After the wildly ignorant comments of San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver yesterday, you'll (hopefully) be pleased to know that not all professional athletes are total neanderthals.
On a video podcast hosted by Robert Fick and Dmitri Young (which is a weird enough story unto itself), Jered Weaver and his brother Jeff made the proclamation that they are totally cool with the idea of having a gay teammate. Here are a few of the comments Jered made when asked about the topic (with a big tip o' the hat to Big League Stew):
"If you’re hitting .300 with 40 and 140, bring ‘em on, you know?"
"They worked just as hard as us to get up to where we’re at."
How very bold of them, right? Well, I guess it is in the world of professional sports where homosexuality is still a major taboo as Culliver reminded us yesterday and as Torii Hunter, coincidentally a former teammate of Weaver, also reminded us with some controversial comments of his own a few weeks back. Even with the stigma firmly in place in sports, it still feels weird that Weaver's comments would even be worthy of attention. Call me crazy, but I like to think that not being a bigot is a basic level of human existence that we should all expect, not an exception to the rule that should be celebrated.
Alas, the number of pro athletes in any of the major sports that I can think of as being openly OK with openly gay teammates is a pretty short list consisting mostly of punters and placekickers while the list on the other side of the ledger is significantly lengthier, so Weaver's comments should not go unnoticed, even if one wishes that they didn't have to be. Like it or not, this debate over gay teammates is going to rage on until some brave soul in one of the major sports comes out of the closet while still active. At least he will have one more peer supporting him now.
So, congratulations to Jered Weaver for not being a horrible human being. I guess.