I'm ba'ack! Hope you all didn't miss me too much. But I've been on hiatus.
The last 2 weeks has provided several free agent signings & trades that I didn't have a chance to write about. So rather than expressing my feelings in regard to that, I'd much rather start off my return with a very interesting topic that I read on somebody else's blog.
I came across "Alex's Sports Blog" a few months ago when I heard an interview with him on Sports Bloggers Live (SBL) and was so impressed with him & his knowledge, I check in from time to time, to read what he's got to say (write).
What makes Alex so interesting is not that his favorite team is the Boston Red Sox (mine too) but he's in Jr. High School, and if you didn't already know that, you'd never know.
I'd like to share one of his recent blog entry's with you. Then I'd like to share my response to him because he brought up a fascinating topic that doesn't seem to be discussed much.
-as taken from Alex's Sports Blog:
While the NBA season officially started yesterday, a WNBA player came out earlier this week claiming she was a lesbian. The player's name was Sheryl Swoops, and she was an excellent player. Sheryl Swoops recently said that it will be a long time until a professional male athletes comes out to be homosexual.
First of all, let's say that your favorite athlete came out gay. One of my favorite athletes is David Ortiz. What if Ortiz came out gay, would I react differently to him? Probably not, but I would feel kind of awkward. I don't know why, but I just would feel awkward. I believe in gay rights, and I think that homosexuals are no different then straight people, but I would just feel a little funny. Let me ask you a question, if your favorite athlete came out gay, how would you react to them? Would you feel a little awkward? Don't just answer that questions, think about and think what you would feel. I guarantee that even though most of us believe in gay rights and everything, that we would feel a bit awkward, or we would feel funny.
A couple of years ago, there were rumors that Mike Piazza was gay. Those rumors are obviously false, but that leads me to another question for you. Which sport do you think it would be the hardest to be a gay athlete? I kind of stole this question from Jamie Mottram, but I just want to find out what my readers think. I think that all sports in our society would be a challenge for a gay athlete to play in, but I think baseball would be the hardest. In football, if you hit hard and appear as a tough guy, you could slip by the fans. In basketball, trash talk is a big part of the game, but if you race up the court and dunk on people then the fans at least will cheer and think about your actions on the court, instead of your actions off the court. I believe that baseball would be the hardest sport for a player to come out of the closet. First, most baseball players are from foreign lands, where maybe homosexuals aren't accepted like they are in America. Also, it's the longest season in professional sports with a 162 game season. Unlike football and basketball, it's not a fast paced, run and gun type of game. The fans have a big impact on you, and if you feel down on yourself, then a slump might occur. We all know that slumps in general do not make fans very pleased. So, take my opinion on this issue for what it is. I hope I didn't offend anybody with this article, I just expressed my feelings and I hope you express your feelings as well by leaving a comment."
-my comment to Alex as posted on his website blog:
"Being a 100% heterosexual male, I wouldn't feel "funny" or "awkward" if one of my favorite baseball players came out of the closet & admitted to being gay because I'm comfortable about my sexuality.
At first when I read your blog, I thought to myself, maybe Alex feels this way due to his age? Perhaps he's not comfortable with his own sexuality yet? If I were younger than I am now, would I feel the same way as Alex?
Then I started thinking about when I was in the 7th grade, and was a big fan of the musical group 'Queen' and how much I loved the song "Another One Bites The Dust." When I first found out Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer of the band was gay, I couldn't care less that he was a gay man because I respected him & his music period.
Without 'Freddie Mercury & Queen' we'd never have two of the biggest sports anthems of all-time -- "We Will Rock You" & "We Are The Champions."
Do you really think that when people are at sporting events, and they play those two songs, they feel "awkward" because they're singing a song & cheering along for their favorite teams with a song written by a gay man? I think not.
And what about when they play the song "Rocket Man" from 'Elton John' on Roger Clemens' behalf -- do you think people feel "awkward" listening to another song that's sung by a gay man? (Bernie Taupin, whose not gay actually wrote the lyrics to that song - John wrote the music).
I can totally relate & understand how you must feel, Alex, because we live in a very unique society these days that accepts musicans/artists/actors & female athletes who are gay, more then they would a male professional athlete. But no matter what, we'll always live in a homophobic world that feels threatened by homosexuals at some point or another.
If you haven't seen the movie "Philadelphia" yet, with Tom Hanks & Danzel Washington, I suggest you check it out.
I'll leave you with this -- when I was younger, there was a baseball player by the name of Glenn Burke who admitted to being gay. When I found out, I didn't feel "awkward" when I remembered how I rooted for him when he was a Los Angeles Dodger. I actually felt bad for him for how the media & baseball fans treated him with verbal abuse because he didn't deserve it."
And the worst part about it is, when people think & talk about Glenn Burke, the first thing that comes to mind is he was baseballs first gay man (actually the first who had the courage to admit it) and what they don't remember is the fact that Glenn Burke created the "HIGH FIVE" in 1977 which is not only one of the biggest celebratory gestures in professional sports today, but in everyday life.
Please feel free to leave a comment of your own.