Does It Really Matter?

Different symbols of diversity.I don’t consider myself much of a sports enthusiast. I know next to nothing about football since I moved and no longer see my Oakland Raiders Sports Med doctor (I wonder if he misses me yet? I’m sure I paid for orthodontics for his kids, jewelry for his wife, and family vacations with the number of surgeries he performed on me!)

I do have a Major League Baseball app on my iPhone. Being from the San Francisco Bay area I, of course, am a Giants fan. My youngest son played baseball through high school and I spent my share of spring and summer days on wooden bleachers. Often we text back and forth during a game.

My high-tech husband likes college football, NASCAR, and golf. I find it hard to sit through much of anything, so I get a lot of reading in while he streams whatever he can get over the computer. Overall, I don’t keep up much with sports.

Last night (May 15) a New York Times headline caught my attention: A Sports Executive Leaves the Safety of His Shadow Life. Two days before the Times had another article that also caught my attention: Two Straight Athletes Combat Homophobia. That was when I became aware of an NBA player being fined for slurs against a referee. Boy, had I not been paying attention!

I understand this is a difficult subject for some. There are some who admit it’s a difficult subject for them, but they withhold judgment because they know they don’t understand. On the other hand, there are others who erect barriers to understanding and maintain their position of judgment rather than wrestle with something they don’t understand.

Here’s what’s ironic to me: those who erect barriers are often the same people who follow and become absorbed in the lives and actions of celebrities. They excuse or endorse the negative behaviors of these celebrities, but then are unwilling to give respectful allowance for others to be open about who they are.

Someone’s sexual orientation is an intrinsic part of who they are, much like the color of their eyes or being right or left-handed. I look forward to the day when someone’s orientation isn’t scrutinized for national debate and all are accepted for who they are regardless of the color of their skin, sexual orientation, gender, cultural heritage, or religious beliefs. In the eternal scheme, diversity is essential for our survival and well-being.


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