Yesterday I saw two types of sports related articles, both of which included references to athlete’s and their sexuality. First there was the Kerry Rhodes “outing” done by his former assistant/alleged lover, Mr. Hollywood. I only have one word for this so-called “assistant”, who felt betrayed by Rhodes when he denied being gay, MESSY. Sometimes I don’t understand why people feel the need to lead a dual life by being in the closet, but I also understand it’s their life and they can lead it anyway they please. But to be messy and go on a gossip station and air his dirty laundry was uncalled for. The social media reaction to the mess was equally disturbing, but I’m sure you can figure out on your own the defamatory remarks about Rhodes’ alleged lifestyle. And this is exactly why some people continue to stay “in”.
Brittney Griner, the star Baylor basketball player on her way to the WNBA, is a different story. In a recent video interview with Sports Illustrated, Griner discussed openly for the first time her own sexuality. SI host Maggie Gray asked the question, “Why is there a difference between men and women in that issue?”, the issue being sexuality.
“I really couldn’t give an answer on why that’s so different,” Griner said. “Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don’t worry about what other people are going to say, because they’re always going to say something, but, if you’re just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don’t hide who you really are.”
“It really wasn’t too difficult,” Griner added in response to a question on how difficult the decision was to come out.
“I wouldn’t say I was hiding or anything like that,” the former Baylor University star continued. ”I’ve always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So, it wasn’t hard at all. If I can show that I’m out and I’m fine and everything’s OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way.”
It seems as though in our society, there’s less stigma attached to women athletes being out, especially when there are already so many stereotypes about women in certain sports to begin with. I can’t remember how many times people assumed because I played a certain sport that I was gay. But I wasn’t one to get offended when asked, I just brushed it off as their own ignorance. In college, there were lesbian basketball players and were there just as many straight ones. For people to say, “Oh well, I figured Brittney was gay”, is just about as ignorant as publicly outing someone.
I applaud Brittney for speaking honestly about her sexuality, but to you “Mr. Hollywood”, you sir get the gas face with your messy ass.