Blog Entry

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

Posted on: July 12, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 12:35 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

The fight for equal rights often transcends race, gender and socio-economic boundaries. And while the world of professional sports isn't the first place you'd expect an open and frank discussion about sexuality, there have been current and former athletes who've supported a person's right to their sexual orientation.

Four years ago, former center John Amaechi became the first NBA player to come out publicly. In recent months, NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Donte Stallworth publicly supported gay marriage (as have former Giants player Michael Strahan and Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash).

We can now add former Cowboys wide receiver and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin's name to the list. Appearing in the new issue of Out, Irvin says that his decision to take a stand had to do with his relationship with his gay brother, Vaughn, who died of stomach cancer in 2006. According to the magazine, this is the first time Irvin has spoken publicly about his brother.

More details via WABC:
In the article, Irvin describes how his brother's sexual orientation contributed to his own issues. He says that he found out his brother was gay sometime in the 1970s when he found him wearing women's clothing. He was rattled by the experience and has since figured out that it contributed to his own womanizing behavior.

"And through it all we realized maybe some of the issues I've had with so many women, just bringing women around so everybody can see, maybe that's the residual of the fear I had that if my brother is wearing ladies' clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?" Irvin said to Out. "I'm certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions, and that came up."
Irvin credits his father with helping him accept his brother's lifestyle and now says the African-American community should support marriage equality.

"I don't see how any African-American, with any inkling of history, can say that you don't have the right to live your life how you want to live your life," he said, according to the magazine. "No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with. When we start talking about equality, and everybody being treated equally, I don't want to know an African-American who will say everybody doesn't deserve equality."

There have been detractors, too. In June, former Super Bowl hero David Tyree said gay marriage "will be the beginning of our country sliding toward, it's a strong word, but anarchy."

But Irvin, who had his share of off-field trouble during his playing days, has no such hang-ups. "If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him. ... When a guy steps up and says, 'This is who I am,' I guarantee you I'll give him 100 percent support."

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Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:47 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

You watch, all the gay guys are gonna love Micheal now. But they are the same lost souls who where badmouthing him to anyone who would listen during his drug days. Of course Irvin is going to support gays, his brother is one. It's not because deep down he feels like this behaviour is normal its because if he doesn't he's gonna hear about it 24/7. Lost souls. Spiritually ill. The funny thing about all of this is WHO CARES. You know who cares? Gay guys. Why? Because they are lost and desperate for acceptance by someone. It's a behaviour, not a race, not a gender, nothing more. Maybe 5% of gays and lesbians have birth disorders that lend them to be a transexual or something like that but the other 95% are just lost and lonely and found someone like themselves in another lost soul, so they had sex with them. Strahan is gay, so is Nash, so is Kerr. But the fact remains who cares. When did sports become not about the game? Can someone please start a website that reports on the game and not on crime and gay dudes.

Since: Oct 14, 2008
Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:26 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

Michael's a good guy. I don't see the need for anyone to come out and back "gay rights" but whatever floats your boat. His buddy Aikman is gay so perhaps he feels the need to support him anyway he can. 

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:29 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

element:  You know why the divorce rate is so high between men and women?  It is because gays haven't all had a chance to get married yet.  Once they are allowed to, the divorce rate between men and women won't seem so high after all.  What cracks me up is because the fact that I believe marriage should be between man and woman I get labelled a homophobe.  I love how people go straight to name calling. 

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:25 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

element:  If God's opinion is the only one that are getting quite upset at my opinion...let it go is only an opinion.

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:16 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

Doesn't he have like 18 siblings? ...odds are 1 would be gay, about the national average.

Since: May 22, 2011
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:14 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

So your saying that only straight people should ABUSE the Sanctuary of marriage??? Hate is hate...People keep saying its a sacred bond between man and woman if its so sacred why is divorce between men and women so high??? Its just hate in your heart thats why you cant except Gay marriage...Like i said you could keep ignoring the truth...God sees all and his opinion is the only one that matters....

Since: Jul 6, 2007
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:13 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

Lol...sanctity of marriage.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:09 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

As I read the different posts it seems the trigger word, for those who want to argue same sex anything, is ‘marriage’. Perhaps a better word and one that might raise the comfort level of homophobic posters would be ‘union’. Two people committed to one another - a union.

I wasn’t really conscious of it at the time but I was fortunate to grow in a tolerant home. We didn’t talk about sexual orientation, race or religion in our house because they were closed subjects because I realize now they were non-issues. I lived in a multiethnic housing project with playmates of many different descriptions but for the most part we were all alike. Early on I learned that the only thing that differentiated us was character.

One poster exclaimed, “What does this crap have to do with sport?” For me, a lot.

When I was a little kid my neighborhood was made up of mostly boys but it was two girls, just a little older than us, that organized the ball games in the neighborhood whether it be baseball, football, kick ball, dodge ball or whatever other sport was in season. Very few days went by when we didn’t have a game going. We learned the rules and skills to play - amazingly without adults and ‘elite competition’ getting in the way of our fun. Many years later I learned that they had become a lesbian couple. It didn’t change anything. They were the “Peppermint Patty’s” of my era. They were the ones initially responsible for my love of sports.

There are other personal stories that I could share but they would only belabor my point.

Before I learned of the sexual orientation of those women I could not have conceived denying them the same rights afforded me as a heterosexual male. Once I knew, it didn’t change a thing. In that regard, there is no reason someone should be denied rights, privileges or opportunities based simply on their sexual orientation.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:08 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

element:  Marriage is not a sanctuary.  The term is sanctity of marriage...get it right bro.  By the way, I have no hate in my heart.  I want peace for all....except terrorists.  They can all die.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:06 am

Michael Irvin appears in 'Out,' supports equality

Whoa..I didn't say anything about anybody's race.  Do not try to equate the Civil Rights movement with gay equality.  They are not even in the same dimension.   I am not hiding behind anything.  It is my opinion and I will live by it.  Gays should not be getting married.  I am not saying anything else about their lifestyle.  They can do what they want.  Yet, marriage has historically been between a man and a woman, why should that change all of the sudden.  By the way, it is arguable that gays are born homosexuals.  I would argue that it is one's upbringing that is the cause of a person's final sexuality choice.  All types of studies point toward both as being causes.  Nobody knows for sure.   

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