(Photo: OUT Magazine, July 2011)
Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin has certainly come a long way since his trouble-making days as The Playmaker.
He’s found God and has come to peace with himself as a husband and father.
Irvin has also gained a tolerance for gay people and those who live alternative lifestyles. He credits the transformation to his brother Vaughn, who was a crossdresser whom Irvin admits he was once ashamed of.
The former Cowboys wide receiver discussed his love for his brother and the tolerance he now has in the latest issue of Out magazine, a gay publication. The story itself is commendable, but the photos of Irvin on the cover and inside the magazine could be seen as disturbing.
The man who was known for his womanizing in his heyday is captured on the cover bare chested with his pants slightly pulled down and his underwear exposed while wearing shoulder pads. The photos inside serve as a bit of eye candy for the readers.
Irvin’s attempt at understanding people who are different from him is commendable. The photos, however, seem over the top. The pictures detract from a poignant story, which starts out recalling how he and his father discovered Vaughn crossdressing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For years, Irvin tried to act like his brother didn’t exist. Vaughn is now deceased and Irvin, 45, seems to have a tolerance that is rare in locker rooms and might have been difficult for him to convey during his playing days.
“If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him,” Irvin said in the Out story. “That’s why I do my radio show every day. When these issues come out, I want to have a voice to speak about them. I think growth comes when we share. Until we do that, we’re going to be stuck in the Dark Ages about a lot of things. When a guy steps up and says, ‘This is who I am,’ I guarantee you I’ll give him 100% support.”