One of the biggest stories in boxing last week was former Puerto Rican Olympian and current #4 WBO ranked featherweight Orlando Cruz coming out as a gay man. In a sport driven as much by "machismo" as boxing, there was some concern by how the news would be met by both the Puerto Rican community and boxing as a whole.
Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rico's biggest current boxing superstar and former Olympic teammate of Cruz, was recently on the radio in PR and had the following to say (transcription via BoxingScene):
"For many years Orlandito and I spent time together on the national team of Puerto Rico. We went to the Central [games], Pan American [games], World Championships, Olympics ... I have a great appreciation for Orlandito. I congratulate him...Orlandito is my friend. I'm sure it wasn't easy for him [to make that announcement], but I congratulate him. From this point forward he will see that his life will change a lot and things will be much better for him."
Cotto was the victim of some of the macho expectations of the sport when the HBO 24/7 series for his bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. showed him sleeping in the same bed as best friend Bryan Perez.
Mayweather was shown, along with 50 Cent, on the next episode of 24/7 making fun of Cotto for the "sleeping arrangements" and then calling him "buttman." While 50 was later in the gym while Mayweather worked the heavy bag, announcing that they would have to call the fight a "hate crime" after again busting on Cotto and Perez sleeping in the same bed.
Of course, the rights of homosexuality turned into a political football in the never-ending stupidity between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao as, after Pacquiao came out against gay marriage (which was later twisted into Manny having said to put gays to death), Mayweather came out in support of gay marriage. His "people should live their life the way they want" tweet at least called homosexuals "people" as opposed to "buttmen."
I guess what I'm getting at is that boxing is a silly sport filled with ignorant attitudes, especially on perceived ideas of masculinity. So it's nice that the first meaningful public statement on Cruz's coming out was from a superstar fellow Puerto Rican who was happy to see Cruz making a tough decision that could improve his life and the lives of many others.