First Blush

Reflections and sightings from [almost] daily jogging at dawn

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sunrise 6:58: What's up with male athletes


There was considerably musing yesterday on KNBR's afternoon drive time show, the Razer and Mr. T. Retired NBA player, Tim Hardaway, had once been a valuable member of the Warriors; Tom Tolbert (the Mr. T) had been a teammate. What could prompt such vitriole as "I hate gay people" that spewed from Hardaway? What is it about straight male athletes that is so threatening, upsetting, offputting - whatever - about gay men? (There is little, at least of public record, about their negative feelings about lesbians.) It was a group of Stanford football players that last did major vandalism (1994)to the Gay Liberation sculpture on campus. The Dawn Joggers have passed the work, by George Segal, many times. It's a understated statement, explained well in a Salon article that appeared soon after Segal's death. Responding to a previous vandalism of his work, Segals said: "The statement I tried to make in the sculpture is not a political one. It's rather a human one regarding our common humanity with homosexuals." The female DJ was reminded of the sculpture's humanity this morning as she jogged by. Is the male althlete homophobia akin to the prejudice that for so long prevented the integration of major league baseball? Why, in an industry where it's all about winning and out-of-bounds behavior is tolerated as long as the teammate is making a contribution, does this extreme prejudice remain? She's not buying the "close locker room quarters" lame excuse...

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