Today we are going to get right into the thick of it with a topic that is still controversial in sports: LGBT acceptance.
Gay marriage is legal and that is a fact. People in the LGBT community are fans too, just like the rest of us. They attend sporting events, they buy merchandise, they go to away games and they cheer for your favorite teams.
Former NFL player Wade Davis, together with a researcher at the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services created a website called NoHomophobes.com to track homophobic slurs on Twitter in real time. Davis came out in 2012 as a member of the LGBT community himself and he says that the site’s date shows an increase of homophobic posts during sporting events.
There is a difference between expressing your opinion and offending a group of people. While I understand that you are all extremely frustrated, watch the game for the reason you are watching it: to enjoy the game. Sure, losing due to a bad call is a terrible feeling, but making the people sitting next to you in the stadium feel uncomfortable, making them feel like they don’t belong as a fan of your favorite team is simply unacceptable.
Thankfully, the recent movements towards acceptance of the LGBT community has caused many stadiums and teams to hold pride events where they wave rainbow flags and have someone from the local LGBT community give the first pitch of the game. In Major League Soccer, homophobic slurs and discrimination are strictly prohibited within stadiums.
Professional players are coming out to the public every day and thankfully some communities are ready to accept them with open arms. Times are changing in the world of sports, so extend your hand to your local LGBT community, watch your language and find it in your heart to accept others who love your favorite sports team just as much as you do.