When NBA basketball player Jason Collins announced he was gay on the cover of the new Sports Illustrated magazine, my first thought was “good for him.” Today, history was made – Collins became the first openly gay active player in the four major professional sports in the United States. Though majority of people supported him and his decision, some people decided it was their time to voice their opinions on homosexuality.
While Collins is the first openly gay athlete, Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Mike Wallace became the first athlete to post something stupid about homosexuals in reply to Collins’ coming out. On his Twitter, Wallace wrote “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (Shakes my head)…” Though the post isn’t homophobic, the post is just plain stupid. If Wallace was never taught in genetics about how homosexuals are born gay, he should have just googled his questions or read a book. Instead, he made an ignorant comment that offended homosexuals. Seriously, what person would choose to love another person of the same sex, knowing that he will be teased, discriminated against, and possibly injured for his choice?
Another person that chose to speak against homosexuals today wasESPN’s Chris Broussard, a sports analyst on Outside the Lines. During the one-hour episode about Collins coming out as a gay man, Broussard decided to quote from the bible about how homosexuality is a sin – “If you’re openly living that type of lifestyle, the Bible says you know them by their fruits, it says that you that’s a sin.. If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ.” Broussard was talking about how being gay, having premarital sex, and adultery are all sins. Even though Broussard believes that being gay is a sin, he should not voice his religious beliefs onto viewers on a sports show. As an analyst, he should realized that anything said on television cannot be taken back and could result in being told “you’re fired.”
Coming from a very open-minded Christian family, I have trouble with people who either think being gay is a choice or a sin. When I was in elementary school, I was making fun of a boy at school during dinner – he was chubby, had a weird face, and walked with a limp (I later learned that he had down syndrome). My parents glared at me in disappointment and then explained to me how he was born like that. Besides my parents, I was taught by both science and religion to be open-minded about homosexuals. Genetics class taught me that homosexuals do not have a choice, they are born gay. My church taught me about Jesus and how he preached “love thy neighbor” and that the church was open to everyone. Though some people follow every line from the Bible, many forget that it was written thousands of years. If we followed every rule in the Bible, we would not be watching football on Sunday.
Mike Wallace and Chris Broussard are examples of people that either don’t understand homosexuality or believe that it is a sin. Though I personally believe they are wrong to follow outdated beliefs, each is entitled to their own opinion; but they are wrong to voice their negative opinions publicly and not expect a public backlash. Within minutes of posting his status, Wallace apologized and took down his status while the Miami Dolphins made an official statement about how Wallace made a mistake and the Dolphins are an open-minded organization. Broussard has yet to apologize or to be punished for his statement, but ESPN is known for firing reporters for making controversial remarks. People like Wallace and Broussard are the reason why being an open gay athlete is still a big deal. Hopefully, Collins is just the first of many more people to “come out” so that being gay will no longer be a news story or a controversial topic.