A Corrective Footnote to an Otherwise Good Deed

While New York state takes the social lead in legalizing gay marriage, I think it’s appropriate to also give props to the professional athletes who have joined the proactive “It Gets Better” video campaign.  Grant Hill, Kevin Youkilis, Matt Cain, Barry Zito and many more, have joined the cause to remind LGBT teens that they have a right to live happy lives, just like the rest of the world, and that the bullying stewing from ignorance and intolerance will eventually get better.

Chicago Cubs rookie second baseman, Darwin Barney, has also joined the cause.  Chicago Tribune writer Paul Sullivan, wrote a nice piece about Barney’s involvement and, again, I highly commend Darwin for doing so.  However, he did say something that must be corrected, something that is, at this point laughable for anyone to actually believe.  He said:

“It hit home for me because … I have a few family members who are gay. There’s nothing weird about it. It’s a decision that you should be able to make and not be discriminated against.”

Darwin Barney, being gay is not a choice.  There is no decision to make, just like I did not have a decision in what color my skin would be, or how tall I would eventually become.

One is either gay, straight or all of the above.  There is no choice involved.

And this is something that needs to be understood completely if things are truly going to get better.

Hate me ‘cuz it’s still allowed, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.




  1. Randy Stern

    Jeff – Notice on the Cuuubbies video that one of Quade’s coaches was a bit uncomfortable with his lines? And Quade wasn’t? Hmmm….

    BTW, I haven’t seen the Red Sox vid. I need to find that one if it’s been released.

    Side note; There were two kids in Giants wear during the TC Pride parade lineup on Sunday. I’m wearing my Dodgers t-shirt going “huh?’ One of the parents pointed out the “It Gets Better” vid by the Giants as motivation for them wearing it. Better than the Cuuubbies…or the Twins? Cue George Takei…

    – Randy

  2. Red State Blue State

    Randy — LOL on the Quade and Cuuuuuubies tip! Haven’t seen Red Sox one yet either, but a press release mentioned Youk’s involvement. Very cool that someone in the Twin Cities was moved by the Giants. Impressive indeed!

  3. The Wizard of Ozzie

    The amount of professional athletes getting involved in the campaign against LGBT bullying is really awesome. Even though Barney’s comment is inaccurate, I still think it’s cool that he’s making an effort to take a stand.

  4. Red State Blue State

    Yes, it is cool, it’s just important that people realize it’s natural, not a choice, something that gets lost/misunderstood because people say things like Barney did, thinking nothing of it.

  5. This is a very simple game...

    Professional athletes range from extremely articulate, educated and well informed to the opposite end of the spectrum and everything in between. When they get together to speak about cause outside of their profession, a certain amount of hijinks are bound to ensue. Still, Barney gets an A for effort and good intentions and if the family members he mentions aren’t just the oft invoked “some of my best friends…”, I’m sure they will “educate” him in that special way that siblings and cousins have: *thwack* dumb ass.
    — Kristen

  6. Red State Blue State

    Kristen, the extremely articulate, educated sort are rare, but I totally see your point. I’d put John Smoltz in that prior category. Dude is one of the smartest athletes I have ever heard talk. Also, mad props for the Cuuuuubie *THWACK*

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