Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Annoying Media Circus

In general I do support the right of gay people to live lives of respect and dignity. The one thing we should learn from gay people is be yourself, unless you are a jerk. I don't have gay friends. I have friends and coworkers who happen to be gay. In reality it is no different at work then having someone who is left handed.

The media circus with gay athletes is nauseating. Coming out of the closet is a choice people make every day and it is no big deal. An unknown prospect who is likely a backup is not Jackie Robinson redux. Nor should stories about gay athletes be run every two seconds in the sports pages of every paper.

There has been plenty of speculation about atlettes in the past. I think the speculation about Mike Piazza started when he got an absurd hair color. This is not something traditional men do. At this point if he were gay, he would have said so long ago. There were plenty of athletes that stated they were gay after their career.

The NFL draft process is almost like a meat market. Players are measured in every aspect height, weight, hand size, arm length, and so forth. Their ability to run, jump, throw and various strengths are measured. Their intelligence is measured and scores that should remain private are regularly leaked to the press. One athlete who played for the Jets many years back became more famous for his low Wonderlic score than his brief playing career. Of course the media is unlikely to talk about the stigma of being labeled stupid. We have Presidential candidates and Presidents who will not show people their transcripts so do we really need to leak intelligence scores of athletes. If Barak Obama does not have to show his grades or is not pressured by the media do we rally need to know Tebows intelligence score. 

Unfortunately, Pro sports is a business with a serious criminal and mental health issues. Players often bring criminal, drug and mental health issues to the work place. There are just some players who can not be reached even by the most dedicated humanitarian people such as Dick Vermiel. We are constantly learning about arrests of athletes that were covered up by their schools. We did learn plenty about these incidents after the player gets arrested or released. Rarely, does a player who gets arrested come as a shock to people who really read the newspapers. I think the sad story of Dave Meggett who was really loved by the fans and came across as a great person show the rare instance where the public was fooled.  The fact that Tiki Barber would act like a jerk blame others for his failures should not be a surprise to those who grew tired of his antics in NYC. Only NBC was stupid enough to think Barber would be a media star.

Gays are part of lives in every community. We don't need media stories each and every day and to discuss the matter endlessly. A Hassidic Jewish NASCAR driver would really be a great story. An NBA player with an Accounting degree would also be a great story. A 400lb professional ballerina would be a great story. A sports illustrated swimsuit model that looked like the girl next door 5'4'' and a size eight would be a great story. Senior Citizen boy bands would be a great story. Yes, sometimes the wheel chair basketball game at halftime is more interesting then the New York Knicks.

We really need to move past the media obsessions and look at our workplace and lives. Is it a shock when Sid in human resources or Joan in payroll say they are gay. For the vast majority of us, we don't care. The era of Black QB's and coaches being media stories ended a while back. The issue should be treated as a detail and not an event. Meet player X we go through the entire bio and he has a same sex spouse.

The issue is not whether gays should play in major sports. They have likely been there from the earliest of times. Just as gays served in the military with pride long before the media made it an obsession. The days of people having to live in the closet are long over. However, we don't need media circus sideshow events each and every time a person says they are gay. The sports section should be about the game and the event. A single story or a passing reference is fine, but this is overkill. 


1 comment:

Always On Watch said...

The media circus is never ending. It feeds upon itself!