What is the big deal?

Filed in National, Sports by on February 10, 2014

For my generation (Gen X), and the generations younger than mine, this whole gay thing is the largest shrug of the shoulder you will ever see. The vast majority of us do not care if someone is gay. Further, the vast majority of us do not possess the stereotypes of ‘what being gay means.’ By and large, we do care if someone is discriminating against another on the basis of being gay, which is why I still have hope for the future once our younger generations take power and the older bigoted generations die.

However, listening to both Angelo Cataldi and some of his older callers on 94WIP’s Morning Show this morning was a wake up call for me and perhaps other of the younger generations, because the stereotypes are still there, and the bigotry is still there. In case you haven’t heard by now, Missouri football star Micheal Sam announced yesterday that he was gay. He did so because eventually it was going to come out, since he will be in the NFL Draft coming up in April, and everyone of his teammates knew, everyone on campus at the University of Missouri knew, and the Kansas City Star newspaper knew. It was an open secret, but it was going to be a public secret, so Sam decided to announce it on his own terms. Now, let that sink in for a second. The Missouri football team all knew Sam was gay all season long. And the Missouri football team went on to have one of its most successful seasons ever.

Whatever locker room disruption there was by having a gay teammate was minimal and was overcome, and did not prevent the team from having success. And yet there were the bigots on the radio this morning, talking about how it would disrupt the lockerroom, because they all shower together and the gay one would looking with lust at his teammates, echoing Jonathan Vilma. I always laugh at that. If a gay teammate looks at your naked body, so that fuck what? What harm is being done to you? Are you so insecure in your manhood that you don’t want any one looking? (Indeed, wouldn’t you be more worried if the gay teammate was not looking? But I digress).

I guess it is a big deal because it is the first, but this time next year I bet there will be several openly gay players in the NFL and no one is going to think it is a big deal. So long as the gay football player hits as hard, tackles as good, and runs the ball as good as his straight teammates, people then will think nothing of it.

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  1. puck says:

    “However, listening to both Angelo Cataldi and some of his older callers on 94WIP’s Morning Show…”

    AM talk radio as it exists today is a backwater, intended to inflame not illuminate. You can always find the most retrograde elements there. Why bother?

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    Well, first it is FM Radio. Second, its is sports talk radio. But yes, you are right, the intent is to start controversy so people call in and talk.

  3. puck says:

    Oh yeah, guess FM is no longer immune. You can tell I don’t tune in often.

  4. Jason330 says:

    Men who have lived unexamined lives may be living with some secret dread of being gay. Or, they may be gay and their conscious mind is at a constant state of war with their subconscious mind. Both of those are issues related to internalized cultural norms, so while the change of attitude toward homosexuality has been mostly generational – there will be some younger hold outs.

  5. pandora says:

    They always trot out the shower argument. To me, it sounds like the only thing holding them back from gay sex is being near gay people, sorta like… “We can’t have a gay man showering with straight men because…” What? Gay sex will break out all over the locker room? It’s just like how they claim their marriage is threatened by gay marriage; like the only thing keeping them with their wives is the fact that gay marriage isn’t legal – and once it becomes legal they’ll marry a man?

  6. Brock Landers says:

    Truly straight men couldn’t care less about sharing a professional athletic locker room with gay men. Only the confused find themselves struggling to come to terms with this.

  7. Dorian Gray says:

    Do they think they haven’t been in the showers with gay guys already? Remember we’re dealing with people who take severe blows to the head and neck on a regular basis. They aren’t going to be designing the next generation of NASA rocket or performing delicate surgery anytime soon. In other 15 years they’ll be drooling on themselves and won’t remember a thing about it anyhow…

    This will force bigots to come out as bigots… so that’ll be interesting. I’ve still yet to even figure out the argument. So what is it about a gay man they makes them less tough? Does being turned on by vagina rather than dick make one faster or better able to play a cover two? It doesn’t even make any sense…

  8. AGovernor says:

    Ho hum. This is news, why? Now how about something important?

    Who will win American Idol? Who will run for office in 2016? What country wins the most gold in Sochi?

  9. bamboozer says:

    Dead issue for all but the nearly dead themselves as social conservatives extend their unbroken record of defeat yet again. And again.

  10. Mitch Crane says:

    Guess we have to worry about gay men showering with supposedly non-gay men ( as if they haven’t been doing that forever). I knew this would be the slippery….s(l)oap. After all, didn’t they warn us that if transgendered individuals were allowed to use the bathroom of the gender they identified as, we would have molestation of little girls in bathrooms? That bill was signed into law nearly 8 months ago and look how many problems arose from that. Oh–none-sorry about that.

  11. AGovernor says:

    @Mitch Crane, I worked at an institution where 2 men transitioned to women and though no one was worried about little girls being molested to some of the more modest female employees the bathroom issue was real.

    They had known the individual for years as a man, they were from cultures that had clearly defined lines for interactions between men and women. The bathroom issue is not a joke and the feelings of all, the individual transitioning as well as their co-workers needs to be considered.

    Even with that being said, I don’t see an issue with the locker room, as many have said you have been showering with guys for years, somewhere along the line one or more of them was gay.

  12. Dorian Gray says:

    @AGov Culture is no excuse. Culture needs to advance as well. When I was a younger liberal I was a cultural relativist too. If that’s how so-and-so live who am I to said anything about it. Well I’ve broken myself of that bad habit. Fact is that transgender people are people. If one truly identifies as say female, but people knew her as male then we need to change how we think. That’s it.

    Perhaps that’s very hard. But the ease or difficulty is irrelevant. No transgendered person would put themselves through a “switch” (for lack of the right word) to look at other people in the toilet. We project this idea onto people and it just isn’t true.

    So people are going to have to get with the progress of human beings or live with their discomfort.