When Capital University junior wide receiver Wyatt Pertuset hauled in a touchdown pass in a game played Sept. 1, the scoreboard operator added six points to his team's point total. To ESPN's Bob Ley, this "blessing" from God could just as well have been worth 50 points. Pertuset had become the first openly gay college football player to score a touchdown. SBNation's Outsports blog might have scored it even higher.
During Friday's broadcast of ESPN's Outside the Lines documentary program, Ley made Pertuset the subject of the program's "Underreported News" segment, remarking:
"A young man by the name of Wyatt Pertuset, from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, by the tally of Outsports is one of only seven openly gay college football players. This is earlier this month ... the first touchdown scored by an openly gay college football player in any division. He's been out since the second year of high school. Look, God bless this kid. He's setting an outstanding example, but also part of it, not ... it took a couple of days for this to percolate because, maybe, all right, we've acknowledged it's not such a big deal, we've moved beyond this and there's progress in that regard. So we salute him and say we have perspective."
Ley has been on board with the LGBT agenda for a long time. In a December 1998 broadcast of Outside the Lines, he called the late NFL football star Reggie White a "homophobe" for saying it was wrong for gays to compare their agenda with the black civil rights movement. Ley responded to White, saying then:
"This wasn't just a fundamentalist minister. To the gay community, this was a major sporting figure putting a popular face, an athletic face, on homophobia, the fear or hatred of homosexuals. Whether or not that was true, this much is - in the ever so much of sporting world, merely raising the topic of gays. How prevalent are they? Can they function openly? That brings discomfort and, more often than not, silence. Is the America outside of sports comfortable with homosexuals? Just a few months ago, Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, allegedly because he was gay. When the tabloids said Tom Cruise is gay, he sued."
Outsports is the gay-themed extension of the liberally biased SBNation blog. Writer Jim Buzinksi gave Ley a shout-out for his remarks on the Capital University football player and praised Pertuset.
“It was a really cool sight to see,” Pertuset told Outsports. “It’s nice when you get noticed for doing something that you’ve worked so hard to do.” Buzinski wrote that he scored his touchdown during Labor Day weekend and that Capital is not a "major program. Had a gay player for Ohio State or Alabama done the same, for example, it would not have gone unnoticed by the mainstream media. Regardless, the recognition for Pertuset is well-deserved, especially since he has embraced being an LGBT advocate in sports by dint of being an out player in college football."
Outsports complains that there are only seven openly gay college football players in the U.S.