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Former Piston Mateen Cleaves would have ‘no problem’ with gay teammate

Former Michigan State (and Flint Northern) standout, former Pistons first round pick and current Pistons analyst for Fox Sports Detroit Mateen Cleaves was recently a guest on Fox Sports Radio, and among other things, he discussed homosexuality and sports — namely whether an openly gay athlete would be accepted in a locker room. Here was his response, via Cyd Zeigler of Out Sports/SB Nation:

I’m still trying to dig up audio of the appearance, but have been unsuccessful so far. If anyone happened to hear it and wants to pass along a link in the comments, feel free.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander expressed similar receptive comments to CNN today.


  • Mar 5, 20135:55 pm
    by RussellC


    I would have more of a problem with sharing the locker room with a scrub like Cleaves tuned out to be

    • Mar 6, 20139:05 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      He’s one of the greatest high school players this state has produced, he’s an all-time great college player and, although he didn’t have a NBA career reflective of that college success, he had a long, good professional career. On top of that, he seems to have managed his money from that brief NBA career well, he moved back to his hometown and he’s a fixture at community events, Boys and Girls Club, etc. in Michigan. So yeah, total scrub.

  • Mar 6, 20133:24 am
    by Mrshourite


    Ok……..this is news?

  • Mar 6, 201311:34 am
    by Merwin


    Patrick, it’s not your fault that some of your readers are completely lame.  Don’t take it personally, just keep up the good work.  Great post.  Thank you.

  • Mar 6, 201311:51 am
    by Big Rick


    I’m well aware who Mateen Cleaves is. I don’t think he’s a scrub although he’s had a somewhat forgetful NBA career much like you said said did not adequately reflect his college or high school career. My question was more aimed at why is it relevant if he doesn’t mind gays in the locker room. Personally I think it’s weird for him to make such a statement. Just don’t see the relevance on this site. But being he is a former Piston with strong Michigan ties, so I guess that makes it newsworthy. But my point being who cares if he’s comfortable being around homosexuals? So what, lol. To each his own though. 

    • Mar 6, 201312:01 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      I seriously have to explain this to people, why this is newsworthy? Christ. OK, here goes:

      Mateen Cleaves is a former Pistons player and current Pistons broadcaster. So he’s a prominent athlete and media personality who spoke on what is currently a very talked about issue in sports and society. Therefore, because he chose to speak on it, and do so in a way that not many straight athletes or former athletes do, it is newsworthy. You don’t have to care, but it’s still newsworthy.

      I hope this helps helps everyone out who was struggling with this. 

      • Mar 6, 201310:06 pm
        by Anthony


        I found this to be quite interesting actually so its news to me lol

  • Mar 6, 201312:29 pm
    by Kobina


    Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried was adopted and raised by 2 women, he has also taken a stance against homophobia in sports.  Anything that moves us towards more inclusiveness and respect for our fellow humans, is a net plus to me.

  • Mar 6, 20133:51 pm
    by Big Rick


    @ Patrick. I wasn’t trying to sound ignorant but I may have came across that way. Was just trying to say that it’s not a big deal, that’s all. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which everything that is said by a person of above average profile or stature is scritinized. Some people may perceive that as a character flaw depending on which side they stand on as far as homosexuality is concerned. With that being said, he deserves props for speaking out because that was pretty brave. Thanks for clarifying your stance. 

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