Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Danton's alleged target was his agent
The Mike Danton story begins to break open. This would be the same agent who so worried family members and friends.

To review then:
We have quite possibly the first, still-active, known-to-be gay athlete in the history of North American pro sports, driven to kill the lover who would out him to the world because, in the homophobic sportsworld, such a thing would ruin his career. Oh, and that man - the agent who has guided his career since he was a teenager. Not to mention that said relationship may have caused Danton to become a troubled, depressed alcoholic, estranged from his family (to the extent that he would change his name). Remember Graham James and Sheldon Kennedy? Think bigger than that.

Or, well, maybe. Then again, maybe not.

So much remains pure speculation at this point. And, as noted above, those claiming to tell the truth are now being identified as the intended victim.

Even the "g" word issue is still up for debate (when it's at least used - most publications have so far been hesitant to even openly acknowledge the possibility).

From the Toronto Star story noted above:
"One thing Frost and Jefferson agree on is that Danton isn't gay. Both say that speculation the intended target was a gay lover was based on a misinterpretation of court documents."

Frost repeated that denial to the New York Daily News:
"This has nothing to do with a gay lover or his relationship with any female. We're going to get him some help, some treatment. He's had some issues from his younger years that he needs to deal with."

But, as you might expect, some are already running with the issue.

From the International Gay and Lesbian Ice Hockey Association (seriously. previous to this, what exactly did these guys do?):
"The International Gay and Lesbian Ice Hockey Association (IGLIHA), in collaboration with GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, expressed dismay today in response to the homophobia-related murder plot involving St. Louis Blues professional hockey player Mike Danton on April 16th. IGLIHA and GLSEN both call upon the National Hockey League (NHL) to take immediate action in response to the arrest and nature of the allegations against Danton."

Outsports.com speculates:
"Was Danton trying to have his live-in gay lover killed? All the evidence screams “closet case” to me, despite statements claiming there was no sexual relationship. Few people would contemplate murder if their platonic roommate was threatening to move out. On the contrary, many would do cartwheels and offer to rent a U-Haul."

And Salon's King Kaufman uses the opportunity to herald the impending arrival of the Gay Jackie Robinson:
"Of course, it's easy to imagine a player believing that being outed would ruin his career, but another of the good things coming out of this story is an indication that maybe it wouldn't."
(On a side note, I find Kaufman's argument flimsy at best.)

More background to consider while we await a clearer picture (and remember here, that most of the Canadian papers already have their best people tied up in the Stanley Cup playoffs - how would you like to be the sports editor trying to decide where your best talent should be sent at this point?)

Agent may have been target (Post-Dispatch scoop)
Views on agent: Mentor or monster
Team Sentiment is Beyond Shock
Agent: Danton 'scared'
Woman gets bail
From playoffs to courthouse
Troubled past catches up to him

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