This past year, 12-year NBA veteran Jason Collins revealed his sexual orientation becoming the first openly gay male athlete playing in professional sport. Recently, extraordinary news came out of Missouri that University of Missouri’s first-team All-America selection and SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam announced he is gay.
While Sam, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound all American, could become the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL if drafted. Having the guts to announce one’s sexual orientation that is opposite to the norm of an entity fueled with high-testosterone and toughness ideologies, prevails courage and confidence. Though sports play an intrinsic part of the culture but homosexual athletes like Jason Collins and Michael Sam faces daunting challenges ahead.
We live in a society where everything that is regular or normal is perfect and anything less or opposite is viewed, judged and criticized as inferior. In all sports, including the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), HOMOSEXUAL athletes have a long road toward acceptance in society. And if that acceptance prevails the indifference of people it would not only transcend sports but ultimately change the face of our culture.
So could sports and homosexuality survive without each other? A question I considered challenging given the fact the relationship ties between sports and the media is strong. The intertwined relationship between sports and the media establishes and reproduce dominant ideologies in society. I argued that in society the media present sports in ways that often reaffirm and establish dominant ideologies. For instance, when it comes to Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgender (LBGT) in sports they receive minimum to no media coverage compared to heterosexual counterparts. In dominant male sports like football and basketball, heterosexual male athletes are often televised with their wives and children after a super bowl win or championship game. In contrast, the sports media marginalized homosexuality by ignoring homosexual athletes, signs, and narratives of homosexuality and making heterosexual athletes more visible in media coverage. Nevertheless, even though sports depend heavily on the media, at the same time, the media reaffirms and establish dominant ideologies that continue to perpetuate society.