Homophobia and sports have been in the news a lot lately, and some brave athletes have come out for gay rights. New York Rangers’ forward Sean Avery is one of those people, having voiced his support for legal gay marriage.
Uptown Sports agent Todd Reynolds, whose sports agency represents Mike Fisher, Andrew Brunette and Chris Neil, among others, took to his company’s Twitter last night to vent about Avery’s vocal support for gay marriage.[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/uptownhockey/status/67689998723457024″]
Avery, who has often been teased for his astute fashion sense, has thick skin when it comes to people criticizing him for his views. “People have been calling me names for 10 years just because I like to wear nice suits. It’s going to take a lot to get me upset or get under my skin.”
Reynolds, who is married with three children, continued the conversation on Twitter, claiming that he does not hate gays, believes that we are all equal, and that he is not a bigot. Go ahead, respond to him and tell him what you think about his statement: @uptownhockey.[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/uptownhockey/status/67716159398617088″] [blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/uptownhockey/status/67717068581122048″]
Reynolds then took to the radio, TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto, to explain further:
There’s certainly a voice for the other side on this particular issue. I was merely responding to be the other voice. I believe in standing up for what you believe in. I’m passionate about what I believe in. And I believe in morality and I believe in right and wrong. I know many people with different view points for what is right and wrong.
But I’m a little disappointed in some of the response. If you oppose a viewpoint, you’re immediately targeted by some people as a hater, a bigot, intolerant, homophobic and many other terms. That’s obviously not the case for people who know me.
I don’t hate anyone. And I’m certainly not a bigot. But I believe in marriage between one man and one woman. It’s a social debate that’s raged on for quite some time. In Canada and the U.S. it’s a hot-button topic right now. I guess maybe it was how I was raised. I believe in voicing your opinion and not being part of the silent majority.
The thing that Reynolds misses is that gay marriage isn’t a “viewpoint.” Gay marriage is about a right that we have as LGBT people to marry the person we love. That is not a viewpoint – it is a right. And back when there was slavery, or a ban on blacks and whites marrying, or segregation, those people who believed in denying African Americans the right to be free were not opposing a “viewpoint.” They were denying actual people their fundamental rights.
So, Mr. Reynolds, where you see a “viewpoint,” we see a human right. You are opposing our human rights, not simply a “viewpoint” that we have, and therefore we are fully right in believing that you are hateful, that you are a bigot, that you are intolerant, and that you are homophobic. You are all of those things because your belief strips me of my right to marry the man that I want to marry.