John Wayne is the Duke. Elvis is the King.

John Wayne's Holster: February 2007
John Wayne's Holster
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sports and the Bedroom: Who Really Cares?



Earlier today, word was leaked that former Penn State and NBA basketball player John Amaechi was coming out of the closet and announcing that he is gay. Amaechi originally planned to make the announcement on ESPN’s Outside the Lines program in conjunction with the release of his biography, Man in the Middle.

Perhaps it is not surprising, but Amaechi was a major topic of talk radio today, and probably will be for the next few weeks. Some are critical of Amaechi because his is outing himself after his retirement. Those critics apparently feel he should have done so during his playing years. Others feel that Amaechi could not have come out during his playing career because of repercussions he would have gotten from the sports public and his teammates.

Hopefully, someday, we as a society will be beyond this.

The timing of the leak/announcement is ironic in light of recent events that have occurred here on Penn State’s campus. Women’s basketball coach Rene Portland just settled out of court with a former Lady Lion, Jennifer Harris, who claimed Portland kicked her off the team because she was perceived to be a lesbian. Terms of the settlement were not made public.

To me, all this stuff is ridiculous. I don’t see what difference someone’s sexual orientation, whether innate or chosen, has to do with that person’s ability to play sports. As long as your actions don’t affect other people, you should be free to do as you choose.

If I were a WNBA fan (and I am not), I wouldn’t care if you put Patrica Ford or Peppermint Patty out on the court. And I don’t care who’s lawn she is mowing, as long as she can shoot 3-pointers and pull down ten boards a game.

Same goes with men's sports: the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, etc. Do your job when you are on the field, and do what you want in the privacy of your own bedroom. All this non-sense we are hearing from other athletes about sex and showering is a bunch of crap. Whether they realize it or not, most of them probably play or have played on a team with a gay teammate. And no one that I have ever heard of has had "moves" put on him, and there hasn't been a run on the market for soap-on-a-rope.

The bottom line question is this - can the player perform on the field? If so, then let him/her play.