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.