Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott on Tuesday became the first official in a major U.S. sport to announce he's gay. The umpire, who has overseen nearly 30 years of MLB games, publicly came out in the October issue of Referee Magazine. The magazine asked Scott for a picture of him not in uniform, and he submitted a photo with his husband, Michael Rausch. The story blew up on the Internet Tuesday when Scott did an interview with Outsports.

"Obviously, when I sent that picture to Jeff [Stern, editor of Referee], I knew exactly what it meant," Scott told Outsports. "In a small way, this was opening that door in a publication that wasn't going to be circulated nationwide. It could be picked up, but it's not Time magazine. I made that decision to go ahead and do it because I felt it was the right thing to do."


Several athletes have revealed their sexuality over the past few years, including basketball's Jason Collins, football's Michael Sam and soccer's Abby Wambach. But there hasn't been an openly gay official until now, Yahoo Sports reported.

"I realized that it could open a Pandora's box, but this is not a surprise to Major League Baseball, the people I work for," Scott said. "Until Mike and I got married last November, he was my same-sex domestic partner and had his own MLB ID and was on my insurance policy."

Scott said the MLB supports him, referencing his assignments: three World Series, three All-Star Games, playoff games. There was only one year Scott worked as an umpire that he wasn't with Rausch.

"People scream at me because I'm an umpire," he said. "The last thing I want is people screaming at me because I'm gay. I'm an umpire who happens to be gay. I'm not trying to be some gay person who happens to be an umpire."

Read the Referee Magazine feature here and the full Outsports interview here.