For the first time, a major media outlet has addressed rumors about Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto possibly being gay. The gay website Outsports.com featured an article by Jim Buzinski entitled, “Player Stressed, So Fans Conclude He Must Be Gay.”
Buzinski’s article tracks down a number of Internet references which allude to Votto’s alleged sexual orientation. Buzinski sorts through the Internet garbage to detail some of the more wacky theories concerning Votto’s abscence from the Reds lineup. Since the real reason for Votto’s extended stay on the disabled list was coincidentally revealed later on the same day, there’s no reason to go into some of the insane postulates.
Votto spoke to the media Tuesday and revealed for the first time that he is suffering from depression, anxiety and grief caused mainly by his father’s death which occured last August.
Obviously, rumors spread like wildfire in the Internet age. Nobody in a chatroom or posting comments on a story appears to care whether there are any facts to support those rumors or if they’re even true. Take the whole Joey-Votto-is-gay topic. A couple of weeks ago there was a rumor about a “young” baseball player coming out of the closet and publicly admitting that he is gay. The Internet was filled with references to that player being Votto, the Cincinnati Reds first baseman via chatrooms, message boards and the “comments” section on blogs.
The rumors followed a Jeff Pearlman freelance piece about how a gay baseball player publicly coming out could be viewed as the next Jackie Robinson.