Well, I was sure that Doc, whose interviews always reflect a certain degree of wisdom and wit, would produce a smart answer when questioned about the current gay pro athlete debate, and he did not surprise. When asked the question yesterday, he had this to say:

“There’ll be a lot of talk about it and then I think it will go away,” Rivers said. “It’s [interesting]. As a team, I took the team to see ’42′ [on Monday]. There was a lot of talk and then all of a sudden, everybody starts playing. And I think the same thing will happen. So, that’s the way I look at it.”

Source: WEEI


I grew up in an anti-LGBT environment, hearing the silliest prejudiced arguments and the most hurtful insults, and witnessing psychological and physical tormenting of human beings who simply demanded to live as they wish with equal rights: no more, no less. What's worse, I had been oblivious to their struggles, and sometimes partook in the creation of such environment. However, once you strip yourself of your prejudice and actually listen to understand, your whole world easily changes. Only then I understood that it wasn't an issue of LGBT people, it was actually an issue of straight people.

People will have all sorts of feelings about others, but it's one's duty to examine the source of such feelings and stop them from turning into action and words. Common sense dictates that social interactions should be based on the objective values people produce, not some unrelated categorical identity. For example, there are and will be good and bad parents, regardless of them being black or white, gay or straight, Christian or atheist. Just like that, there will be good and bad teammates, skilled and less skilled athletes, with or without high sportsmanship. They should be evaluated solely on that, not the national/racial/religious/sexual identity they happen to have.

It's a pity that discrimination is transitive: members of an identity that was historically discriminated against may find themselves doing the same against other members of different identities. Racism in Boston is a perfect example. (Remember the reaction when a black hockey player scored the goal that kicked the Bruins out of the Playoffs?) Thus I believe it's really important that influential sports figures like Doc Rivers set the tone of the debate.

Thank you Doc. I hope we hear more positive words so that we can let this nonsense debate end sooner. People are people. Athletes are athletes. No more, no less.

Follow me on Twitter - @semioticusCL

semioticus (shelbyl) 4/10/2013 10:42:00 AM Edit
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