NHL, NFL, NBA, & MLB Players Respond Regarding Gay Marriage

Should the U.S. Legalize Gay Marriage?

62 professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, responded to this survey done by ESPN.  61 % of  NFL athletes and 92% of NHL athletes responded “yes”, while 46% of NBA players and 45% of MLB athletes agreed.

This research was reported on October 14, 2012 by Jim Buzinski in SB Nation Outsports, an online news magazine, which writes on GLBT issues and the sports world.

I know that we Chicago sports fans are completely immersed with our Blackhawks, being up 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals v. the L.A. Kings.  My sons , nephews, and friends, are all sporting hockey beards, of course.

And my eldest is getting married next Saturday in DC. Those wedding pictures will have quite a group of guys with black faces of all shades.  Not even one’s wedding will get in the way of  Blackhawks’ hockey!

But we have been reminded of homophobia once again by NBA Indiana Pacer’s player Roy Hibbert’s  “casual” gay slur, in his post-game win Saturday  v. the Miami Heat in game 6, forcing a game 7 Eastern Conference Finals tonight, in South Beach.

Hibbert was fined $75K, as he should have. He did issue an apology, and “reached out” by tweeting to Jason Collins, an NBA player who came out last month as being gay, which I previously wrote about.

On ESPN’s  “Outside the Lines” today, Sean Adams , Host of ESPN the Radio, Austin, reported that this type of language is popularized in athletics and generally in hip-hop. He emphasized that it needs to be addressed more readily and frequently,  than just once/ season.

On ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”, Dan Dakich, of ESPN Radio 1070 of ‘The FAN’  in Indiana, reported, of Hibbert,  when asked if this  media attention will impact Hibbert’s play in Game 7 tonight v. the Heat:

“He’s a real sensitive guy. …He’s one of, if not the nicest, one of the most considerate, decent people I’ve ever met in sports…. I think he stepped out of himself a little bit…made comments, and it hurts him…it will be interesting tonight….some guys you can see, ….not even gonna bother (them from the attention)…  other guys?  Maybe.  And he’s one of those “maybe” guys.  He just genuinely cares….he has been nationally criticized…in a big way… and I worry about him, and I worry about the Pacers.”

So I’ll finish this off with what I began with:  the survey.  While the number of players interviewed is quite small, one can see an extraordinary high rate of NHL players, 92%, approving gay marriage, compared with players from the MLB and NFL, with a bit higher number of NBA athletes.

I initially read this research from the Bleacher Report, which my brother Jerry sends me every day.  I proceeded to read dozens and dozens of comments left by readers to the article.  Some pro, some con, as one would expect.

One very poignant response noted that most NHL Hockey players come from Canada, and wondered, could there be a reason why Canadians may have different views about the subject than Americans, who mostly populate the other 3 major sports?

And then I thought about the  European players who play on our hockey teams also: Finnish, Swedish, Slovakien, Czech, etc.   It made me wonder “what variables” or other qualities would make an NHL player have a considerably different view on the subject?

If only Susannah Collins were around to do an interview with Canadians Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, Corey Crawford, Ray Emery, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook,  Andrew Shaw, and of course, Coach Q.

But they’re all too busy now,  staying focused on trying to bring Lord Stanley back  home to Chicago.  And I hope Susannah is busy too, doing what she wants and deserves to be doing.

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