Home
News Post

This morning, WNBA star - and one of the finest women's basketball players in history - Sheryl Swoopes, revealed that she is gay.

By her own account, this was not done to get attention or to appear heroic to others; rather it was borne out of exhaustion - an understandable desire to stop hiding who she was from a nation still coming to grips with the obvious.

View the Entire Article

Member Comments
# 1 ExtremeGamer @ 10/26/05 12:45 PM
Great job Shawn!
 
# 2 mgoblue @ 10/26/05 01:53 PM
Great article Shawn! I've been listening to the radio a bit today, and they're on this topic. There are way too many ignorant homophobes out there, I just don't get it. That's the reason why we won't see a NFL, MLB, or NBA player come out of the closet while still an active player anytime soon. They'd be ostracised by their teammates and fans, and it's just wrong. Just because they're different than me I'm supposed to hate them? Too much hate going on and it really stems from unwarranted, ignorant fear.
 
# 3 utexas @ 10/26/05 02:22 PM
I disagree on the comparison of Rosa Parks to Sheryl Swoopes. Being lynched, denied equal education, not even able to use the same toilets and water fountains is something that gay minorities or Whites will never have to experience. When a minority in America goes to be interviewed for a job, everyone sees and knows who and what they are. But when a gay person goes to an interview, nobody will know what they are unless they choose to "unveil themselves". I am not saying that gays should have to hide who they are or be treated like they are less than human, but as a Black man, I hate the comparison that is being made between what minorites have/continue to experience and what gays experience.
 
# 4 Shaver @ 10/26/05 02:27 PM
If you think that Black people in America are the only people who have been or currently are discriminated against... you need to open your eyes.

If you think that Black people in America are the only people who were ever lynched, killed, or beaten because of who they are... you need to open your eyes.

Discrimination... Hate... Separation... Exclusion... That's not merely a black issue... Civil rights is not simply a black issue... Those are the principles that Rosa Parks decision on that day stood in the face of... Discrimination... Hate... Separation... Exclusion...

Is that comparision REALLY off?
 
# 5 utexas @ 10/26/05 02:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay_OS
If you think that Black people in America are the only people who have been or currently are discriminated against... you need to open your eyes.

If you think that Black people in America are the only people who were ever lynched, killed, or beaten because of who they are... you need to open your eyes.

Discrimination... Hate... Separation... Exclusion... That's not merely a black issue... Civil rights is not simply a black issue... Those are the principles that Rosa Parks decision on that day stood in the face of... Discrimination... Hate... Separation... Exclusion...

Is that comparision REALLY off?
I know the African American discrimination is not unique, many other groups have experienced bigotry, hatred , etc. But Being black(or any other minority in America) is much more of a burden then being gay, I don't like the comparison. Just like I can't compare Jim Crowism to what the Nazis attempted to do to the Jews. It is all different. What do you think about the example I gave about the job interview?
 
# 6 QuasiHero @ 10/26/05 02:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay_OS
Is that comparision REALLY off?
consider this:

On the Dilemma of Civil Rights

From Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate, by Thomas Schmidt, Ph.D., InterVarsity Press, 1995:

The key issue in the link with civil rights is the issue of choice. Is homosexuality something that you are, like being black or elderly or handicapped or female, or is it something you do, like adultery or polygamy or incest? Those who practice these latter behaviors have certainly been discriminated against, economically and otherwise, but they are not linked to the civil rights movement.

The difference in the case of homosexuality has to do with public perceptions of the inevitability of the behavior. On what basis do we decide what is, or is not, inevitable when it comes to sex? ...When an adult solicits sex with a minor, we don't say, "Let him be--that's just the way he is." Is the homosexual "just that way," and does this imply that we should extend the same civil rights--even affirmative action--to homosexuals that we extend to minorities and women?

Enter the nature-nurture debate;...for public tolerance dramatically increases when people are convinced that a desire for same-sex intimacy is biologically driven. Even though most scientists dispute the accuracy or the relevance of the research to date...even though very few experts on homosexuality limit causation to biological factors...even though the homosexual community itself is divided over causation--still the mass media persistently portrays, and the public increasingly adopts, a view that homosexuals do not do, but are.

...There are at least two factors at work [here]. One is the popular myth that science deals only in absolute, objective truths ...

The second factor at work in changing public opinion is the simplification of issues for mass consumption, especially in television...Few people have the patience for a thorough presentation of a complex issue, even if such a presentation is offered. Instead...statements are measured for their value as sound bites.

Whether or not it is calculated, such reporting has a powerful, cumulative effect. It creates the impression that science is serving the cause of civil rights against ...bigotry ..."
 
# 7 Shaver @ 10/26/05 03:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by utexas
I know the African American discrimination is not unique, many other groups have experienced bigotry, hatred , etc. But Being black(or any other minority in America) is much more of a burden then being gay, I don't like the comparison. Just like I can't compare Jim Crowism to what the Nazis attempted to do to the Jews. It is all different. What do you think about the example I gave about the job interview?
You don't think people have been passed over for jobs because of perceived homosexuality?
 
# 8 utexas @ 10/26/05 03:47 PM
Not on the level that women and ethnic minorities have, no
 
# 9 shawnee @ 10/26/05 06:27 PM
Shawn,

This is a great article. Honest and clearly heart-felt, your connection between the legacy of Parks and the unforeseen path of Swoopes illustrates the connectedness of race, sexuality, sports, and politics. As an African American, I commend you for having the courage not to simplify the discourse of difference and valor. They are, indeed, very much related.
 
# 10 luv_mist @ 10/26/05 07:14 PM
I believe that this debate is something that is deeper than comparing skin color, nationality, and background vs. sexual preference. I personally have my thoughts and am pretty sure that everyone else has theirs. Definitely see a similarity as to where you guys were coming from, but I gotta say I do disagree with the comparison. I can't view it as anything separate from Christianity, and I know that religious debate isn't exactly allowed on here. I'll give props on the article, but that's about it.......
 
# 11 quietcool72 @ 10/26/05 09:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv_mist
I believe that this debate is something that is deeper than comparing skin color, nationality, and background vs. sexual preference. I personally have my thoughts and am pretty sure that everyone else has theirs. Definitely see a similarity as to where you guys were coming from, but I gotta say I do disagree with the comparison. I can't view it as anything separate from Christianity, and I know that religious debate isn't exactly allowed on here. I'll give props on the article, but that's about it.......
Well said.

Another thing I think we need to think about is that this woman is "coming out of the closet" in a time when coming out of the closet is far less of a big deal. Twenty years ago, she'd have been taking some serious risks in doing this. Now? I don't think so.

Face it folks, she's more likely to be embraced by our culture now moreso than ever. If another WNBA player married a good man and lived a wholesome life, it wouldn't be front page CNN news- that's for sure. This woman admits she's a lesbian and suddenly she's "heroic" and "brave".

Three words:
Morally Bankrupt Society

We are living in a time when hollywood and the media has painted homosexuality as "the new chic'". Its labeled "fashionable" in almost every television and movie medium. Will and Grace. Queer Eye. Sex In The City. Seinfeld (not that there's anything wrong with that...), Friends, ... you name it.

We are also living in a time when homosexuals go further than just wanting respect and safety (which should be freely given, we all agree there..)- but there are many also looking to convert others... some at a VERY young age. If you don't believe me, check out your local public school library and pick up the children's book "King and King"- targeted at preschoolers. (Its actually one in a series of books aimed at Sesame Street aged kids..)

The rule of thumb for this generation: If it feels good, do it. If it doesn't outwardly and/or overtly hurt someone, go for it. We are like small children who know what our father told us to do, but justify loopholes and logistical caveats as to why we embrace our own quiet rebellion.

"If it doesn't hurt someone else, it must be okay to do... besides, the people on TV do it.."

To me, this was like her going public with an alchohol problem that she doesn't intend to do anything about. I wish her nothing but the best, and I hope she finds the strength to battle the problem instead of justifying it.

But, then again... me and luv_mist are probably in the minority.
 
# 12 mgoblue @ 10/26/05 09:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietcool72
Well said.

Another thing I think we need to think about is that this woman is "coming out of the closet" in a time when coming out of the closet is far less of a big deal. Twenty years ago, she'd have been taking some serious risks in doing this. Now? I don't think so.

Face it folks, she's more likely to be embraced by our culture now moreso than ever. If another WNBA player married a good man and lived a wholesome life, it wouldn't be front page CNN news- that's for sure. This woman admits she's a lesbian and suddenly she's "heroic" and "brave".
I'm sorry, if Allen Iverson, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, or someone like that came out of the closet then fans would go nuts. I listened to sports talk radio today and a ton of people were basically saying they'd not like the player because of that.

Also, you know a NFL, NBA, or whatever dressing room wouldn't handle that. I think there's still a big risk, maybe just for a man moreso than a woman in the WNBA (a league not near the others in stature).

So many people would do things similar to this: "Iverson, gay? Damn, that brother's a fruit? I've got an "Answer", I'm taking his jersey off cause I don't want to be gay"

I think to say there aren't serious risks for an athlete to come out while still active is way off base.
 
# 13 quietcool72 @ 10/26/05 09:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoblue
I think to say there aren't serious risks for an athlete to come out while still active is way off base.
On the contrary, I think there's very serious risks for anyone willing to make that lifestyle decision.

However, I think- at least from the media and from the WNBA as a league, she'll be embraced. She's an attractive female who is an admitted lesbian. That's alot different in this society than a man coming out of the closet playing a man's contact sport.

She'll be treated fine. The league will make sure of it. Heck, suddenly people are talking about the WNBA again.
 
# 14 sdrotar @ 10/26/05 11:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilateen
Just his way of including 2 top stories in one column, 2 African-Americans.

Not that this is race related, just a coincidence.

But in todays times, who gets more press or should I say article space?
I'm not sure what you mean, Gilateen.
I do believe that standing up for one's rights as a human being has merit, regardless of the relative level of persecution.
That was my only point.

 
# 15 Shaver @ 10/27/05 06:52 AM
Quote:
We are also living in a time when homosexuals go further than just wanting respect and safety (which should be freely given, we all agree there..)- but there are many also looking to convert others... some at a VERY young age. If you don't believe me, check out your local public school library and pick up the children's book "King and King"- targeted at preschoolers. (Its actually one in a series of books aimed at Sesame Street aged kids..)
Now I remembered why we don't have political conversation on this board... because very, very few are qualified to make an intelligent point.
 
# 16 quietcool72 @ 10/27/05 07:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay_OS
Now I remembered why we don't have political conversation on this board... because very, very few are qualified to make an intelligent point.
Really Clay? That's fascinating that you are so versed in the facts that us ignorant non-post-moderns must be too stupid to grasp.

My sister in law is a lesbian. She's "encouraged" 3 other women to do the same- and they have "converted". For 10 years, she tried to encourage my wife to become a lesbian too.

Both my wife and my sister and law come from a home where they had no father and an absentee mom (who was out being a low-rent call girl while the girls raised themselves.) The lesson taught to my wife's older sister from the life-lessons her mother "taught": Men are only good for getting money from.

So, my sister in law seeks to legitimize her own behavior by getting others to do the same. Its the old principle: Dysfunction loves company. She's had 3 successful conversions. She tends to approach young, college-aged women with low-self esteem who have been through a rough breakup, and also happen to be "down on men." These young, impressionable girls who are targeted by her end up being befriended, and invited to parties. They are then brought invited into the fold after they become peers.

So talk to me about conversions, Clay. Anybody who knows anything about the gay community would be able to tell you that yes- there is recruiting into what they call "the life". Visit any state college campus and take in a Bi/gay/trans student meeting. (At Pitt they are called the Bi-Gay-La group). But you need to talk to the active "in-community" homosexuals- those who are well past the phase of "just coming out".

But Clay, I suppose you are one of these people who believes that they are "born" homosexual. Well, despite the efforts of many pro-gay groups who fund some serious scientific studies on the matter- no genetic predisposition has been shown or proven scientifically. Its an assumption that many buy into.

But then again, what would I know about it. I'm "not qualified to make an intelligent point."
 
# 17 Shaver @ 10/27/05 07:59 AM
With all due respect... your Sister is a freak with little to know respect for other people and, clearly, you. Your SISTER...tried to "convert" your WIFE??? Wow!

You are of the closed-minded belief that homosexuality is a club, a cult, and a choice. So, any type of logical and intelligent debate is out the window. You are also of the highly egomaniacal belief that gay people want you on their team. And, finally, if you want to talk about recruiting... turn on the television and count the ads and TV programs that use nothing but rampant sexuality to sell.

They sell to the male (35-55) demographic by using 20 year old women who have no use or need for the product.

Cars?

Video Games?

When they are selling shaving cream, why does a half naked woman always walk up to feel how smooth her man's face is?

Converting.... what a joke.
 
# 18 quietcool72 @ 10/27/05 08:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay_OS
With all due respect... your Sister is a freak with little to know respect for other people and, clearly, you. Your SISTER...tried to "convert" your WIFE??? Wow!

You are of the closed-minded belief that homosexuality is a club, a cult, and a choice. So, any type of logical and intelligent debate is out the window. You are also of the highly egomaniacal belief that gay people want you on their team. And, finally, if you want to talk about recruiting... turn on the television and count the ads and TV programs that use nothing but rampant sexuality to sell.

They sell to the male (35-55) demographic by using 20 year old women who have no use or need for the product.

Cars?

Video Games?

When they are selling shaving cream, why does a half naked woman always walk up to feel how smooth her man's face is?

Converting.... what a joke.
Sister-in-law... my wife's sister. Yes, she tried to convert her back when she was single... after my wife had a breakup with an ex-boyfriend. (Of course, this was years before I met her.) No- she didn't "physicially" try to convert her, but she encouraged her to "try" the life on several occasions, as did my sister-in-law's "life-mate" at that time. (not with either of them, of course..)

But Clay- you are inadvertantly pointing out the giant chink in the armor of the post-modern "tolerance" movement. That being "there's only TOLERANCE to people who feel the same as those in the tolerance movement do." So the whole "tolerance" concept is an oxymoron.

As for you pointing out the rampant, depraved nature of the "Sex sells" society, I agree with you 100%. The message is "sell at any costs." Four words: Total Depravity Of Man. So there we agree.

The question then becomes- do we revel in our own depravity, show it off, and brag about it... Or should we be ashamed?

Shame is a concept that has all but been abolished by the humanist movement. They say "Man is the highest evolved creature on Earth, we have nothing to be ashamed of."

Is that true? Should we feel that way?

I contend that I care more about homosexuals than those who sit by and say nothing. "Tolerance" can also be an excuse to not get involved, and not care. Many gay people have been hurt, often by a father. We should embrace them and care for them.

But some of us aren't about to tell them "Right on! That's the answer. Go for it."
 
# 19 Fetter21 @ 10/27/05 12:12 PM
Nice article Shawn.

It's obviously going to be much more widely acceptable for her to come out playing in the WNBA than a male athlete in a team sport. I do think it does take some courage since she's in the public eye, and a large portion of the population sees this as a decision to be gay and a huge flaw to her character. I think it may be tougher for her playing in Texas than if she was a player in Conneticut or areas that might be more accepting. Unfortunatley I think it will be quite a while for a male athlete to come out of the closet. If they did I wouldn't imagine their career would last more than 2 years after their announcement, they'd essensially be run out of the sport. The only chance an athelete would have was if it were one of the top players in the sport since then teams and players would likely be more accepting because this player could do a great deal to help the team win. Hopefully I'll live to see a day where this happens, since I think that would very much help the cause, and hopefully take away from some of the negative stereotypes that go along with being gay. To me it's really sad that a good portion of the public would far rather see athletes, who are role models whether they want to be or not, be criminals than be homosexual.
 
# 20 quietcool72 @ 10/27/05 01:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetter21
Hopefully I'll live to see a day where this happens, since I think that would very much help the cause, and hopefully take away from some of the negative stereotypes that go along with being gay.
I have a feeling you'll get your wish.

But look at it this way- it wont' be the first time a major civilization has gone that route, so we can't say such a thing is that new or that trend-setting for the homosexual cause. Ancient Greece comes to mind, as well as two major cities that used to exist on some once fertile land in the Dead Sea region.

What's the common denominator?: All three civilizations exist merely as ruins and historical footnotes in a timeline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fetter21
To me it's really sad that a good portion of the public would far rather see athletes, who are role models whether they want to be or not, be criminals than be homosexual
I'd be willing to bet that the average fan would prefer neither of those two options.
 

« Previous12Next »

Post A Comment
This thread has been closed for new comments.