This week’s thoughts are all on perceptions and dealing with people’s feelings on things.
Thursday Thoughts on the Crimson Tide
By: Larry Burton
How would Alabama deal with a gay player? I mean, this IS Alabama’s team and this area isn’t known for its politically correct or liberal views on things. One former player was asked that question and his answer was surprising. “How do you know we haven’t already had one?
I’d like to think that if Alabama had one and the player chose to keep it quiet, that the team would too. But if he came forward, how would the team and most of all the fans handle it? I believe whatever Nick Saban said on the subject would set the tone for the players and should set the tone for the fans. But would it?
In the years since I first met Nick Saban, I’ve come to guess pretty well what he will say on certain topics and on this one I believe he’d say something like, “I’m only concerned on how he chooses to play football in every workout, practice and game, not who he chooses to date. He’s a member on this team and I don’t get involved in any of the men’s personal lives on this team, who they date, how many relationships they have going or any of that. I only care about things that affect their studies, playing ability and willingness to keep to the process. You’ve never asked me about any other players dating partners and I don’t intend on starting to answer any more questions about any players personal relationships, aright?”
Personally, I’d rather have a gay that a rapist, personally, I’d rather have a gay than a thief, personally, I’d rather have a good gay player than a straight average player, in other words, at 57 years old and married for 25 years to the same woman, I’m too old to care anymore about what other people think about a team member on Alabama’s roster. I’m an Alabama fan no matter what.
I’d like to think that’s how the press would handle it, but apparently they wouldn’t. This week ESPN reported on Sports Center on the NFL’s St. Louis Rams showering practices after the games and practices, (now that they have an openly gay player). No player, not one, has come out and said one negative word about Michael Sam, the gay player and the only public comments have been in the “he’s just one of the guys” comments. In fact, this week one player tweeted:
Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it.
Larry is an award winning writer whose work has appeared in almost every college football venue. Now he primarily writes for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter