by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Michael Irvin is publicly supporting the gay community — specifically in the sports industry. The retired Dallas Cowboy player is currently featured on the cover of the July issue of Out magazine — a gay and lesbian culture and entertainment magazine — and appears in an article speaking out about his own experience having a homosexual family member. NYDailyNews.com reports:
“The profile opened with Irvin recalling the moment he found out that his older brother, Vaughn, was gay – he saw Vaughn dressed in women’s clothes walking down the street. ‘I’m not gay, but I was afraid to even let anyone have the thought,’ the Hall of Famer said in the Out profile. ‘Growing up, whoever had the most women and the nicest car, he was the man,’ Irvin said. ‘So when you get in the locker room, you remember that.'”
Despite being raised with the latter understanding of what it means to be a man, Irvin says that he hopes to see a man in the sports industry come out and acknowledge openly that he is homosexual. Specifically Irvin states, “If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him. That’s why I do my radio show every day. When these issues come out, I want to have a voice to speak about them.”
Irvin also believes that the sports industry will support any male athlete who decides to be public about being homosexual. He says, “I believe, if a teammate had said he was gay, we would have integrated him and kept moving because of the closeness.” He adds that he would definitely be one to ensure that a homosexual male athlete felt welcome — even if it had been his fellow teammate Troy Aikman who was rumored to have been gay. NYDailyNews.com reports “Irvin said in the magazine article that while he did not believe the Hall of Fame signal-caller (Aikman) was gay, they never explicitly discussed his sexuality. ‘Would it have affected the team? No sir. I was going to make sure of that,’ Irvin said.”
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.