Saturday, June 25, 2022

The fear of LGBTQ Pride Month.

June 9, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Money, News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( “During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been some uncertainty about how to relate to these movements. Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion. I say “whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know, sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the mouth and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we want to hit the woman or shut her up because we are afraid that she might castrate us or take the nuts that we might not have to start with.”-Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

June marks LGBTQ Pride Month. Pride Month is “celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.” There is no doubt that LBGTQIA (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) human beings are more “accepted” in U.S. society now than they were during the Gay Liberation Movements of the 1960s and 1970s. However, this relative “improvement” in acceptance should not be viewed as adequate enough regarding our LGBTQIA family. Sports will always be a key area for social issues given how people from different backgrounds come together to compete in organized competition. Unfortunately, with some of the positive strides regarding the treatment and respect of LGBTQ human beings, there are ugly reminders of how inhumane human beings can be towards other human beings who are different than themselves.


The Tampa Bay Rays created a media firestorm this month with their handling of their annual Pride Month celebration at Tropicana Field. By now, most people are aware of the rainbow Pride Flag representing the LGBTQ community. In an effort to make their commitment to being inclusive of the LGBTQ community more visible, the Rays organization this year decided to add rainbow-colored logos to their Pride Night uniforms, to the “TB” on their caps and a sunburst on their right jersey sleeves. More than half of the Rays players participated in wearing the uniform while Rays players Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among those who did not, electing to peel off the burst logo and wear the standard hat. The Rays organization gave those players the ability to opt-out and by doing so, the organization created a media story regarding whether why the entire team wasn’t all in one way or the other as sports teams often are when it comes to “uniformity”.

Unsurprisingly, Rays player Jason Adam, chosen by team officials to speak for the players who opted out, said it was primarily a matter of religious beliefs and not wanting to encourage the “lifestyle” of those in the LGBTQ+ community. As professional athletes in other sports and people in society must understand, they would be wise to evaluate the earlier words of Huey P. Newton, who was an important figure for one of the most revolutionary organizations in recent memory, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. On August 15, 1970, Newton gave a speech in New York City where he outlined his position on two emerging movements at the time, the women’s liberation movement and the gay liberation movement. Along with the words previously outlined, Newton said, “Remember, we have not established a revolutionary value system; we are only in the process of establishing it.

I do not remember our ever constituting any value that said that a revolutionary must say offensive things towards homosexuals, or that a revolutionary should make sure that women do not speak out about their own particular kind of oppression. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite: we say that we recognize the women’s right to be free. We have not said much about the homosexual at all, but we must relate to the homosexual movement because it is a real thing. And I know through reading, and through my life experience and observations that homosexuals are not given freedom and liberty by anyone in the society. They might be the most oppressed people in the society.”

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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