WELCOME EVERYONE TO YOUR TEAM.
On News Radio 780 WBBM in Chicago came the story of the want of legislation that would make professional sports more open to LGBT participants. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender folks get battered about in the conservative press these days because they are not like “everybody else”. They are looked upon for their alternative lifestyles, the way they have chosen to conduct their daily way of living.
But then, aren’t we all living “alternative” lives in some way or other? If I do not like something on a menu, I have alternatives – options – to choose from, such as turkey over beef for a burger, or a pretzel bun instead of the wheat bread, to have the onions grilled instead of raw or American cheese instead of Swiss, or to have a beer or not with my burger.
We “alternate” the pairs of shoes we wear during the week, we alternate our clothes, choose different pants or shirts or dresses to wear, and that can depend on many factors. What we wear can depend on whether or not we have done laundry, or if an item needs repair, or if we no longer like the shirt and wish to get a new one. We all live alternative lifestyles, as we are different each from the other. You might like rap and I might not, so we have alternatives as to what we want to hear when we go out for entertainment.
You might not like someone who is openly expressive of their LGBT lifestyle, but they might not like some aspects of your conservative lifestyle or your stubborn narrow -mindedness. No one is “normal” and no one is “perfect”, so do not think you are or that you have the right to judge someone else because of what you do or do not like or enjoy.
On the subject of welcoming a person of the LGBT persuasion to a professional sports association, it should not matter what “persuasion” they are. Can they do the job and do they have the qualifications needed to become a team member? Are they strong enough and can they run the laps and do the stretching, the warming up, and the other techniques necessary?
Or have you politicians and prejudiced people reverted back to the pre –Jackie Robinson days of baseball, when no one else was allowed to don a professional uniform and run out onto that field with pride? Have you become so stubborn and lazy and indifferent that you are going to let some old prejudice get in the way of someone’s progress? How unfortunate that is!
That LGBT participant is a professional, and they can run, catch, throw, and cover the bases with the best of the others that they consider are the ones with the alternative lifestyles. They can do the laps, don the bathing suits, the helmets, the padding, the cleats, the rest of the uniform, and the gloves right alongside their comrades on the field. Thus they have the same right and the same qualifications to be out there as the rest of the team members do. Who has to know what persuasion the members of the team are? That should not matter one whit; if the team is winning, if they are doing well, if they are not making the news because of bad behavior or arguments on the field or skirmishes on the sidelines or on the mound, then so be it.
Let everyone come together in one of the greatest venues that brings people around each other in the spirit of sportsmanship and good society. The world of sports ideally should be one of fun and pleasure and also of lessons that can be transferred to other realms in the life experience. You can learn to be disciplined, to participate as a team member, to enjoy working with others and to keep your thoughts on your work, the task you are doing at that moment.
Remember that if you do not keep your brain on what you are doing, at a crucial time in the game you could drop the ball, make a throwing error, or lose sight of where you are going and step on someone and cause injury. You could mistake where you are and swing your stick and hit someone, or you could pass the ball and have it intercepted. You need to practice every day, and not just sit around watching films. To be stronger you need to get in the weight room, get on the running track and get your stretches in.
Never mind who is in the exercise room with you; the point is that you are each and every one out to accomplish a goal and implement your plan of action, and that is to get on that field AS A TEAM and play the best game you are able. If you win, that is great and excellent, but if you lose you can learn from what you did and move on.
Simple. Easy. Nothing to it. Just remember you are a team.
Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013.