It’s tough to describe what professional athletes go through during the heat of battle.  They have a lot going through their minds especially when the stakes are at their highest.  They are under major pressure to perform at the highest level possible for not only themselves and their teammates, but their fans as well.  None of us, unless there are professional athletes reading this post, know what it’s like to perform in front of tens of thousands of people on a regular basis.  I’m sure it’s extremely stressful and when things don’t quite go their way, they can get pretty testy.

Professional athletes have been getting into altercations with other players, coaches, referees and fans for years.  Although it’s not a very flattering aspect of professional sports, it will always be around as long as you have testosterone-filled and short-tempered athletes, referees making bad calls and ignorant fans.  It’s just how it is.  But here lately athletes have been making what have been described as “anti-gay slurs.”  It’s not a new term by any means and people have been using these slurs for years.  That’s not the issue here.  The issue is that now every time an athlete says a word that can be considered an anti-gay slur, they are going to be fined for it and looked at as being homophobic and being against the gay lifestyle.

I know this is a very sensitive issue for a lot of people, but I don’t agree with jumping to conclusions and thinking that just because an athlete calls someone gay or a f**got they are a homophobe.  Most of these so-called anti-gay slurs are just terms people use when they’re mad or frustrated about something.  By no means is it right to say these things, but it’s just something that happens.  I’m sure that most people reading this post have called someone some type of anti-gay slur in their lifetime, but not all of us are against the gay lifestyle.  Not all of us have a problem with gay people.  My outlook on the situation is that if someone chooses to be gay, that’s their choice and they have the right to live that kind of lifestyle.

The thing that frustrates me is when an organization like GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) comes out and says that homophobia is a big problem in the NBA.  The accusation came out after Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah called a fan in the stands a f**got during a game against the Miami Heat this past Sunday.  Kobe Bryant was also fined for using the same slur during a playoff game last month.  GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios was very adamant about the comments made by these NBA players and feels like it’s a major issue that needs to be addressed.

Barrios said that the NBA needs to take greater disciplinary actions when it comes to a player making anti-gay remarks during game action.  He said there is no room for these kind of comments in the game and that it creates a intolerable and unacceptable climate as it pertains to homosexuality.  Seriously?  This is absolutely ridiculous.  I’m sure that Noah and Bryant didn’t think up plans before their games to try and make the NBA an anti-gay league.  This guy needs to get a reality check and realize the words these players are using, although not right, are not directed specifically at the gay community.  They are just terms that are used amongst players in the league and don’t have an underlying meaning.  The last thing these athletes are worried about when they are on the court is making a political statement.

GLAAD has taken this issue too far.  There isn’t an anti-gay movement happening in the NBA.  The fact that a few players have been caught saying certain words that can be considered as being anti-gay isn’t a problem.  It’s just a result of guys reacting to situations in a highly stressful environment without thinking.  That’s all.  End of story.

Submitted by Steve Giles