The Value of Tolerance

In February, John Amaechi spoke about his homosexuality on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program. He also released a book, Man in the Middle, published by ESPN Books, which discusses his career and life as a closeted professional athlete. Amaechi is the first NBA player to speak publicly about being gay.
Now, according to The New York Times, he has an endorsement deal as a result.

The journeyman center for such teams as the Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz “is the perfect storm,” said Todd Greene, chief executive at the HeadBlade Company in Culver City, Calif., which specializes in products for bald men, because “he’s African-American, a basketball player and gay, and those are all huge demographics for us.”
“And he uses the product,” Mr. Greene said, adding that he learned Mr. Amaechi was a “HeadBlader,” as Mr. Greene calls his customers, while deciding whether Mr. Amaechi would make an effective spokesman.

Conversely, Tim Hardaway, who said he “hates gay people” after learning of Amaechi’s sexual orientation, lost his endoresement deal with Bald Guyz.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.