Friday, March 05, 2010

Jim Tressel, Football Coach And LGBT Friend


There really aren't many out gay athletes. I mean, we've seen divers come out, ice skaters come out; a soccer player, or the occasional basketball player; rarely, though, a foot ball player. Sports are exactly conducive to being out, or even being gay friendly.

But still, we've had some athletes come out, so to speak, as LGBT allies, like wrestler Hudson Tayor [HERE], or football players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita [HERE].

And now we have college football coach, Jim Tressel, who has given what many are calling the first Division I NCAA head football coach one-on-one interview with an LGBT publication OutSports. One of the most interesting passages in the article [HERE] is how Tressel says he would handle it if one of his players comes out as gay.

“We strive to teach and model appreciation for everyone. One, we are a family. If you haven’t learned from your family at home that people have differences and those strengthen the whole, then you are hopefully going to learn it as part of the Ohio State football family.
“Two, every part of our team is important and every role has value – no job is too small and no person is irrelevant – that’s a great lesson that transcends into society. When I think of the diversity we’ve had on our team the past few years, it goes way beyond just a racial, sexual or ethnic mix.
"We’ve had players who had different religions, players who came from different economic backgrounds, players who are parents, who are spouses, who are caring for ailing parents, who are wheelchair bound, who are battling cancer, and on and on.
"Whatever a young man feels called to express, I hope we will help him do it in a supportive environment. Everybody is important, and maturity is learning to find and appreciate those differences in others. If we appreciate each other, then we have a chance for something great.”

Smart man.

1 comment:

Paul Benjamin said...

Excellent quote! Thanks for sharing.