Friday, May 3, 2013

Living your life isn't flaunting it...

Since NBA player Jason Collins announced he is gay earlier this week, response within and outside the world of sports has been largely positive and affirming, with the NBA, the Washington Wizards (the last team Collins played for), and numerous athletes expressing their support for Collins, as well encouraging tweets and phone calls from the President and First Lady, and many celebrities.

As expected, however, there have been those less than enthused or impressed by Collins' announcement as well. Sure, there have been the typical "God hates fags" comments, plus the Westboro Baptist Church has done its usual saber-rattling. Collins received some death threats via Twitter, and a few sportscasters, including ESPN's Chris Broussard (who leaned on the Bible and said Collins was living "in open rebellion to God") and CBS announcer Tim Brando first called Collins' sexuality a lifestyle choice and then said Collins shouldn't be called a hero despite being the first athlete in a major sport to publicly announce his homosexuality. (He tried to couch this by saying heroes were people like first responders, but previous Tweets have shown Brando has referred to Hootie and the Blowfish and golfer David Toms as heroes, just for doing good or playing well.)

Obviously, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But ignorance is no excuse for prejudice, as is the case with Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel.

Samuel told FOX Sports Radio that he doesn't understand why gays have to flaunt their sexuality when asked about NBA center Jason Collins. He said, "Straight people are not announcing they're straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever? You know, what they prefer...So that's just how I see it. That's my opinion on things. All respect you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don't have to show it and flaunt it like that. You know what I'm saying, we have kids out here, too."

Really? Straight people don't flaunt the fact that they're straight, but finally taking the chance to be a role model and live your life openly is flaunting it, because Asante Samuel doesn't agree?

Has Samuel ever been to a shopping mall, theme park, airport, sporting event, or any public place and seen a straight couple kiss and hug? As long as the public displays of affection don't get out of hand, no one seems to care—in fact, people even smile. But what some people don't realize is that gay couples have been asked to leave malls, theme parks, restaurants, and other places, simply for hugging or kissing their companion, because these are apparently "family establishments" where it's perfectly fine for a straight couple to do the same thing. Gay couples have even been cautioned on airplanes because people complain.

Samuel tried to explain his feelings on ESPN.

Whenever I see things like this I am reminded of a line from Wicked: "Some people are so empty-headed they'd believe anything." Yep, sounds about right.

No comments:

Post a Comment