Straight sportswriters agree: What’s the big deal about gay athletes coming out?

February 8, 2007 by  

If you’ve been a sportswriter long enough, you start seeing things repeat themselves. This occurred to me while reading a column by LZ Granderson about former NBA player John Amaechi who has come out as a homosexual. Granderson, a straight black man, was unimpressed at Amaechi’s decision to go public.

“I am friends with gay, former pro athletes and look forward to reading Amaechi’s book (to be published by ESPN Books). But I can’t help but wonder: When will somebody simply man up? That is, come out while he is still playing and finally demystify this whole gay athlete thing once and for all,” wrote Granderson.

Granderson’s opinions made me look back through my files, where I stumbled across a story I did on Jackie Robinson back in the 1940s. Here’s a snippet.

I am so over black people. Seriously, I’m tired of hearing about Jackie Robinson’s blackness. I mean, I, a white sportswriter, don’t mind that Robinson is black, and don’t see what the big deal is. Dude was born like that, after all. He’s had a lifetime of being black. So, seriously, who cares.

I mean, we all hear of lynchings, even today. But this is baseball we’re talking about. Robinson is playing a spot surrounded by a bunch of open-minded who would go to the wall to protect him. At least that’s what I think.

Jackie Robinson a hero for breaking baseball’s color barrier? Please. Let him have the courage to go sit down in a nice restaurant in Mobile, Alabama. That would be real courage. That would impress me.

When I read Granderson or David Steele from the Baltimore Sun and see them calling for homosexual athletes to come out while still playing, it makes me realize that the time has long passed for gay men to come out, regardless of consequences.

Because seriously, what’s the big deal? It’s not like people get murdered for being homosexual, or anything. Hell, do they even lose endorsement deals?

So, if there’s a homosexual athlete out there right now, show some balls. Come out of the closet. The locker rooms of professional sports are by far the most open place for a gay man to come out. Stop acting like it’s such a chore.

Suck it up guys. Impress these sportswriters. If you’re a gay athlete, be bold and come out. Just because your life will be at risk and you’ll have to endure a lifetime of being called a “faggot” and worse while you play your sport should be no big deal. Sure, I’m a straight white guy, but I’m pretty much sure I could handle it. I think. So why can’t they?

It’s time for a homosexual athlete to put it all on the line. Because while like Granderson and Steele, I’m not homosexual and really have no idea of the persecution that homosexuals endure, but I’m open-minded, so obviously everyone in the nation is. Right? And really, show me a less homophobic place than a locker room full of 25-year-old straight athletes.

So, gay athletes, come out. Impress me. However, as the amazingly and sincerely well-educated non-homophobe Tracy McGrady tells Granderson “just don’t try anything on me.”



4 Responses to “Straight sportswriters agree: What’s the big deal about gay athletes coming out?”

  1. Man in the Middle on February 8th, 2007 2:16 pm

    You can check out the John Amaechi “Man in the Middle” book at Amazon here:

    P.S. The book is coming out February 20th so it’s available for preorder.

  2. William K. Wolfrum » Blog Archive » The Swiftboating of Jesus H. Christ: A look back on February 13th, 2007 5:04 am

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  3. Ryan on February 14th, 2007 9:44 am

    Hilarious! Good job.

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