for anyone who missed it a few weeks ago, please do read viking’s punter chris kluwe’s open letter to maryland state delegate emmett c. burns, jr. mr. kluwe wrote delegate burns after baltimore ravens linebacker brendon ayanbadejo had the audacity to speak out in favor of the maryland ballot initiative to legalize gay marriage, which mr. burns replied to by telling ravens owner steve bisciotti that he should ”inhibit such expressions” from his employee. the letter is incredibly incisive, funny, and full of swears (“mindfucking obscenely hypocritical” is a favorite phrase of mine). it made me proud to be a minnesotan, and it’s timely as well, seeing as how our own gay marriage amendment battle is still much, much too close for my comfort.
last week, on the one-year anniversary of the repeal of DADT, former pittsburgh pirates owner kevin mcclatchy came out to the world and became the first mlb owner ever to do so:
“i’ve spent 30 years… not talking about my personal life, lying about my personal life,” said mcclatchy, who was the pirates’ ceo from 1996 to 2007. “there’s no way i want to go into the rest of my existence and ever have to hide my personal life again.”
despite the fact that i don’t really care about sports, it remains an arena where “traditional” masculinity is heavily policed and hostility towards queer sexuality and gender is rampant, and this is unacceptable to me. there are no active male professional athletes who are openly gay, and this will continue to be the case until players, owners, and fans state publicly that they will support any and all gay people in major league sports.
so good news from down under, where the australian football league is making big strides to demonstrate that gender-and-sexuality-based harassment and sports do not go hand-in-hand. in addition to airing this psa encouraging people to speak out against homophobia before two finals games, the afl is considering “a special gay-pride exhibition game next season to help make the sport more inclusive”:
“a pride game is one of the options we’re looking at. if we get behind something we genuinely believe in and if it’s something that we think we can help raise awareness and shift attitudes then we would support it,” league boss andrew demetriou said. “we would consult with experts in this matter and get the best advice to see how we can address this issue properly like we did with illicit drugs. i want to make sure then if we do go down this track we do it properly.”
just the thought of mn-based sports teams having gay-pride exhibition games makes me positively giddy. and, again, i really don’t care about sports. but lots of lgbtq people do, and god dammit they should feel like they’re recognized, both as fans and as players. i know one guy who agrees with me…
VOTE NO, GUYS!