(note to CSTB’s male readers – please do not stare at Mr. Knudson for an extended period of time, especially if you find him attractive)
There’s been no shortage of discussion this week over Mike Florio’s assertion Manti Te’o rumored homosexuality might impact the former Heisman contender’s draft stock, along with claims by at least two players at the NFL’s Combine in Indianapolis they were asked the not-entirely innocent question, “do you like girls?” In the wake of such intimidating, if not illegal inquiries, former MLB pitcher Mark Knudson has taken his “Don’t Tell, And I Won’t Ask” campaign to Mile High Sports.com, claiming if gay athletes give a hoot about the welfare of the team, they’ll shut up and blend in as best they can (“there will be plenty of time for pronouncements and getting that nice book deal after the playing days are over”)
Critics of pro athletes are conveniently forgetting about some pretty substantial differences in workplace environments. Trying to compare the local “more tolerant” accounting office with a pro sports locker room is absurd. Those who work 9-5 with a gay co-worker aren’t essentially living together. They aren’t spending 24/7 living under a microscope, with every move they make being scrutinized. They aren’t traveling across North America and going into intense competition in hostile environments and then being expected to perform flawlessly as a unit. And they aren’t showering together afterwards. Important distinctions.
In a normal work environment, people are individuals with jobs. In pro sports, it’s all about as George Karl puts it, “teamness.” Individualism and personal agendas might be okay in a normal workplace, but it’s not okay in team sports. Teamness is what fans demand from the teams they pay to watch. Any individual with an agenda that’s even slightly different from that of the team hurts that cause.
Just as absurd as comparing workplace environments is the ridiculous claim by some in the gay community that there wouldn’t be any sort of physical attraction for a gay athlete toward any of his straight teammates – which would cause those very uncomfortable situations. He’s gay; he’s not dead. He can’t just flip a switch and turn off his feelings when he walks into the locker room.
Of course he’s going to have feelings of attraction toward a teammate or two. It’s human nature. These are some of the most physically fit and desirable human beings on the planet. The gay athlete isn’t going to notice that? And obviously, the straight teammates are going to feel the same sort of vibe that the attractive girl on the co-ed softball team gets from a few of the men on her team. Attractive people know when they’re being “checked out” and it leads to those very awkward moments. It’s human nature for people to be attracted to other people and it’s not going to stop happening because the workplace environment is a locker room rather than a typical office setting.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The basic rights of homosexual athletes to be treated as equals in the workplace are in Knudson’s view, usurped by the off chance someone might stare too long at a cock. BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED.