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Asante Samuel doesn’t see a connection between sexuality and sport

Samuel AP

A strange phenomenon has enveloped the sports world in recent months.  Some straight NFL players and plenty members of the media are essentially rooting for one or more gay NFL players to come out of the closet.

Some NFL players are confused about the connection between sexuality and sport.  That group includes Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel.

“Straight people are not announcing they’re straight, so why does everybody have to announce their sexuality or whatever?” Samuel told FOX Sports Primetime.  “You know, what they prefer.  So, that’s just how I see it.  That’s just my opinion on things.  All respect, you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don’t have to show it and flaunt it like that.  You know what I’m saying?  We got kids out here, too.”

While some may interpret Samuel’s remarks as meaning that he doesn’t want kids to be exposed to discussion about homosexuality for fear that they might become gay, his point seems to be that it makes little sense to be having conversations about sex within the confines of sports.

“Who says you had to announce what you are and that has to be talked about because you’re playing a sport?” Samuel said.  “Talk about the sport, how good you do in the sport.  What you did the last game.   Keep that like that.  You don’t have to go into detail about other things.  Like I said, that’s just my opinion and how I feel about it.  So let’s keep it about the sport.  Let’s keep it about the touchdowns, the baskets made.  The shots, the assists, the goals made.”

Eventually, that’ll happen.  Eventually, after enough gay players come out and society deals with it and processes it and accepts it, it won’t be a big deal.  For now those, the media has strong interest in the topic, so anything related to it will attract the media’s attention.

“I’m not in that,” Samuel said regarding the media’s interest in the subject.  “I’m talking about what I’ve got going on in my day today.  Whoever wants to worry about that what’s going on, that’s you guys and whoever.  I’m not worried about that.  I’m not gonna let my kids worry about that.”

Ultimately, he’s right.  In an enlightened, accepting society that doesn’t view gay athletes are different or undesirable or bad, sexual orientation isn’t an issue.  Before society can get to that place, however, it needs to be a big deal — and then everyone will just get used to it and people can be who they are and it won’t matter who does or doesn’t know it.

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58 Responses to “Asante Samuel doesn’t see a connection between sexuality and sport”
  1. bdawks20 says: May 1, 2013 2:41 PM

    Out of all people, Asante is one of the last I expected to make a smart comment.

  2. toph16 says: May 1, 2013 2:44 PM

    Holy crap, did

  3. Andrew Bailey says: May 1, 2013 2:45 PM

    Does every athlete in the world need to weigh in on this?

  4. godofwine330 says: May 1, 2013 2:46 PM

    I feel the same way. Straight people don’t announce their straight-ness. They choose to live in a closet. I was taught by my parents to be me regardless, and I have. I feel that these people are desperately seeking attention for something that is, by the accounts of many, none of anyone’s business.

    By gays feeling that they have to act or hide, though no one is making them, Jason Collins had a fiance that he had been with for 8 years. 8 years he pulled her along on a string. This woman is likely devastated, but so many people applaud him for his brevity when he is merely a coward who volunteered under no duress to be with this woman for so long and then have her find out via the news. That’s low.

    I don’t see the need to have sexuality appounced in sports, but they need to stop calling him brave because at the very least his former fiance would beg to differ.

  5. thegreatgabbert says: May 1, 2013 2:46 PM

    Asante can say anything he wants. After all, he was the man who captured Count Dracula. In broad daylight.

  6. Stiller43 says: May 1, 2013 2:50 PM

    I respect his opinion and dont think he’s wrong…

    The only thing that i can say, is that is a player mentions his wife and family, or they have that little family snippet on thanksgiving day…what if a player talked about his boyfriend/partner and maybe even kids (adopted…other guys from a previous marriage, whatever)? It would be huge news, like “omg that player came out!!!”

    So its not as easy as “it doesnt matter so dont bring it up.” If they feel as comfortable as a straight player does presenting his loved ones, THAT would definitely make news while the straight guy wouldnt.

  7. flavordave says: May 1, 2013 2:50 PM

    As much as Assante annoys me, he always keeps it real.
    I agree with when he said “All respect, you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever, but you know, you don’t have to show it and flaunt it like that.”

    He just has an Assante way of saying it. I have zero issues with someones sexuality. Just want to know how can you help the team by declaring this?

  8. eatitfanboy says: May 1, 2013 2:51 PM

    He, like and unfortunately large number of people, misses the point.

    The reason people in LGBT community are hoping for athletes to come out is not because they think everyone should announce what their preferences are.

    The want it because they still face discrimination in their daily lives. They want it because they still struggle to be accepted for who they are. In 29 states today, it is completely acceptable for your employer to fire you simply because you’re gay.

    The belief is that if enough high profile athletes come out of the closet, it will be one more factor that may lead to the day in this country where nobody truly does care what anyone else’s sexual preference is. We certainly aren’t there yet.

  9. Stiller43 says: May 1, 2013 2:52 PM

    For any gay children out there afraid to play sports for fear of being ridiculed, a gay player coming out might give them a great role model so they can say “maybe theres not that much to fear.”

    I have no clue how likely that scenario is, but gay players might think if it helps even one person, i’ll do it.

  10. mark0226 says: May 1, 2013 2:53 PM

    Funny, I was thinking the same thing after seeing 100 articles on the subject and a debate on television about the subject. I thought, who the hell cares? Why are we talking about this? Let’s focus on the sport, not someones sexuality or race or gender or political affiliation, or whatever. It’s a sport. We watch for the sport. We don’t care if people like male, female, blonde, brunette, red head, short, fat, tall, skinny.

  11. phiddysent says: May 1, 2013 2:55 PM

    Amen Asante. That was put better than I’ve heard from any other athlete or media outlet to date.

  12. barkymingo says: May 1, 2013 2:55 PM

    This topic is only because people make it one. There are gay athletes whether they announce it or not, no way to get around it really. Kudos for Samuel for basically saying, “Who cares”.

  13. lightcleric says: May 1, 2013 2:57 PM

    The thing that bothered me was the media (esp. ESPN) writing long drooling articles that would make you think they were directly involved in this. I think they want to feel good about themselves because they’re out there cheering at the top of their lungs when this media circus makes it *harder* for people to come out of the closet.

    I don’t care about a person’s sexuality. I just don’t need to pat myself on the back for it like these media people apparently do.

  14. sawasta says: May 1, 2013 2:58 PM

    “For now those, the media has strong interest in the topic, so anything related to it will attract the media’s attention.”

    That pretty much sums it up. You media pundits are the only ones who care about this issue. The rest of us don’t care if it’s Jack and Jill or Jack and Bill.

  15. tdrizzle74 says: May 1, 2013 2:59 PM

    I like the way Florio basically concluded society isn’t enlightened or accepting because a majority of sports fans don’t know and don’t care what the sexuality of the players are. Guess what Mike? I think alot of us who don’t suit up in an NFL locker room understand that gay people exist, without you and others in the media advocate for some sort of NFL gay pride parade. Why must we be exposed to the sociological diversity training in the sports we watch now?

  16. deedub1639 says: May 1, 2013 3:00 PM

    Where is this site going. I don’t give a rat fart about who is gay. All I care about is can this guy/girl kick, catch, block, tackle or whatever else. I simply don’t care. I don’t care if they are Greek, German, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, old, young, male, female or whatever non-performance based characteristics. I agree with Asante it isn’t important lets get back to why I watch the sport. I’m far more interested in who is going to play left tackle for my team than this garbage.

    This site became popular because of the reporting about the sport… GET BACK TO THAT PLEASE.

  17. mrplow3 says: May 1, 2013 3:05 PM

    “Before society can get to that place, however, it needs to be a big deal”

    Who exactly do you think you are passing a statement like this off as fact?

  18. therealtrenches says: May 1, 2013 3:06 PM

    Coming out is not the same thing as “flaunting” one’s sexuality.

    Also, after decades of our culture making athletes afraid to come out because the ignorance of others makes it so effing scary, we do not get to say “so what, who cares?” when someone finally does.

  19. explosionsauce says: May 1, 2013 3:08 PM

    So many commenters on here like to complain and tell PFT what they should post, here’s an idea, quit your profession and start a blog like Florio did.

  20. pleazenufalready says: May 1, 2013 3:10 PM

    The end of the article may be enlightening, but it’s also very idealistic and naive. One’s sexual orientation will always be a big deal as long as a certain segment of our population equates being gay with being a “sinner” based on their willingness to accept certain parts of the big book of fairly tales, while they turn a blind eye to other parts of the big book of fairy tales…….we will never get past that, as sad as that statement is.

  21. mgavin78 says: May 1, 2013 3:13 PM

    If you said anything against gays you are killed in the media. You are not allowed to have an opposing view without an apology the next day.

  22. dalcow4 says: May 1, 2013 3:15 PM

    “No connection between sexuality and sport”?

    Seriously? Have any of these people ever been around gay men?

    No one would ever say “there’s no connection between sexuality and fashion designing”.

    THINK PEOPLE THINK

  23. jolink653 says: May 1, 2013 3:18 PM

    I definitely agree with what he said…You’re allowed to be whatever you want to be in this country, and if you’re gay then go be gay and be happy because you deserve to be free and happy…I’m just already tired of hearing about this whole thing because everyone seems to want to talk about it…I don’t watch a sport and ever care who the players are married to and what their sexuality is…I care about whether or not they can win or lose and how they play the game…I don’t see why someone’s sexual preference has to even come into the picture

  24. hifive123 says: May 1, 2013 3:22 PM

    No one should be mistreated for having same-sex attraction.

    No one should be mistreated for thinking same-sex attraction is inconsistent with God’s design.

  25. homerhanky82 says: May 1, 2013 3:22 PM

    I agree with Asante, sex in general should not be a topic when it comes to sports. If the gay athletes would just come out in a non big way it would be easier to just get past. Just be yourself and go out and be seen in public with your significant other. Quit hiding and just be yourselves and this wouldnt be a topic of discussion, just life.

  26. pawesl says: May 1, 2013 3:24 PM

    Just because YOU dont care doesnt mean there still are not people out there who do care. I think some of the bigoted comments about Collins yesterday shows this. No one cares when a straight player goes out with his wife and talks about her in interviews. But if a gay player was seen kissing his partner or talking about the love he had for a partner someone is definitely going to say something about it. Unfortunately that is the world we live in and what so many people are trying to change.

    I mean think about this. A straight person can flaunt thier straightness and no one ever cares (and they do it all the time but no one notices because it’s normal). A gay player mentions he is gay and people freak about it telling him to stop talking about the fact he is gay.

  27. keepounding1234 says: May 1, 2013 3:30 PM

    I was in the military in the early nineties. We had a squadron of about 200 people. There were at least five guys in my squadron that were gay. No one cared. They weren’t “Blatently” out of the closet because they would be discharged but it was pretty common knowledge and honestly nobody cared. We worked together and all was cool. I’m sick of this story.

  28. mancave001 says: May 1, 2013 3:31 PM

    I’ve not seen or heard about one person who really cares if athletes are gay or straight. There might be a few players and random bigots, but “society” and the fans don’t care. What we DO care about is exactly what Asante is referencing. Everyone these days seems to need to flaunt their personal business and demand special recognition and explicit acceptance. I don’t just mean sexuality either…it’s everything. THAT is what people don’t like.

  29. ynzer says: May 1, 2013 3:33 PM

    Props to Florio. Best article he’s written in weeks. Nailed it.

  30. sb139422 says: May 1, 2013 3:40 PM

    holy crap ENOUGH! Gay people want equality? THEN STOP ANNOUNCING THESE THINGS! stop making yourself different, or special. youre not. you like guys. i like girls. you like chicken. i like beef. you can like whoever you want but why do i have to see it on the train, in the street, or in any other public place, ESPECIALLY IN THE NEWS? i dont care if your gay or straight. keep it in the bedroom. and by the way, attention gay people: WE GET IT. stop making announcements. if you want people to not make a big deal over the fact that youre gay then STOP MAKING IT A BIG DEAL YOURSELF!!! stop making parades for gods sake…wait. (probably shouldnt put god in a gay conversation. hell get mad.)
    bottom line, please stop with this gay straight talk. we sports fans simply dont care

  31. iced107 says: May 1, 2013 3:40 PM

    Notice how players aren’t making a big deal about this but the media is?

    The media is the one perpetuating this, trying to make it into something big. I understand there might be a few people, but for the most part I doubt any players, coaches, gms, etc. care if a player is gay or not. All that matters is the production on the field.

    Doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight – you got just as much chance to win a job in the NFL. Players are more concerned about being able to do that job, not what you do when you leave your job.

  32. realfootballfan says: May 1, 2013 3:41 PM

    I agree 100%. How Kwame Harris being gay was first relayed should be how its handled at the end of the day. Well, minus the domestic violence charge, lol.

  33. phiddysent says: May 1, 2013 3:44 PM

    keepounding1234 – different mentality in the different branches. I was in the Army in the late 90’s and I assure you it wasn’t the same.

  34. farrisboy says: May 1, 2013 3:47 PM

    So if you are accepting of the Gay lifestyle, you’re open minded and progressive. But, if you hold a fundamental view of Christianity you believe selected parts of a big book of fairy tales. If you live in a free and open society- you pay a price – you live along side people who believe and say things that you might or might not believe in. I am a Christian, as a Christian I have no fault with Gay people. I believe in this free society they, like everyone else, may live their lives, marry, gain spousal benefits and pursue happiness. Yet I actually believe in the value of “the big book of fairy tales.” It seems to me narrow-minded bigotry isn’t limited to those who oppose the Gay lifestyle. While I have no problem with this young man living however he chooses, like Samuel I don’t see the value in beating drums and carrying banners. It is I suppose a chance for the enlightened among us declare their presence for all to see.

  35. CKL says: May 1, 2013 3:49 PM

    godofwine,

    I see your point on the 8 year relationship Collins had but he said he was denying it even to himself up until recently. I don’t know who broke up with who, but it’s better he didn’t marry her because it would have been much more painful for them both IMO.

  36. tdrizzle74 says: May 1, 2013 3:52 PM

    3.5% of Americans are gay. Projecting that number onto the population of the NFL (1,696 players, 32 teams*53 man roster) would result in approximately 60 gay players in the NFL or 2 per team.

    Above letting your teammates know why should we all feel the need for gay players to disclose their sexuality to the public.

  37. izlez says: May 1, 2013 3:54 PM

    Don’t read the articles if you don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s not the gay person writing articles, it’s the media. If a gay athlete casually mentioned that he wanted to thank his boyfriend for giving him the strength to play a good game tomorrow, it would be “SHOVING IT IN YOUR FACE” again. How do you expect them to live their lives without constantly “flaunting” it in front of you like Asante seems to think gay people do?

  38. ne1935 says: May 1, 2013 4:00 PM

    Pretty soon the sport evaluators and sport media will ignore the score or meat of games and concentrate on which team has the most gays.

    That will be the new scorecard at the rate it is being presented now for ratings.

  39. phiddysent says: May 1, 2013 4:00 PM

    Be careful farrisboy….you may be expelled from your church for that opinion. I consider myself a Christian as well and have a very similar view on this as you. But the hypocrisy and human judgment in the church is the main reason I choose to practice my faith on my own.

  40. PSGalex says: May 1, 2013 4:10 PM

    When I read the headline I was thinking I was going to read something about Asante being tolerant, mature and not “seeing a connection” as in not seeing a big deal with a gay player. Turns out I just read about Asante being Asante.

  41. mrjerryjones says: May 1, 2013 4:10 PM

    The rest of the world is already at that point where nobody cares (other than the small minority who will never change their minds). What I can’t believe is that even after writing that first paragraph you and the rest of the media don’t understand that you are doing more damage to gay people coming than you could ever help.

    Before your site turned into “my opinion is correct, therefore it should be the only opinion”, I assumed there was openly gay players, I just didn’t feel the need to ask them all if they were or not. Who is going to want to come out know in this circus you created, other than the guys looking to make a buck off it.

  42. marima07 says: May 1, 2013 4:10 PM

    “Before society can get to that place, however, it needs to be a big deal – ”

    No. It doesn’t.

  43. expatpatfan says: May 1, 2013 4:10 PM

    I’m pretty sure that gays people will stop “making a big deal” about being gay once bigots stop making a big deal about them being gay by denying them equality.

  44. pdxpanther says: May 1, 2013 4:14 PM

    mark0226 says:
    May 1, 2013 2:53 PM
    “Funny, I was thinking the same thing after seeing 100 articles on the subject and a debate on television about the subject. I thought, who the hell cares? Why are we talking about this? Let’s focus on the sport, not someones sexuality or race or gender or political affiliation, or whatever. It’s a sport. We watch for the sport. We don’t care if people like male, female, blonde, brunette, red head, short, fat, tall, skinny.”
    ___________________________________
    The theory of “just sports” has never applied. There has always been some sort of societal or politcal attachment to it. Jackie Robinson, Miracle on Ice, Billie Jean King vs. Bobbie Riggs, Jesse Owens at the Berline Olympics, The Black Panthers Salute at the Olympics, including this. Sports stopped being “just sports” a looooong time ago, and to sit here and think that it is anything but political or societal, is just digging your head into the sand.

  45. genericcommenter says: May 1, 2013 4:18 PM

    I’m straight, and IMHO it’s just not true that straight people are “closeted.” Being straight, especially if you have a partner and/or children is something that is “flaunted” and that is accepted. I don’t need to hide my wife from people. If I have a picture of my wife and kids in my office, it’s not a big deal. If I speak openly about my family, no one accuses me of flaunting my sexuality. A lot of anti-gay people seem obsessed with sexual acts, way more than any gays are in public. If being openly gay is a sexual statement, then being a straight man with a wife and kids must be a sexual statement as well. After all, if I have a kids- that means I have sex and is a public display of my sexuality. If I have a wife, that probably means I had sex with her at some point.

  46. blanchonegro says: May 1, 2013 4:18 PM

    good point asante!

  47. janvanflac says: May 1, 2013 4:20 PM

    “All respect, you know, I have nothing but respect for the people whoever decisions they make and whatever”

    Asante….don’t quit your day job. You’re a good football player but you are functionally illiterate.

  48. steeelfann says: May 1, 2013 4:20 PM

    There is no connection. The media is just pushing it constantly, that is all.

  49. swagger52 says: May 1, 2013 4:24 PM

    Isn’t it strange…

    We never get the Gay guy that says..Mind your own business. I am what I am, and I don’t need your approval.

    Why do you think that is?

  50. huhsj says: May 1, 2013 4:27 PM

    Ah, the Derek Jeter approach of never using your status in the community and publicity to do anything other than get more endorsement money. Why try to let gay kids know that they should not be ashamed of what they are when I can talk about how many tackles I made yesterday?

  51. spinmovr says: May 1, 2013 4:40 PM

    “The Black Panther salute at the Olympics”

    That made me laugh out loud. You guys try so hard but at the last second, you come up just a notch short.

    Anyway, sports media is unique in that they’ve taken it upon themselves to dabble –clumsily– in social issues and there’s been no public backlash against them doing so. Owners being racist, players being irresponsible and coaches being degenerates was hidden for years. The perfect storm of SportsCenter, the OJ Simpson trial and eventually the internet lead to all that we have now.

    As readers and audiences keep spouting their opinions on social issues in sports, the sports media will be happy to keep feeding the habit.

  52. pkrdmnd64 says: May 1, 2013 4:52 PM

    Ansante couldnt express my opinion on this subject any better. Who cares if your gay straight or bi. Hi everyone I’m straight.

  53. apollo1989 says: May 1, 2013 4:58 PM

    Lets talk football, remember that time Assasnte you let an INT go though your hands and the Patriots lost Superbowl 42? Still mad about that.

  54. kuranda84 says: May 1, 2013 6:15 PM

    Thank you Asante!

  55. lakermetskins says: May 1, 2013 10:34 PM

    Not saying that he is, but what fan base or team would pass on Jadeveon Clowney if he was gay?

    None. As long as that player can block, catch, or tackle the typical fanbase and most players and coaches will accept him as an equal on their team.
    Gay and straight people alike need to be who they are and stop worrying about the ignorants in society.
    Hopefully, this type of story will be un-remarkable by this time next year.

  56. xfthmx says: May 1, 2013 10:39 PM

    i think the best way this could be handled is if a gay player simply brings a companion to an event without making an announcement. When the reporters bring it up, he just shrugs and says “This is my partner. So?” then goes about life. Seriously, can we all move on? Sexual preference has no bearing on football.

  57. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 2, 2013 1:20 AM

    I’m with Asante on this topic. And it appears based on comments, most people are too.

    Why do we need to know the orientation of anyone we encounter at work etc.?

    “Hi I’m here to install your cable and oh by the way just so you know, I’m gay.” “Just thought I would let you know that so that you will start accepting us.”

    I don’t care. Just get my cable going bro and we are all good. I’m not interested in who you like to hook up with. Rex Ryan is into women’s feet. So what?

    This treating athletes like heros for admitting they prefer their own gender, is just silly and I find the comments given by the author of this story as rather condescending.

    What’s next, having those who comment state their orientation?

  58. curtdog63 says: May 2, 2013 4:37 AM

    Every day I wake up and I wonder just what the hell the world is coming to. It is a serious media push on society to except this nasty sinful lifestyle. Is not even a gray line, either you for it or they bashin you. I personally will never confine to the world, I dont care how many superstar endorsements the media have. Its wrong.

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