The Rocket

Sports should be welcoming to everyone at all levels

The Rocket

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There has been a lot of talk recently at the national level about homosexuality in professional sports.

The debate came to campus when NFL players Chris Kluwe and Esera Tuaolo  visited SRU earlier this week to discuss their support for gay rights in pro sports.

Their visit brought some controversy to campus, as expected, because immature homophobes protested the event by ripping down the flyers advertising the event.

We simply do not understand what issue people have with gays participating in athletic events, other than people like to celebrate being ignorant even more than they do cheering for a sports team.

But it is ridiculous. It goes beyond even a debate about allowing gays to get married, which even as stupid a debate it may be, at least it is a legal matter.

Any discrimination is obviously bad, people are taking it to new levels with this. We’re talking about sports here. We can’t even think of a single reason as to why someone would be opposed to allowing gays to play sports openly.

The NHL recently supported the group “You Can Play,” an organization that strives to promote the opportunity to play sports to all people, regardless of something as insignificant as sexual orientation.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik is an advocate for the group, and has appeared in a few commercials on the matter.

It is great to see athletes promoting this cause. Not to be too blunt, but there is an issue with homophobia being present in many sports, especially male sports.

“Locker room talk” is a pretty harsh language to deal with if you are a member of the group being targeted and no one should have to hear it when they are simply trying to play a game they enjoy.

Change really needs to begin at the youth levels. The best way to accomplish this is by having pro athletes speak out for the cause. Kids look up to these players, so it would very influential if more famous athletes and entire leagues came out in support.

We have hope that homophobia is becoming a thing of the past. Progress is being made. But we can not stop where we’re at. There is still a lot to be done in terms of civil rights movements for homosexuals. People with a lot of influence should be helping progress this message.

It was recently the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in Major League Baseball. We look back on that and think about how ignorant people were to not allow blacks to play baseball. Years from now — hopefully not too many — people will look back at this time period and think the same way towards the people that felt the need to tear down the flyers advertising the Kluwe and Tuaolo.

Racists are awful people. So are homophobes.

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An Independent, Student-Run Newspaper at Slippery Rock University
Sports should be welcoming to everyone at all levels