I have been distraught sitting back watching athletes answer unnecessary and inappropriate questions around their sexuality due to our lack of true compassion, dignity and love for all. We now exist in a society where our own obsession with others trumps respect for others' personal lives.
There are LGBT athletes ready, willing, and able to speak on their own behalf. Why am I, a straight man, explaining what it must feel like to be an LGBT athlete when I am surrounded by dozens of LGBT athletes more than capable of sharing their own stories? Why are we suffocating LGBT voices?
It's only a short step from "don't cry like a girl" and "don't be a bitch" to "women are inferior." These assumptions and connections, part of what many are calling "toxic masculinity," enable violence against gay (or "effeminate" men) and violence against women alike.
If these are just football matters, why are we seeing all the headlines about these men being cut for supporting gays and lesbians? It's simple: Because people still want to believe that the NFL hates gay people.
When Jason Collins decided to reveal the life he'd kept secret for so long, Harris, Dean, James Baldwin before them, and many other literary figures had already been on set, prepping the scene, readying our minds for what's to come.
Think about it: if coming out as an ally and publicly supporting equality is considered a "distraction," how will an NFL team react to the avalanche of media attention, accolades, hate mail, death threats, etc. when an active player actually comes out as gay?