The sports world is abuzz this week. Everyone from players to coaches are weighing in on what will happen now that NBA center Jason Collins has made history as the first player to officially come out of the closet and announcing he's gay; it was a free throw no one saw coming.
I'm not much of a sports nut, so I really don't see what the hub-bub is all about. As a gay man, I might be more inclined to pay for a ticket to a game if I knew I'd see some hot, gay NBA players roughing each other up on the court. (And I wouldn't be surprised to see a new guy-on-guy porn flick in the near future entitled Unnecessary Roughing.)
That said, I'm sure you could fill an entire stadium with six pack-drinking heterosexual men who feel it's not manly to have a gay basketball player on the team, let alone in the locker room. From their perspective, the only thing "gay" about football is the choreographer who dazzles the crowd with a knock-out half-time show.
So why is it these same bubbas with beer bellies don't have a problem when an attractive woman like Brittney Griner—the WNBA's first draft pick and latest Nike sponsored athlete—comes out of the closet? Most men would probably say it's because that's hot. Two women getting it on is a wet dream for a majority of masculine, heterosexual men. It's also another example of the objectification of women; it shows a glaring double standard between gay men and lesbian women in the realm of sports.
For centuries, women have been perceived as inferior, as if they just don't know any better even when it comes to sex. After all, they're just thought of as "stupid women", and if they want to experiment with one another, let 'em do it, right? All it would do is give macho guys the chance to have a little ménage à trois in their heads. On the other hand, don't you dare question their masculinity by suggesting that a jockstrap-wearing, pad-clad, moose of a man would tackle another guy for any other reason than to get the ball (the leather one, not the testicular kind).
Heaven forbid the picture of masculinity gets shattered by a tight-end acknowledging his true self and declaring, "I'm gay." Talk about a game-changer. The headlines are bound to read: "Fan loyalty wreaks havoc in the wake of Jason Collins coming out of the closet! A tsunami of team-switching ensues!" Yet, when a woman athlete declares her sexual preference in the name of being authentic to herself, there's barely a ripple in the pond of public awareness. Keep reading ...