Lamar student athletes open up about playing with gay teammates

Sophomores Kimberly Albeno, Ale Amador and Bailey Fontenot of the Lamar University women's soccer team are no strangers to playing with gay athletes.

"I have (had gay teammates) and I never really had a problem with them," Albeno told 12News Wednesday afternoon.

So when NBA center Jason Collins became the first openly gay athlete currently playing in a major sport, Albeno was reminded of how important it is to keep an open mind.
"I don't even think it should be an issue, it's just something that people are," she said. "It shouldn't affect how they play or how they're treated."

Orlando Cervantes, head coach of Lamar women's soccer, couldn't agree more.

"None of that stuff matters... race, religion, sexual orientation... we're here to help you as an athlete," Cervantes said.

Cervantes says he has personally coached 30 to 40 openly gay athletes over the course of his career.

"I've never seen an issue with it, ever. Not at all, actually."

On Lamar's campus, students were eager to share their opinions.

"There's nothing shameful about it, but at the same time it does take a lot of attention away from the team as a whole," said Mason Clement.
But Albeno, Amador and Fontenot aren't worried about getting all the attention.

"We're all a family, we accept anyone," said Amador. "Whoever you are, whoever you like, where you come from... It doesn't matter."



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