inspire kids and other athletes

Kwane Harris

Don’t feel alone – “…I’m happy today, and I’m glad they were just ideas and I didn’t act on any of them” “The cost was great in asking me to not speak candidly or be able to be open about myself in a complete manner,” Harris said. “If I could have done it differently, I would have hoped I found the strength [to come out].”…Harris hopes his experience and example can support others who are struggling with their identity. “I want people, whether gay athletes, athletes still in the closet, or youths who are not sure what their sexuality is to know those are common feelings,” Harris said. “Don’t feel alone in having them…” – Mike Foss, USA TODAY Sports 29 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Good Enough – “…This guy played football in high school. He was among the top prep offensive lineman in the country! He played foot ball in college where he earned all-conference honors twice, and named honorable mention All-American in his last year at Stanford. Then he went on to be a first round draft pick in the 2003 draft. He’s gotta be able to play a little, right? According to him, he was gay the whole time, so apparently it doesn’t make a difference in his abilities. If being gay meant he wasn’t any good, he wouldn’t have been any good to begin with. After he’s on the team, and obviously good enough to remain on the team, how does finding out he’s gay, all of a sudden make him not good enough anymore? I mean, damn, you’re playing a game with him, not sleeping with him. Why are sports teams so bothered by having gay teammates? Do you think they’re watching you in the shower? Do you think they purposely try to get close to you when you practice? Do you think they are secretly in love with you and will try to hold your hand on the field during a game? Stop being ridiculous and get over yourself! Gay football players are there to play the game just like the heterosexual players are. Plus, you’re probably not that fantastic and they wouldn’t want you anyway!…” – The Working Poor, Chicago Now, 30 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Normal Guy – “…Media outlets using phrases like, “a former offensive tackle for the 49ers and the Raiders recently admitted to being gay in an interview with CNN,” and, “Suspicions of Harris’ homosexuality first spiked after he was arrested in January after a dispute with a supposed boyfriend,” just bring a negative light to the coverage, as if his being gay was something sneaky to be found out. If the rumored gay NFL player were to come out of the closet, even privately just to teammates and his organization, media reports would explode. Attention would be placed on that athlete for their entire season (and longer) which could also bring about resentment among teammates. All of that fuss for a person who is just trying to live their life as honestly and openly as they possibly can. Harris told CNN, “I’m gay and I’m a former athlete and I think I’m a pretty normal guy.” That sentiment showcases the problem with the media’s lopsided coverage of Harris’ legal issue. Harris’ story could have easily been framed around the domestic violence dispute, as it is for many other professional athletes in heterosexual relationships. Unfortunately, it does happen relatively often. Media reporting usually covers the legal process, but doesn’t follow-up confirming the athlete involved is, in fact, a heterosexual, as the media has with Harris nearly three months later. It’s unfortunate that such a negative event was the catalyst that forced the revelation of intimate details about Harris’ personal life, when he clearly intended to keep it personal. Equality is a fundamental right for all human beings, but it should be on one’s own terms. In the process of the media trying to make a story out of the fact that an NFL player is gay by spotlighting them and focusing interviews on that topic, they risk ostracizing that individual even more…” – Alison Bullock, NESN, 30 March 2013 (READ MORE)

Kwame Harris (born March 15, 1982 in Jamaica) is a retired American football offensive tackle who played six seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played college football for the Stanford Cardinal, when he won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-10 Conference in 2002. Harris played high school football in Delaware, and was among the top prep offensive lineman in the country. He played three years at Stanford, twice earning all-conference honors and earning named honorable mention All-American in his final season. Harris was among the top-rated offensive linemen available in the 2003 draft, and he played five seasons with the 49ers and one with Oakland Raiders. He was a starter for most of his career, but often struggled with blocking and committing penalties…After the incident became public, Cintean stated that Harris identifies as gay, remarking that “he is a very private person. He doesn’t like to talk about his personal life.” On March 29, 2013, Harris officially outed himself as a homosexual during an interview with CNN. No NFL player had come out as gay while they were playing, and only a few had after retiring. – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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