“I think most people are fair-minded. I think that in sports, what matters most is someone’s talent and his or her ability to help a team win. Sports are about people competing together on a team. It’s not about what divides us or what makes us different. It’s about what we all share in common, and what an athlete brings to a team. What’s exciting to me about the potential of team sports is realizing that you’ve got a good player on your favorite team, who happens to be gay or lesbian, and who has the very same passion for the game. In the world we want to see, it won’t matter if an athlete is gay or lesbian. What will matter is if he or she is a good athlete, and if he or she works hard and helps the team succeed.
“That’s what gay people want when they play sports, too. We want to win. We want to compete as part of a winning team, and not have to worry about being singled out because of who we are. That is just bad sportsmanship, and frankly, it’s un-American.” – GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios, complaining in a column posted on ESPN.com that the NFL has not responded to GLAAD’s concerns over homophobic language used by players and coaches. Two weeks ago the Kansas City Chiefs fired star running back Larry Johnson, in part because of homophobic comments made by the player to the press and on Twitter. Barrios applauds that action, but wants the NFL itself to institute a “no tolerance” policy when it comes to anti-gay speech.