I think it’s wrong to generalize. It’s not right to lump an entire group into some monolith just because a few of them fall in line with some stereotypical view you hold.
With that being said, a lot of NBA players are fucking idiots.
Since it’s been revealed that former NBC center John Amaechi (yeah, I haven’t a clue as to who he is either) is gay and plans on writing a book about his experiences as a closeted gay man and professional athlete (or bench warmer, take your pick), a lot of people have been commenting on the newest member of the openly gay male professional athletes club.
I’m assuming this club has only about three and a half members. I say half, because I wouldn’t be shocked if one of them is still holding out and claiming to be bisexual.
In any event, of those who have commented on Amaechi’s (yeah, I still don’t know who this guy is) disclosure, most of have been waiting on word from other players in the league.
LeBron James, however, said he didn’t think an openly gay person could survive in the league.
“With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you’re gay and you’re not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy,” James said. “So that’s like the No. 1 thing as teammates — we all trust each other. You’ve heard of the in-room, locker room code. What happens in the locker room stays in there. It’s a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor.”
I appreciate LeBron’s honesty. Not everyone that tall reveals how short their length of thinking is. I don’t see the correlation between discussing who you choose to lay down with and who you pass the ball to on the court.
I get the point LeBron is trying to make, but one has to consider the amount of pressure an openly gay male athlete would have to deal with in a locker room setting. People harbor many prejudices and they’re exuded in each asinine comment they make, creating a hostile environment for any man that chooses to make his sexual orientation public.
Injured Philadelphia Sixers forward Shavlik Randolph acknowledged it’s a new situation.
“As long as you don’t bring your gayness on me I’m fine, Randolph said. “As far as business-wise, I’m sure I could play with him. But I think it would create a little awkwardness in the locker room.”
And Sixer center Steven Hunter:
Even so, Hunter said he would be fine with an openly gay teammate.
“As long as he don’t make any advances toward me I’m fine with it,” he said. “As long as he came to play basketball like a man and conducted himself like a good person, I’d be fine with it.”
Asinine comments like these, for example. Count all of the stereotypes. The notion that every gay man wants to “turn out” every heterosexual male in a five mile radius. The idea that every gay man is effeminate. And my personal favorite, the stigma of being a deviant attached to every admitted homosexual.
I can see why someone I’ve never heard of is the first openly gay NBA player.
Could someone please enlighten these millionaires on this missed tidbit of information: You can’t catch the gay!
Not every man (or woman for that matter) wants you, nor does every gay man secretly long to participate in the Vagina Monologues.
As for that “good person” comment, since when is the NBA known for holding high moral standards for its players?
To be fair:
Orlando’s Grant Hill, who said he didn’t know Amaechi when he was with the Magic, also applauded the decision to go public.
“The fact that John has done this, maybe it will give others the comfort or confidence to come out as well, whether they are playing or retiring,” Hill said.
If we had more players in the league like Grant (but not get constantly injured, of course), perhaps more players with names we actually recognize would be open about who they are. Until then, I see the themes of denial and ignorance surrounding this issue.
NBA commissioner David Stern said a player’s sexuality wasn’t important.
“We have a very diverse league. The question at the NBA is always ’Have you got game?’ That’s it, end of inquiry,” he said.
Who actually believes this? If you do, let me grab a marker and scribble 500 on a big rock and sell you a Mercedes.