I have been so used to writing and reading positive, supportive articles about gays in sports, that it's easy to forget that the whole thing still makes a segment of society uncomfortable. It's a shrinking segment, but nonetheless still there.

This was brought home when I stumbled across a website called the American Thinker and a story called "The Gay Craze Hits Pro Sports." After reading it, the name of the site is an oxymoron since there's nothing thoughtful about it.

"Reuters reported yesterday that not one player in major pro team sports has boldly, proudly proclaimed himself as gay. The story's particular focus is on the NFL, which, of course, oozes masculinity (like the military) and, hence, needs to be gay-ized and feminized (in terms of eliminating nasty old contact that leads to big booboos).

"The left is stepping up its focus on gays in pro team sports as part of its game plan to prove to average Americans (especially those macho sports fans) that gayness isn't just the province of flower shops and HGTV. Masculinity is under assault (as it has been) and must be redefined. Bye, bye bold colors, beer swilling, and locker room humor; hello pastels, chardonnay, and girl and gay chat."

That pretty much sums up the depth of the story, replete with creaky stereotypes about gay people and masculinity. It's pretty incoherent (aren't closeted athletes by definition "masculine" since their teammates assume they're straight?) but the most humorous part came in the comments, where gay panic was in full force.

  • I already watch far less pro sports than I did ten years ago. If they go flamboyant, I’ll just drop them entirely.
  • They will ruin the NFL. I’m not interested in watching gay football players.
  • I have been a football fan for over 30 years. There is only one thing to be said for all the natural, unbridled, unapologetically celebrated ”testosterone-induced pheromones” waffling thru the air every Fall. “Are you ready for some football!!!” I watch football to see gladiators, not gladiolas (much as I love flowers as us Southern gals do).
  • This is so amusing. If someone comes out, they will be the laughingstock of the NFL. There will have to be new NFL rules implemented just for them against lewd gestures, sensuous touching, and winking. It will be hilarious. Referee, making hourglass gesture and announcing: “Lewd gesture on New Orleans, number 95. 15 yard penalty, still 2nd down!” The crowd goes wild!

I realize that one should not take this stuff too seriously. However, it's always helpful to remind oneself that we live in a country where gay marriage is still illegal in 41 states, where you can be fired in many places simply for being gay, and where there are no out pro team athletes. We still have a lot of work to do.