Report: Suns exec tell newspaper that he's gay

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Phoenix Suns president and CEO Rick Welts has revealed to the public that he is gay in a story posted on The New York Times' website.

Welts said in the story Sunday that he wants to break down one of the last significant social barriers in sports, one that has made headlines recently after Kobe Bryant's use of a gay slur on the basketball court and hockey player Sean Avery's support of same-sex marriage.

Welts began his 40-year NBA career as a ball boy for the Seattle SuperSonics. He later joined the league office and was the architect of the All-Star Weekend before joining the Suns.

He called sports "one of the last industries where the subject is off limits" and hopes to mentor other gay people who seek to pursue a career in sports.

The Suns did not offer a statement when contacted by The Associated Press.