CFN – What an odd week so far in Sports. Long time NHL commentator Don Cherry has been publicly chastised for suggesting that women should not be in Mens locker room in sports while NBA bencher Jason Collins, near the end of his career and a free agent, has come out of the closet and become one of the first pro athletes of one of the big three US sports to do so while still an active player.
What does this mean in this day and age where many are so politically correct to the point of bullying those who simply even discuss the subject?
Personally we can’t have it both ways. If women want to be in men’s dressing rooms then men should be allowed to be in women’s. The fact that the public isn’t that interested in women’s sports should not be a caveat to the subject.
Anyone that has played sports knows that the sanctity of the dressing room and team are intrinsic. It’s ok for Don Cherry to dress like a Newfie Queen on the first day of Spring; but if he was a Gay NHL coach would he still be accepted as Don Cherry? Social media is ripe with quotes about “Grapes” but what he said is something that having worked in sports I have a hunch many would agree with. It’s not a big deal; but it’s a real issue. While most guys in Hockey have no issue with a chick in the dressing room; some do. Recently Duncan Keith got into trouble with his answer to a female reporter. Would that comment have had the same reaction if it had been a male reporter? After all many a GM and coach never laced up skates at the NHL level who are in the Hall of Fame. Should some heels and a bra change his reaction? . We live in a world where people are more and more expected to react to situations in such a programmed manner it’s scary. We react to crimes and shootings one way; baby births another. It’s herd like and freaky weird. In a perfect world Jason Collins would not be marred by coming out. While his explanation of what happened in Boston I’m sure is genuine in triggering his decision, the fact that he’s waited until his career is nearly if not decidedly over sorta weakens the impact. Could his “outing” even be a challenge for a NBA team to pick him up for next season? .
Is it just to make a point? Will we now have a flood of Gay Football, Baseball, and Hockey stars coming out of the closet?
Again in a perfect world we all should be able to play nice together. In many Scandinavian countries both sexes are nude in saunas. There are unisex washrooms and of course nude beaches. But should players have a choice or say whether members of the opposite sex are allowed in their dressing rooms? Is that so uncouth a concept? And should Don Cherry really be villainized for sharing his opinion?
As for athletes it’s what you do on the field that counts. What you do off the field should be your own biz. If Sidney Crosby was gay would you not want him on your team or showering next to you after winning a game?
There was a time Black players in sports could not share the same showers either, or teams. We broke through that barrier. There have always been Gay sports players; but it was quiet. Are players really worried about being nekkid around gay players or just worried about fighting over having to listen to old Cher albums in the dressing room and liking it?
In the end people have to let people voice their feelings and opinions. Maybe the world is ready for openly gay pro athletes and members of the opposite sex in dressing rooms; maybe not; but to condemn people for what they feel is wrong.
People need to be able to speak without threatened in this world. People that have fears and issues need as much understanding as those that simply wish to be able to be honest and free.
There’s nothing wrong with either position; if not today one day things will change.
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