Over the last few months, a number of homophobic incidents, followed by management and player's positive actions, surrounding the National Basketball Association (NBA) have given professional men's sports and several of its star players an opportunity to support equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. And after each one, I couldn't help but think about a night in 1958 Charleston, WV.
In 1958, the Minneapolis Lakers, who wouldn't move to Los Angeles for another two years, had three black players -- Boo Ellis, Ed Fleming, and Elgin Baylor. Baylor is in the Hall of Fame. His jersey hangs in the Staples Center. He is inarguably one of the all-time greatest players in the NBA. He was also the first black player to ever boycott a game.
The Lakers had been scheduled to play an exhibition game in Charleston, which was the hometown of Lakers' Hot Rod Hundley. When the team arrived in the city and attempted to check into the team's hotel, they were informed that the black players could not stay at that hotel. Baylor argued with the clerk, but the clerk ignored him. Hundley interceded and pointed out that Baylor was their star player, but the clerk refused to budge. Hundley made two other calls to hotels, but he was told they had the same policy. Ultimately, the team had to stay in a run-down hotel that was reserved for black people. When Baylor left the hotel to eat, he found that no restaurants in the town would serve him, and he and the other two black players were forced to eat at the concession stand at the Greyhound bus station.
Complete article at Huffington Post : http://huff.to/lGKShV