the opposite gender doesn't mean you are gay. Having a sexual orientation to the same sex is what defines if you are considered gay.
  • Sorry Backlash, but the definition of being homosexual is the romantic and affectional attraction to the same sex. One of the biggest untruths of homosexuality is that it is strictly sexual in nature. It is not as heterosexuality is not. I have no idea of nor interest in your orientation, but if you think that a couple can stay together for 35 years as several gay couples I know have done solely for the sex, you are quite wrong.
  • Yea he's an alien didn't you watch MIB
  • No wonder he wanted to grab and hold all the time.
  • I am gonna call Bi on that one.
    Anyhow...nice to have Cruz on my team.
  • he dressed in drag! that does not make him gay!
  • He better know how to fight now
  • LOL, you are right about that!
  • Don't forget Emile Griffin was gay and anyone who knows boxing knows Emile was no joke in the ring, don't know what he was like outside the ring but he actually killed a really tough guy with his own hands in the ring, so watch what cha say he could be standin behind you in line somewhere and than we'll see how tough you are. ha ha ha ha......ha ha ha ha ha. Peace.
  • Emile Griffith did kill Benny "Kid" Paret in their 1962 MSG bout for the World Welterweight Championship. It was the 3rd match between the two.

    Paret had made several pre-fight comments (in Spanish) implying that Griffith was homosexual. Griffith, normally a sweet-natured gentleman, was seething.

    Griffith was knocked down during the fight but came back strong and in the 12th round, got Paret cornered and forced him over the middle turnbuckle (NY rings required only 3 ropes at that time). He got Paret helpless and then Paret's head banged off the ring post a couple of times before referee Ruby Goldstein (considered the finest referee in the country at that time) could pull Griffith off of him. Paret died a few days later without regaining consciousness.

    From that day forward, Griffith very seldom (if ever) showed "killer instinct" in the ring. He'd ease up on an opponent as long as he was in control of him. He scored only 11 KOs (mostly TKOs on cuts, etc) in his last 79 fights.

    Griffith may have had the most incredible physique of any fighter in history. He had a 27" waist and shoulders like a light-heavyweight. He was always in faultless condition and probably fought more rounds in his career than any champion of the last 50 years.
  • Wait awhile and he'll be on Dancing with the Stars soon enough.
  • Maybe even a cameo on Glee.
  • Wow... that's probably one of the stupidest comments I've ever read. He isn't gay just because he "came out". He was gay all along and has now opened up about it. So, I would say a 9 year streak of no losses with a current winning record would most definitely prove that he knows how to fight... idiot -.-
  • 18-2-1 This dude will have no problem.
  • Takes a lot of balls.
  • I bet he does.
  • If this guy ever says "I get pumped before a fight" or something of the nature. I am going to lose it! LMAO.
  • That's a good thing.
  • Who cares?
  • agreed
  • Are we suppose to believe that Mr. Cruz actually said "as I continue my ascendant career" along with the other statements in the press release? PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!
  • LOL. I thought the same thing.

    Truth be told. Someone threatened to reveal his secret but before they could he, and his handlers, beat them to the punch. (Pun totally intended).
  • Yeah because he's threatened by all you bitches. Bahahahaha!! Wake Up Dumbass we're everywhere and not going away. Sorry your so insecure in your sexuality.
  • Why is it when someone does not approve of or accept a gay person they suddenly become insecure in their own sexuality?
  • cuz its wrong duuuuuuuuuu
  • not that but sick!!
  • Yep...bigotry is sick.
  • I do not care who is gay or who is not...but how can you be gay and your user name be GodBlessU? I am confused.
  • The Truth isn't sick. Love the guy hate the sin. Abomination, yes. It doesn't matter if you believe it or not or have something snide to say...it all comes back full circle. Not judging... just pity.
  • But, you get a hard on when two women go at it. Idiot.
  • Indeed...bigotry is wrong.
  • Good question. If you don't mind, please do explain to us at what point insecurity set in, Mr10man. Thanks!
  • Point taken. Perhaps these people are not insecure in their sexuality. They're simply bigots.
  • This is true, just because I don't believe being gay is okay, doesn't make me insecure about my own sexualtity. I am 100% straight never thought about men like that, never will, but that doesn't mean I hate gay people I just don't believe being gay is right.
  • The guy is one of the best at what he does people need to give hime credit and move on.
  • 2 losses in 12 years, I think he knows how.
  • I hope that Orlado's courage inspires others to be out and proud.
  • I DON'T.
    My HOPE is that people will accept people for who they are and not be concerned whether a person is gay or not. It is sad that people must be compelled to hide their sexual orientation for fear of ridicule or worse.
    When I meet someone for the first time the first thing in my mind isn't the question of are they gay or not. It truly does not matter. It shouldn't matter. For now bkguns, I also hope it inspires more to come out, but in the future I hope that coming out is a term never used because people will be accepting of everyone and it won't matter. Lofty hopes I know.
  • Me, too, bkguns. He inspired me this morning.
  • Looks like a Pud-knocker
  • I am sure he will catch a lot of flack from the sports world critics about HIV and not safe to fight now. stereotyping gays and HIV. I think the real problem will be with egos and haveing to say a GAY stomped your manly assss!!! TEAM CRUZ!!!
  • Purely out of ignorance some will choose to NOT fight him for fear of HIV,or AIDS because blood is always present in a match.
    Even though he is not HIV positive or may never will be. Fear may have an impact on his career.
  • You are so right even though the fighters are always required to take blood tests and ASKED if they have AIDS and ASKED if they have practiced risky sexual behaviors. If the blood test comes up positive or yes is checked for either question, they won't fight. Many fighters have their opponents cherry-picked for them anyway however, there a probably some good opponents for Cruz that will refuse to fight him.
  • In that case, no one should be a Cage Fighter. Many gays there. (Not out) You people don't have a clue. LOL
  • Ignorance is bliss...blood contact like that very difficult to transmitt get educated...
  • If anyone remembers Mike Tyson's fighting career then you will notice that every time Tyson started his fight he would kiss his trainer on the lips. I would say to myself "WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT".
  • That was Jay Bright, he's gay and so was Tyson's running buddy back in the day, Rory. Do think Tyson will ever come out?

  • Don't think so better as Robin maybe their fighting was for something else.
  • “I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career."

    What does your sexual preference have to do with you being a role model in boxing?
  • Exactly
  • What he is saying being a role model is to show that being gay doesn't mean you can't be tough. We are not just hair dressers, floral designers, dancers or anything else that is, what you breeders, consider a gay stereotype.
  • Exactly, doesitmatter. Anyone who grew up playing sports knows that homophobic slurs are rampant in locker rooms, baseball diamonds and football fields. This kind of speech goes a long way in combatting that tradition of bigotry. Thanks Mr. Cruz.
  • Thats jealous talk. Didn't you come from a pair of breeders? That part of your comment is no different than those you may despise.
  • hahaha a role model cuz he is gay come on man!!!
  • Yes. And if you didn't grow up as a gay kid, you might not have any idea how tough it is to hear anti-gay bigotry as unquestioned, socially-acceptable speech. Gay youths commit suicide 4 times the national average of adolescent suicides. So yes, Mr. Cruz is a role model. Gays CAN kick ass.
  • YES!! a role model showing it is ok to be yourself and to love and embrace who and what you are. Haven't you heard about teenage drug abusse and suicide becasue of having to hide who and what you are because it is not accepted by society.... COME ON MAN!!!!
  • He is making the money and up in the world...while the critics here...what have they accomplished??? does it matter if he is gay...
    Ohhh maybe you have your own deep questions and don't know how to address those?
    Takes balls man...he grew up a pair
  • Rodman slept with madonna.after that,who cares what he is.Cruz probably came out of the closet before someone opened the door on him.
  • arent all Puerto Ricans gay...at least they look that way
  • your so racist, who cares if he is or not, don't start talking about anothers race now!
  • Figures you must be a republican...
  • Lighten up people, it's a joke. Or maybe you liberals have forgotten how the libeal entertainment industry feasted on Ricky Martin gay jokes when he came out??
  • Lighten up, it's a joke. Or have you liberals forgotten how the liberal entertainment industry feasted on ricky martin gay jokes when he came out??
  • a joke.... are you laughin ?
  • From your mouth to God's ears!!! If they aren't, they should be!!! Yum!
  • I read just long enough because i knew (you) were out there some where just waiting to call the race card and when i say you butthole. you people never cease to amaze me. I HATE RACISM. Go away and leave decent people alone and out of your marginal thinking and conversation bye B H.
  • next time you say that, may God grant me that I be standing behind you or somewhere within arms reach !!
  • Now that's funny.... I am laughin
  • Now that's funny.... I am laughin
  • no we"re not, ask yor mother!
  • Come to the neighborhood and ask that question again
  • who cares.... why do gays think they need to tell everyone. who cares. keep your mouth shut... no one cares...
    i don't go around saying I am not gay or I am straight.
    how nuts are these people.
    just live your life and people will know.
  • Here's the flaw in your logic. When straight couples hold hands or kiss in public, it's considered "sweet." When gays do it, they get accused of shoving their sexual orientation down society's throat. When a straight person places her framed wedding picture on her desk, her colleagues find it endearing. When a gay person does this, however, it causes an inter-office uproar. Gays have always been told to "keep their mouths shut." And that kind of treatment is inhumane. We need people like Mr. Cruz to get the word out there that gays exist--even in the world of professional sports.
  • There is a flaw and it's with what you said, i am so very glad i raised my kids with self respect, people choose to be gay, they are not born that way no matter what you say.
  • u should NEVER had reproduced!
  • Yes and judge, and ridicule, and criticize you for not coming forth and saying andything about who and what you r. It's double standards
  • ur nuts rjsmith!
  • Why is this news? Just box and be great at it.
  • It's news because an enormous number of people think gays do not succeed in sports--only in beauty shops. Until people stop assuming masculine professions do not attract gay men, this will be news. So get used to it. Gays were forced in the closet for most of human history; there will be a big swing in the other direction until societal homophobia and heterosexism are silenced.
  • By your reasoning, if I prefer the color red and wear red, I am shoving it down your throat. I'm not asking you to wear red or celebrate the fact that I like red. I am simply defending my right to wear red without being spit on, called names,beat up or in any other way being persecuted.
  • I agree with you but it's possible that he might have needed to say it before someone else beat him to the punch in a much more negative way.
  • Some of these comments posted are crazy. And still some have the audacity to question this man's courage in coming out. I applaud Mr. Cruz, and he undoubtedly has more heart and courage than most of you combined.
  • Just how obvious is the timing. Started his career for 9 yrs undefeated, nothing said. Then he loses two and now he comes out. Straight or gay isn't the issue, the timing says this was done for publicity to help elevate him back to the "elite" status.
  • Think about what you say before you hit the submit button... 9 yrs undefeated. He will always have ELITE!! status
  • He is ranked fourth?? If he is life time ELITE, then what do you call the three ranked ahead of him??
  • You sound like you have an S/M nightmare coming into fantasy...hmmm careful!
  • He will bend over forward to be a good role model
  • How can a boxer be gay? My wife has been saying, and I agree with her, that it has become trendy to be gay, so more and more people are saying they are gay so they will be seen as "with it" and "fashionable".
  • You sir are a idiot. Oh yea your wife is 2
  • There are a lot of big athletes such as football players and wrestlers who are gay. Sexual preference is in the person not in the occupation that they choose. Dumbazz
  • Maybe 'cause they are honest and tired of hiding in the closet?
    That to me just goes to show it takes balls to do so...
  • Exactly We dont care anymore..Im Straight but you dont see the news reporting that.... Get over it media..
  • Your harsh and bitter words r for such a weak cause...I find that bitter homophobic people such as yourself usually have a litte SUGAR IN THERE TANK as well. Just saying!!!
  • I respect you as a boxer and as a dedicated person, but to say you are....and I quote!!“I want to try to be the best role model I can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career". That is something that can't be respected.
    I am a proud Pto Rican and believe that a man should represent proudly as a man and a woman as a woman, but to stand proudly as a gay person in a sports such as boxing, sorry, that is way beyond our Heritage. I will respect you to whom you want to be but I can't respect the fact of who you want to be proud of you. In other words you are a disgrace to the sports of boxing.
  • Do you really think that way Chavier? I think you may have just made a few Puerto Rican men ashamed of you sir. Is it also part of your heritage to pick on those weaker than yourself? I find your statement more troubling than the others by the far right because as a minority you should never take a stand against the minority simply because they are the minority.
  • Do you really think that way Chavier? I think you may have just made a few Puerto Rican men ashamed of you sir. Is it also part of your heritage to pick on those weaker than yourself? I find your statement more troubling than the others by the far right because as a minority you should never take a stand against the minority simply because they are the minority.
  • See more comments >>

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