I was watching the coverage of the first round of the NFL draft which began with an interview between ESPN’s Chris Berman and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
At one point during the interview the talk turned to Alan Gendreau – the openly gay kicker from Middle Tennessee State who is hoping to catch on with an NFL team. I would say “be drafted” but as we all know it’s rare for a kicker to get drafted at all and most sign as free agents with teams after the draft, however, I can all but guarantee Mr. Gendreau will not be drafted because of his sexual orientation.
When the subject came up the question was about as hard hitting as a cotton ball thrown into a stiff breeze with Berman protecting the Commissioner and easing him into a space where the answer should have been obvious and easy to come up with. The commissioner said that the league supports all players including those who choose different lifestyles…*record scratch*…whoa, hold on there Commish, what did you say?
“Choose different lifestyles”?
First of all, from everything I know, have heard and been told by gay friends of mine it’s not a “choice”, the usual refrain I hear is: “Do you HONESTLY think I would CHOOSE to be ostracized by society? By family and friends? Would I CHOOSE to be discriminated against and it be legal? To not have the ability to marry whom I love or at the very least have that commitment I’ve made to my partner be recognized?”
So no, Mr. Commissioner it’s not a choice and if it were I would say very few except the truly courageous would make it!
The next thing is the phrase “lifestyle”, Gay people live just like you and I do except that they happen to be attracted to people of the same gender. They go to work, cook dinner, sleep, drive; they do everything we do so there is no “lifestyle” choice that’s different. Now swinging, THAT is a “lifestyle” because the vast majority of people in the country don’t participate in it and the people who do openly call what they do a “lifestyle”. YOU, Mr. Commish, of all people should know this since your brother Michael is gay and has been with his partner for quite a long time. Ask him if he “chose” to be gay.
I mean, I know you’re a Republican, your dad was a Republican Senator from NY – though a VERY liberal Republican much like his colleague Jacob Javits and both would be considered Democrats these days. I know you’re married to Jane Skinner – ex of Fox News – another Republican whose father – Sam Skinner was a longtime Republican and was the Secretary of transportation and the White House Chief of staff under Poppy Bush. Not to mention that though you do donate a token amount to Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer, the lion’s share of your political donations goes to Republican candidates. But come on Commissioner Goodell, you MUST know better than that! “Lifestyle choice” is such an unfortunate choice of words and from a media savvy person too, maybe it’s the Fox news coming out of you, I don’t know.
This brings me to this bogus “investigation” about prospective players being asked by NFL teams about their sexuality during interviews. Like Nick Kasa – The Tight End from Colorado – no jokes about his position name! He was asked by more than one team about his sexuality and I’m sure there were MANY others who were also asked about theirs including Manti Te’o especially after the girlfriend hoax spectacle / “cat fishing”.
Whether a team thinks a player is gay or not, it’s not their business, can you do the job on Sundays is all that you should be worried about. As for players like the 49ers Chris Culliver who have made disparaging comments about gay players on a team being “divisive” or “selfish” if they come out, how about you boys come out of your bubble, join the rest of society and work with gay men just like the rest of us do with no issue!
We all also work out at the gym with gay men, shower next to them when we’re done and don’t even give it a second though that anyone may be gay or “checking us out” because it’s foolish and a waste of time! How about you guys be mature adults and not be so preoccupied and full of yourselves that you think because a guy is attracted to men that he’s automatically attracted to YOU! – Just get over yourself already!
I’m a HUGE sports fan, always have been. I’m also a HUGE NFL draft fan so much so that I break out poster board, chart the rounds and even come up with special symbols to put next to picks that were traded so I can foot note them. Why do I do that? Because I’m a sports geek, that’s why, and yes I will be watching the rest of the rounds like I always do but what I won’t be wondering which players are gay because I don’t care and neither should anyone else because at the end of the day that doesn’t determine whether my team wins or loses. What players do on the field does and THAT is what I concern myself with.