Last week New York state legislators voted to approve a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the state. The bill will now go to the New York senate this week (most likely on Wednesday or Thursday). If it passes, it will be a major victory for the gay-rights movement in one of the nation’s most populous states. Knowing this, a lot of anti-gay bigots have come out of the woodwork to chastise gay marriage proponents, including former New York Giant David Tyree.
You may remember Tyree from the 2007 Super Bowl, when his stunning catch—in which he awkwardly wedged the ball against his helmet with two hands while being tackled—helped the Giants secure a win against the formerly undefeated New England Patriots. Tyree retired from football in 2010, but that apparently hasn’t stopped him from speaking his mind on political issues.
Last week Tyree made the outrageous claim that gay marriage would “lead to anarchy,” saying “that will be the moment where our society in itself loses its grip with what's right.” Today, Tyree added to that statement, saying he’d rather give up his Super Bowl victory than see gay marriage in New York. “Nothing means more to me than that my God would be honored," he said while in the state capital at Albany. "Being the fact that I firmly believe that God created and ordained marriage between a man and a woman, I believe that that's something that should be fought for at all costs.”
This is just the latest in a string of anti-gay incidents out of the sports world, including Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant using a gay slur during the NBA playoffs.
With significant percentages of gays in the general population, it follows that there are significant percentages of gay athletes, too. NBA great Charles Barkley said last month that he definitely had gay teammates throughout his career and that it was never a problem for him. It’s time for guys like Tyree and Bryant to follow Barkley’s lead. If anything, sports are supposed to remind us the peaks to which human beings should aspire. When our athletes are bigots, it’s a strange juxtaposition of someone who should be great wallowing at the same depths people turn to sports to forget.
(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images)