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Being Gay is Normal. Just Like Society, The Sports World Is Finding That Out!

Over the last 18 months, the sports world has experienced and been privy to multiple announcements that have changed the culture and allowed individuals to be more honest with themselves and their fans.

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Derrick Gordon, a University of Massachusetts guard on the Men’s Basketball team is the latest to announce he is gay after years of hiding his true feelings.

Others have included Robbie Rodgers from the world of soccer, Jason Collins of the NBA and Michael Sam who is entering this May’s NFL Draft.

Lets first just look at how sports have allowed us to evolve as people in the last year. Not to mention as a society, its remarkable…

We use sports for expression, for passion, for a sense of belonging and now we see sports at its finest with its ability to help progression.

People that get upset about the fact that we keep talking about them coming out need to understand a couple of things. It was no different when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier or when some other historical movement occurred. Those that took the reigns and started the movement get more credit and certainly it attracts more media attention, especially in this day and age.

I asked this question on my show “Overtime” the other day:

Do you think these announcements from Gay atheletes are important enough to continue the media coverage at the rate we are or is it a issue you’d like to see the media shy away from? And why…

That question itself, lit up the lines. With mixed responses ranging from yes, to no to somewhere in between.  One response that has seemed to be quite regular either on the phone lines or through social media outlets is the fact that strait folks ask why do gay folks feel the need to announce their sexuality.  The reason is simple! No one is getting called a slur while playing sports because they are strait.  No one is being segregated because they are strait.  That is why the “announcement” is so monumental considering its context.

I always contend, that my agenda with this isn’t to give Michael Sam or Derrick Gordon or Jason Collins days on days of coverage to inflate their ego.  No, I do what I do in regards to this topic, because I hope there are kids out there now who feel like sports can still be a safe haven for them to continue to strive for excellence.

One of my biggest issues with this story and the past ramifications of essentially acting like there was no place in sports for those of different sexuality that what may of previously been considered “normal”, is the fact that we have missed out on some great talents and others have had to halt their athletic careers because of fear and exclusion.

Furthermore, some try making it about morality and the bible when I’m trying to make it about basic human decency.

Example: On twitter the other night, a guy locally from Sioux Falls and I had a very interesting exchange.  He has a son and I asked what would he do if his son came to him one day and said he was gay.  His response..” won’t happen! He’s being brought up to know what’s morally correct! “…

Really?? That is what I am most concerned about. That parents like that will scare their kids into not being honest with themselves and eventually pulling away from team activities and situations as such and we miss out on great athletes and they miss out on sports because of parenting such as that.

That is why I believe these courageous announcements mean something and that they can do so much for so many people.

Being strait is normal, being gay is normal, being bi-sexual, transsexual, what ever, is normal! Let’s not make sports be a place where athletes can’t come together because of their sexuality.  At one time in this country we segregated folks because of race or gender, lets not make that same mistake again and again and again.

Hopefully one day I don’t have to write these articles or discuss these topics on my show, hopefully one day, indeed its perceived as it is reality and that ALL are considered “normal” and accepted as such!

** YOU CAN EMAIL JEFF THURN AT JT@ESPN991.COM AND FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER @JTESPN991

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