It’s apparently time for sports fans to rejoice – because we’re about to get openly gay athletes in the NBA and the NFL. According to media accounts, it’s what all of America has been waiting for and we’ve finally gotten our wish.
Yes, progress is just around the corner, and our cultural elites are ready to give themselves a pat on the back for all their hard work. The sports world, a very masculine and fairly conservative place, is now welcoming gay athletes into its midst.
Now ain’t that some progress?
Or is it really another opportunity for our cultural elites to shove their ideology down the throat of Middle America?
I may have played with gay athletes in the minor leagues of baseball or even in the major leagues, for that matter, but it was never an issue and was never brought up.
In a team sport, you are more interested in meshing the various personalities that will interact for the duration of an entire season: The last thing you want is too much media attention on one individual disrupting the all-important chemistry required to win a pennant and position your team for a playoff/World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.
I’m not too concerned about the gay-marriage issue nor homosexuals in sports and would prefer if our country and most notably the national media focused on topics of a more all encompassing nature, such as our looming socialized health-care disaster, our national debt and its potentially catastrophic effects, along with the threat of possible amnesty to millions of future welfare recipients.
Individuals are who they are, and it is a shame that some in certain situations have to hide behind a cloak of secrecy, but at the end of the day it’s perhaps a bigger shame to have one’s sports entertainment turn into an opportunity for liberal media to exploit an individual’s lifestyle to promote the left-wing agenda.
Take Jason Collins, the NBA journeyman who announced he was gay last year to universal acclaim. Courageous? When Sports Illustrated puts you on the cover of its magazines and praises you for the courage to come out, you should immediately understand that we live in a tolerant climate.
Collins just signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, making him the first NBA player under contract who is also “out” as a homosexual. A 10-day contract in the NBA puts the liability directly on the athlete, with the franchise capable of quickly determining if a longer contract is necessary or if the investment can be allowed to lapse.
The Nets will ride a wave of positive publicity from this signing, but what happens if Collins doesn’t get resigned in 10 days? Will he claim “discrimination” as the cause for his contract not being renewed? Will media create and then jump on the band wagon to help Collins validate such a possible claim?
The University of Missouri’s Michael Sam is undeniably a great player and deserves his shot in the NFL – but why should his entry into the league be exploited for political/social gain?
His coming out as a homosexual athlete has turned the NFL Combine into an excuse to congratulate his courage and speculate as to how he’ll be welcomed into the league by whichever team drafts him. It’s also a further opportunity for media to create a soap box to stand atop and proclaim how refined and tolerant they are while projecting a Neanderthal-like mentality on those who happen to view the situation differently. As I’ve said many times in other columns, the left’s level of “tolerance,” of which they claim to be the creators, begins and ends with viewpoints that are exactly like theirs.
Here’s a simple tip: If Sam performs well on the field, he’ll be accepted with open arms. If he doesn’t, well, the acronym “NFL” also stands for Not For Long …
The left understands a key fact the right seems to have no grasp of – that politics flows from culture.
When the right complains about the culture war, they fail to realize that they’ve already lost. The left dominates all avenues of culture and relentlessly uses the media to push their agenda.
And sports are in no way immune to that strategy.
Take ESPN’s “30 for 30” film series. Sports have an incredible amount of great stories to tell, and “30 for 30” has certainly covered a fair share of them. But it has focused an obvious amount of its attention on issues and stories that contain a progressive edge.
Look at the Allen Iverson documentary. Iverson, back when he was a high school basketball prodigy, was involved in a vicious brawl in a bowling alley that had a strong racial element to it. Outnumbered whites were beaten by a large black mob over perceived racial insults, and Iverson managed to hit a white woman over the head with a chair.
Iverson and three friends were charged for their involvement in the brawl, and the district attorney was keen on prosecuting Iverson to the fullest extent of the law.
To ESPN, this was an injustice, and Iverson was a poor unfortunate victim in the case.
Because naturally, when I think of victims, I immediately think of athletic prodigies who beat up women with metal chairs.
But since the real victims were white and the attackers were black, it’s OK in the media’s eyes to portray the victims as the real villains and the attackers as misunderstood victims of racism.
Another documentary containing this all too familiar biased perspective was the account of L.A.’s gangster rap scene relationship with the (at the time) Los Angeles Raiders. It presented the Raiders’ adoption of thug culture as a sign of progress and the L.A. riots as fully justified and a rational reaction to the perceived racism of the LAPD.
The ESPN series has also celebrated the adoption of thug culture by other major sports teams in their documentaries about the University of Miami Football team and the infamous “Fab Five” of Michigan’s basketball team.
These are just some of the values the sports world wants its fans to not only accept, but to embrace as “progress.” With two, high-profile gay athletes coming into play, a new value is ready to be manipulated into the heads of sports fans everywhere.
Progress in sports should be about winning more games than you did the year before, not earning yourself a text message from Michelle Obama (as Michael Sam did) to congratulate you on “coming out.”
Media wishing to interview John Rocker, please contact [email protected].