Kudos to WESA 90.5 FM and Essential Pittsburgh for so quickly offsetting their previous coverage of Jason Collins’ coming out by highlighting an essay from sportscolumnists Tony Jovenitti. Jovenittis has Pgh ties and was an intern with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jovenetti’s first-person essay was published by OUTsports on April 30. Full text here.
Guggenheim interviewed Jovenitti in more detail via a radio interview and asked some good questions, really exploring how Collins’ coming out impacted him as a closeted gay man. I think that can’t be underemphasized – coming out sends a message of inspiration that ripples. Guggenheim also goes on to explore what Jovenitti has faced – how does coming out impact an average guy involved in the sports world.
What struck me is how much the NFL’s “You Can Play” project resonates with Tony – The Penguins’ Brooks Orpik contributed a video – and clearly it is working.
This piece was nicely done. Tony Jovenitti is a great guest – he’s gay, tied to the sports world, well-verses in the larger issues and has a solid Pittsburgh connection. Tony is a good guest – you can hear the true remorse in his voice as he recounts the lies and deceptions he relied upon to survive.
Congratulations, Tony. And congrats to WESA and Essential Pittsburgh for highlighting a very unique angle to this important story.
And in honor of Tony, here’s Brooks Orpik’s You Can Play Video
Tony seems pretty wise for his years and brings both a younger sensibility to the coming out process as well as solid understanding of sports culture. We need more folks like him at the LGBTQ tables.