There seems to be a rapid increase of openly Gay Lesbian and Bisexual athletes within the sporting arena with recently Boxer Orlando Cruz coming out. Inspiringly more and more athletes seem to be getting comfortable both professional and personally which is a great triumph for the LGBT community especially for those of us that are avid sports fan.
I have always considered the sporting arena as a workplace for athletes, and firmly believe that both fields should have similar policies and support groups for openly Gay, Lesbian Bisexual, Transgender and Queer employees/players. Let’s make a comparison between both: As an employee of either a small or large company or non-profit, you are assigned specific tasks and roles to complete which filters into a greater teamwork effort resulting in the success of the company or organization. The same can be said for a relay team, soccer team, Basketball team or football team: each player is aware of his/her individual role and is cognizant of the role he/she plays in the overall success/win of the team. As a big 49er fan it’s imperative that our defensive players understand the support they provide to the offensive line. Let’s take track and field: to have gotten that world record the US 4X100M women team had to ensure that their baton changes were immaculate and that they had their best player on the anchor leg. Player’s teamwork and workplace roles are no different.
I therefore ask the question, why aren’t policies and support groups implemented for openly gay lesbian and bisexual athletes? Aren’t both players and employees working for the greater good of the company/team? Aren’t both groups being paid for work done? While it is good to have more coming out stories within the sporting arena, it’s also imperative that we provide policies that protect these athletes and players, support groups for these out players, those who desiring to coming out and of course those who are allies and support their fellow team members. While there are players who openly support same sex marriage and relationships I thoroughly believe that the creation of binding rules and policies protecting these players will allow for more acceptances, tolerance and more coming out stories. Here are my three benefits to having these policies.
• Players are more focused on the playing at their full potential rather than in constant fear of being discriminated, isolated or worst eliminated from the team
• Promotes tolerance for various diverse groups, not only gay and lesbians but also those with differing religious and cultural beliefs.
• Avoid awkward locker room moments (haha)

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