As an avid supporter of same sex marriage, it is a breath of fresh air to see a well known athlete from the past come forth and express his support in the equal rights of homosexuals as well. Michael Irving appeared on the cover of a gay men’s magazine, OUT, to discuss his own personal struggles with dealing with his late brother’s sexual preference.
He says that he found out his brother was gay sometime in the 1970s when he found him wearing women's clothing. He was rattled by the experience and has since figured out that it contributed to his own womanizing behavior.
In the article, he goes on to talk about how he tackled with the idea that maybe his brother’s sexuality was genetic and that he used women as show ponies to prove that he would not be walking down the same path. Irvin’s revelation is as influential as if Irvin himself were coming out.
With fans struggling with the idea of the homosexual superstar athlete, there has been a lot of debate flying around about whether or not men in these respected leagues would allow and respect a gay player.
Some have given their support of the idea. Charles Barkley, when interviewed on SiriusXM radio, said that players would be judged by how well they could play. Not by whom they choose to date afterwards.
If somebody is gay, that's their own business. But it bothers me how people try to say that jocks are not going to like a gay. ... I think gay people should be allowed to get married and God bless them, that's their own business. Listen, if a guy can't play that's the only time we don't want to play with him. We don't care about all that extracurricular stuff."
Others have insulted players while rejecting the idea. During an interview with Hardcore Sports Radio in 2009, Brendan Haywood commented on a video feed Stephon Marbury put together the previous summer.
He’s dancing to a song called ‘Barbie Doll,’ doing like stripper moves. I have no idea what’s going on with the guy, it’s almost like he’s trying to end his own career. There’s not a GM out there that would touch Marbury right now… Have you seen the ‘Barbie Doll’ clip? Click on YouTube and go to Barbie Doll. There’s no way any other professional athletes would wanna get dressed around this guy, because you gotta think something is a little, he’s swinging from both sides of the fence.”
Not only were his comments disrespectful, they also contained a deep disdain for playing beside a gay athlete. However, athletes may want to support or negate the entrance of a gay athlete into mainstream, we all must deal with it. More and more professionals are coming to the forefront and are tired of living in the shadows of a less–than-happy life.
Which side do you support?
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