Earlier this week former NBA center John Amaechi announced he is gay, marking the first time anyone who has ever played in the NBA admitted to being gay. Professional sports are rarely described as places of great enlightment. I'm guessing there tends to be better racial understanding in the NBA and NFL than in a lot of other work places. I don't imagine that being an out man in the NBA would be easy.
A lot of players have been quoted and some sound pretty dumb, some informed and then there is Shavlik Randolph
Shavlik Randolph: "As long as you don't bring your gayness on me I'm fine." Apart from the general "ew icky" factor and the incredible lack of understanding about the way the world works...he doesn't even manage to couch his fear in a grammatically sensical way. Bring gayness on me. What? Force gayness on me, sure. Bring gayness around me. For the love of god Shavlik if you're going to graduate or at least attend Duke learn how to put together a fucking sentence. I mean, ideally that sentence would be more progressive, informed and enlightened than the one he stumbled through, but come on. Somewhere at Duke an English teacher just lost tenure.
There's a part of me that wonders whether Shavlik is simply lashing out at others to make up for his own difficult childhood. I am trying to imagine a middle school kid with the name Shavlik not getting mocked, wedgied and taunted mercilessly. I don't care if he was 6'10 at 11 years. If your first name has the work "lick" in it, things will be said. Oh, yes. Things will be said. So maybe Shavlik (which looks a little like shave lick, which gives you to bites at the taunting apple) is just getting out his aggression for prior insults. Or maybe he's frustrated that a gay Brit was able to average 6.2 points per game in the oh-so macho NBA, while he (Randolph) struggles to score 3 points a game for a decimated, truly inept Philly team.