Monday, April 29, 2013

I Think the Time Has Come - Let's Redefine Sports and Who Can Play

I'll keep this short today.  I have been planning to open the discussion on same sex marriage (the Supreme Court is at work as we speak) mainly to continue the dialogue on America's beliefs and values on the subject.  But am I noticing something here?  I only bring this up because
as a clinician it is our role to recognize culture, trends, diversity, and the community's (and individual's) belief system.  I always emphasize that the clinical role is to show neutrality in all working situations with clients.  So how can the clinician support one's belief while being informed and understanding cultural shifts (this isn't the platform for clinical supervision; however, the answer is in the clinician talking with his colleagues, and being in his own therapy to process his thoughts, bias and beliefs).

So, there seems to be and Opportunistic Emergence that occurs in our history that produces a paradigm in which some of us might not recognize the good being created.  In 1958 Mr. and Mrs. Loving (how appropriate) experienced this occurrence which ultimately produced Loving v. Virginia. Some 50 years later the idea of an interracial marriage is not only acceptable, it is relatively common in many areas in the United States.

Therefore, is there something going on here?  Supreme Courts and California having debates on same sex marriages; the most powerful leader of the free world supporting same sex marriages;  a Cubano who happens to be openly gay presents the 2013 inaugural poem. And Recently, Anderson Cooper interviewed former Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo about his support to gay athletes and for Can You Play

Just last week I talked about the NFL draft.  A man's man topic, right?  However, within this American ritual of the draft that drives the economy there was a ship that had been strategically played out it seems.  Gays in sports seems to be the inevitable.  The recent movie 42, about Jackie Robinson, has a powerful scene in which a gritty raw man's man directive of the paradigm shift is explained by Brooklyn Dodger's manager Leo Durocher (played by Christopher Maloni).  In the film he describes how the African-American athletes are hungry and are coming into the game by the forces.  He blatantly enlightens the all white team rather undiplomatically that Mr. Robinson is not the only one - there is a flood of hungry athletes that will be coming through afer Mr. Robinson.  Could this be true of the gay athlete?  If we use sports history and the integration of baseball as any empirical measurement, then expect the following:

OOPS!  I'm late!  It is rolling out before we even see it happening... Jason Collins might be our contemporary Mr. Robinson.  Now as we talk about strategy and time lines and helping culture shift:  As it became official around 11:00 a.m. that Collins publicly disclosed his sexual orientation just hours later President Obama placed a personal call to Mr. Collins.  Now the added smarts to the campaign to enlighten?  Or if we tak a leap in our critical thinking , President Bill Clinton is also supporting Collins - I believe Collins was at Stanford with Chelsea Clinton.  Could it be that Collins was "chosen" in the similar fashion in which Jackie Robinson was "chosen." 

Finally, in keeping with my word to keep this brief:  The Lary Doby's are here!  So, as a culture and as a clinician the question is .... What are we going to do about it as we move forward? 
Read more about Dr. Strayhorn's practice and philosophy...

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