Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: Gay Athletes in Pro Sports 2014
Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” is the theme for this post. See the video on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm660vIn8Tg
Waking up to the news of Mizzou football player Michael Sam’s coming out this morning was a surreal trip in which we found ourselves asking the question much like in the Matrix, whether we were dreaming or not. Nope we’re not dreaming.
A proud Afro-American man (Michael Sam) stood up today and stole the thunder many would use against him in the media, or boardrooms, and various other “closets” and let everyone look, listen, and understand who he is.
Ultimately, Sam’s statement means that all of us not just in sports, or media but in everyday life to face the controversial if not taboo subject of sexual orientation, bullying, discrimination, and equal employment opportunities that would be denied to many people based on criteria that isn’t supposed to be part of the hiring process, but in reality plays a role in whether one finds employment in a certain industries or not.
Pro Football much like most male dominant sports and the military proves a formidable platform to take on the spectacle of gay athletes and whether openly gay athletes can coexist in the heterosexual male testosterone based concept of masculinity in team sports and the Locker Room in particular. Team unity/cohesion are often mentioned as issues as to whether an openly gay athlete can succeed at the pro level.
To that I think that if people didn’t know an athlete’s orientation before it was disclosed and rather focused on the skills and talents and work ethic of the athlete, letting the person’s performance speak rather than their prejudices or stereotypes this would be a non issue.
Much has been said of Vladimir Putin’s remarks in Russia yet the Winter Olympics still go on. Gay athletes have competed and won Gold medals already so what are we really talking about today? In the end I think personal projections of personal insecurity cause people to judge others based on their sexual orientation.
What does a man or woman have to fear from another man or woman if they are secure in their own sexuality? Performance in the work place is really all that should be discussed at this point. Is the potential employee capable of performing the job they are applying for?
If the answer is yes, there’s nothing left to say other than you’re hired. Michael Sam’s ethnicity is also worth mention in this subject because often in the black community it’s viewed as the lowest of the low for a black man to be gay let alone open about it. What’s the first insult one hears whether in jest or a rap lyric as one of the most disrespectful ways to address another male? Call him a faggot, punk bitch, or bitch N@(**@.
One things for sure the stereotype of gay athletes being mostly effeminate, weak, figure skaters, or queens is starkly if not immediately dispelled when looking at Michael Sam. Kudos to Mr. Sam and this monumental moment in history during Black History Month 2014.