Opinion article on gay athletes misses the mark, needs more research
March 6, 2014
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Letter to the Editor,
I am writing in response to Vince Scalamonga’s opinion article “Athletes ‘coming out’ merely political, unnecessary for fans” concerning Michael Sam’s recent announcement about his sexuality.
The whole article is ridiculous, offensive, and utterly ignorant.
First off, Vince Scalamonga spends two paragraphs explaining that the reason celebrities shouldn’t come out is because “it’s something [he] would rather not know”. Essentially Mr. Scalamonga is insisting on the silence of LGBTQ athletes because it personally makes him feel uncomfortable. He even goes as far to say it is not necessary for celebrities to come out. The only people who should be determining whether or not it’s necessary for them to come out are the individuals themselves, not Vince Scalamonga. He continually trivializes the process of coming out, asking if it’s even newsworthy material and insisting it remain in the “proper forum” such as a psychology class. A person’s sexual orientation is more than a psych curriculum; it’s part of their everyday life and identity. Insisting that homosexuality be limited to the classroom is not just ridiculous but offensive.
He then goes on to talk about the so-called gay agenda and how sports and the media are “pushing” this agenda. Let’s look at how truly terrifying the gay agenda is: the right to marry whom they choose, for people to stop using the word gay as derogatory, and for violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community to end. Oh the horrors – they want access to equal rights! So why is this bad? It’s hard to tell because Scalamonga’s whole argument is so poorly constructed, but it seems to do something with “there are religions that are against homosexuality”. He doesn’t even bother to fully explain this, but it’s a ridiculous argument anyways and I think most people realize that using religion to discriminate is still bigotry.
Scalamonga also makes the ignorant argument that the LGBTQ community doesn’t face discrimination, calling the US an “overwhelmingly tolerant country”. Well our country is so overwhelming tolerant that in 29 states you can be fired for being gay. That’s why there is an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of homeless LGBTQ youth. That’s why hate crimes against the LGBTQ community are on the rise. That’s why same-sex couples still can’t get married in most states. I’m so glad that Scalamonga actually took the time to get his head out of the sand and research the facts before writing his article.
We live in a society where straight is considered the default sexual orientation and where the LGBTQ community faces discrimination on a daily basis. So when a celebrity has the courage to come out, why does Scalamonga, or anybody else, feel like it’s a personal affront? That is one more person who can be a role model and a source of inspiration to a struggling teen in a society that constantly vilifies people for their sexual orientation. There are so many more things I could say in response to the hot mess that is Scalamonga’s article, but for the sake of brevity I am forced to stop.
Vince Scalamonga has every right to his own opinion; I just want to warn him that his opinion is ignorant.