There I am, singing the praises of Ohio State Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel - may he coach forever - and suddenly I'm notified that Mr. Tressel supports gays! So I did some digging, and found out that apparently he agreed to be interviewed by a local gay publication earlier in the year. In that publication he speaks about the importance of people being treated like family, being given their equal share in the role of the team, and how he emphasises the importance of everyone coming to grips with themselves and being who they are. OK. And?
Coach Tressel might adore homosexuals, support the cause, and generally believe that in terms of sexuality, there are no rules, only right. That's up to him. That's not why I admire him. I admire him because he is a good coach. And from all appearances, a good person. As long as he is wracking up winning seasons and ensuring that there will be enough demand for Buckeyes tickets that us poor and wretched among the alumni are cast into the upper nose bleed seats, that's all I ask.
Why did he agree to the interview in the first place? Dunno. If he refused, there could have been a backlash. If he didn't personally support homosexuality, he wouldn't dare admit it, because that can cost some pretty hefty power players their jobs nowadays. Even if he didn't support gay rights, what would he say? He wouldn't accept a gay player? That would be the end of his career no matter how many national titles he had under his belt. One of the enduring myths of our time is that homosexuals as a whole are discriminated against. In a few legal areas maybe, in some parts of the country, probably. But nationally, the ball is in their court and if you work anywhere that isn't a right wing or conservative religious organization, you had best keep any non-supportive thoughts about homosexuality to yourself. I'm of the belief that there are three groups of people in our country when it comes to the issue of homosexuality: There are those who are against it, there are those who support it, and there are those who are against it but for various reasons - not the least of which is strong social intimidation - would not dare admit that they reject it.
So who knows? Whatever his mindset, that's between him and his God. I admire him for his character, his honesty, and his prowess as a coach. I am perfectly able to disagree with someone, even on important issues, and still admire them in other areas. That's something I'd like to see a little more of from the gay community, truth be told.