Recently, I was thinking back to high school.
I remembered back to how the social structure went. There was categories. There was Bangers Preps, and Skaters. We also had Nerds and Geeks . My high school had a strong band contingent as we were well known for our band.
Depending on your opinion, the Bangers, Preps, Skaters, Nerds and Geeks were all different levels in the social structure. I’m sure no different then any other school. What seemed constant however was who was on top of the list.
The Athletes were beautiful. They were confident, well put together, smart. They made our school famous as they represented us in sports like football and basketball. Often wearing their jerseys before the “big game”, we would acknowledge and admire their efforts. We would cheer them on. They would nod and acknowledge you.
When they win championships, we would off course, celebrate them. There would also be pep rallies in which we would cheer and clap them to victory.
Obviously, this still happens. In school and also of course in a professional sports world. Other than actors, many professional athletes are some of the most famous people in the world. We have an expectation and an image of them that some might feel they must hold.
Yet for some, they have a secret they are not ready to share. The secret is that they might be gay.
Now, of course for you and I, that is debatable on whether or not that is a big deal. We have had that discussion before haven’t we? However, in the world of athletics, many feel uncomfortable. There has been times in the locker room when people have been called those names. You know those names we don’t need to mention them. For the athletes that are gay, the words no doubt cut deeper then we can imagine.
As we approach the Olympics in Sochi Russia, let’s not forget the law that has been discussed and protested.
Starting tonight, TSN is opening a discussion that many feel has been a long time coming. They are doing a three part series called ReOrientation. It discusses professional athletes and homosexuality. It discusses the culture around it. You can see the preview video to see if this interests you.
The question I bring forward is this. Do you perceive or do you have the knowledge to believe that there has been a change in culture in the professional sports world that an athlete can come out? Does it matter to you?
Or is your image different then that?