Israeli sports world rocked as pro basketball player comes out of closet

By JTA
May 13, 2016 18:04
1 minute read.

 
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A well-known professional basketball player from Israel said he is bisexual in a Facebook post that he dedicated to the State of Israel on Independence Day — a rare move in Israel sports.

Gili Mosinzon, the 37-year-old small forward of Maccabi Bat Yam, published the post on Thursday, Israel’s 68th birthday. The text by Mosinzon, who is one of Israel’s best and most experienced pro ballers, triggered a buzz in Israeli media and on gossip sites, where he has appeared frequently with female partners.

“I’ll start with this special and lovely morning, when the country’s celebration of independence synchronized wonderfully with my own sense of independence, of freedom,” wrote Mosinzon, whose late father, Yigal Mosinzon, was a celebrated author and playwright and laureate of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Authors, among other honors.

“Having woken up straight into the independence celebrations of my beloved country, it seemed to me to make perfect sense to post a proud, revealing picture of my face on Atraf - a gay website,” Mosinzon wrote. “The site isn’t new to me. It’s only new to you.”

In his 2,000-word coming out post, Mosinzon dished out scathing criticism of sports coaches who use homophobic language and managers and bosses whom he said do nothing to promote tolerance of gays in Israeli sports.

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