Essay: Sports and Social Change

Pages: 3 (851 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

Sports and Social Change

The National Football League (NFL) is changing. It has a new face, and one that everybody -- straight, lesbian, gay bi-sexual transsexual (LGBT) and queer can both recognize and respect.

There have been a number of recent developments within the NFL that show it is taking demonstrable steps to illustrate the same sort of social justice that is increasingly being reflected across America and the world at large. This past winter, NFL hopeful Michael Sams admitted he's a homosexual to a national audience including the New York Times and ESPN. A few weeks later the quarterback of the Washington Redskins, Kirk Cousins, stated that he and his teammates would welcome an openly gay player who could "help us win" (Huffington Post). And just a couple of weeks ago, representatives from the NFL participated in the YOU Belong Initiative's second annual LGBT and Straight Allied Youth Sports and Leadership camp.

As if these occurrences were not signs of the apocalypse, representatives from the NFL (including senior executive and former player Troy Vincent and director of transition and clinical services -- and another former player -- Dwight Hollier) participated in the You Can Play High Five Initiative. You Can Play is an organization headed by former player and openly gay founder Wade Davis, which is dedicated to providing philanthropy opportunities to LGBT youth while utilizing sports (and football in particular) as a medium to reach them.

Quite obviously, the participation of NFL players in all of these events and the expressions of willingness to work with people regardless of their sexual orientations indicates that the image of the organization is subtly changing. Even a cursory interview of the experience of former players who came out as homosexuals after they left the league indicates why such a transformation is both timely and necessary. In a conversation Davis had with Vincent, the former recollected, "I policed my every move and tried to re-create the type of masculinity that I thought was acceptable in the world. I even disclosed how my fear of being rejected, on some level, impacted my ability to perform" (Davis).

In the 21st century, it is no longer appropriate to have players in the NFL -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- have to hide their tendencies because of a fear of a lack of tolerance. The NFL is one of the most eminent places to being exhibiting parity in terms of diversity for its players. As one of the more influential organizations in the U.S., it has a great degree… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Sports and Social Change.  (2014, March 31).  Retrieved May 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sports-social-change/7597023

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"Sports and Social Change."  31 March 2014.  Web.  24 May 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sports-social-change/7597023>.

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"Sports and Social Change."  Essaytown.com.  March 31, 2014.  Accessed May 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/sports-social-change/7597023.