Three special guests share their experience with the students at Montclair State University at the annual sports panel moderated by Professor Marc Rosenweig. Hudson Taylor, founder of Athlete Ally; Jared Max, former program host of ESPN; and Jane McManas, reporter of ESPNNY.com, discussed issues within the LGBT community and how it affected their sports careers. Our guests explained to the students the bigotry, ignorance, and horrid flashbacks of locker room talks when they first stated they were “coming out” with their sexuality.
The first athlete to openly admit his sexuality to the media was NBA star, Jason Collins. This past May of 2013 Jason, like most other gay athletes struggling to come out, stated he could not hold his secret any longer and wanted to confront who he really was. Jason Collins did not want to hide anymore, and tells the media he is comfortable with being gay and is still an all-star on the courts. In recent decades, liking the same sex has been intimidating within the sports industry by making lesbian or gay athletes self-conscious or even ashamed of their sexuality. This has increasingly changed throughout the years, as same sex marriage and gay rights is supported throughout the country.
Although at first it was difficult to have a guarded secret, Jane, Jared, and Hudson all agreed that expressing your sexual orientation does not change a player negatively but makes them an even greater athlete. These three guests explained they feel more comfortable when everyone knows the truth, because after all the unnecessary gossip is put aside, at the end of the day everyone is created equal.
Montclair State | New Jersey