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MLB umpire Dale Scott says he's gay

Dale Scott has been an umpire for some big games in his 29 years in Major League Baseball, including three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games.

So for him to choose to quietly come out as the first gay male referee in any major American sports league might not come as a big surprise.

"This is not going to be some huge flashing news to Park Avenue [MLB headquarters], but I also didn't want to be making some coming out story, some banner headline, because that's not how I operate," Scott told in a lengthy interview. "It's not a shock to MLB management because they're well aware of my situation and it's not a shock to the umpire staff. If it would have been, I don't think I would have done it."

Scott's announcement was subtle: he sent Referee magazine (paywall) a photo of his now-husband Michael Rausch to be included in an extended interview about his illustrious career.

Scott told Outsports he was very pleased with the way MLB has treated him.

"Obviously, if they had an issue with my life, it would be shown in my career with lack of assignments," Scott said. "I am extremely grateful that Major League Baseball has always judged me on my work and nothing else and that's the way it should be."

Scott may be the first male referee to publicly come out in major pro sports, but according to ESPN, NBA referee Violet Palmer announced she was gay in 2007 and said she was marrying her longtime partner in August.