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Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Response to Sheryl Swoopes

At first, I was going to title this, "How should the Christian respond to Sheryl Swoopes?" but then I realized that was rather presumptuous of me (as if I could speak for all believers) and probably could not be agreed upon anyway. So instead, here's my response to Sheryl Swoopes announcing she's gay. Some of it is just my general thoughts, some of it would be direct statements I would make to her.

1. This is the WNBA. Though espn.com jumped all over this like it's breaking news, it's really not. This is not a gender discriminatory statement but the WNBA is far from a major sport in our country. It does not even generate enough revenue to survive, but depends on money from the NBA to continue. Swoopes may be the most decorated female basketball player of all time, and though basketball is a major sport in our country, women's basketball is not. Don't get me wrong, women's basketball is great and is very popular. But for some to say this is the equivalent of Michael Jordan announcing he is gay during his prime, that's incorrect. This is more like a very successful bowler or ladies golfer announcing she's gay. It's not as huge as some may think.
2. Pray for Women's Basketball Ministries. Our church supports Shauna Stone, a missionary with Athletes in Action. Working in the Women's Basketball division, she has shared that lesbianism is a huge issue. I had no idea how huge. Consider this quote by Swoopes: "But the talk about the WNBA being full of lesbians is not true. I mean, there are as many straight women in the league as there are gay." Swoopes is defining the league as not full of lesbians because the percentages are 50-50? She then asks why people aren't talking about gays in the NBA, NFL or MLB. While I don't deny that there are probably gay athletes in each of those sports, I doubt the figure creeps up to even 5%. I now am more committed to praying specifically for Shauna, for I had no idea it was this rampant.
3. Sheryl's numbers don't add up. Sheryl does not claim to have been born gay (an admission I truly admire, by the way). She was married at one time. That marriage even produced an eight year old son. She was in counseling with a woman who encouraged her to stay in that marriage. She later became attracted to that woman, and she and the woman entered into a relationship. She and Alisa Scott (the counselor) have been in a relationship for eight years. So the woman who was encouraging her to stay in her relationship with her husband began dating her almost immediately? Heterosexual or homosexual, this appears unethical.
4. Sheryl does not understand selfless love. Love remains simply an emotion for her. Her statement near the end of her marriage: "You know what, I don't want to save my marriage. I don't. I'm done with it." She acknowledged that this announcement probably hurts her mother. And while she claims she would never, ever do anything to hurt her mom, she goes ahead and makes the announcement. She acknowledges that her announcement may make it harder for the WNBA, but she goes ahead and makes her announcement. Her explanation: "To me, the most important thing is happiness." Will that answer heal the pain when others leave her? Will she understand when someone abandons her because they just want to be happy? Any love is destined to fail when it is centered on self.
5. Sheryl doesn't understand Christianity. "I am a Christian, and my biggest dilemma is when people start throwing in the whole religion thing: you're going to hell for this or that. I think that's the hardest thing for my mom to deal with, too. She's into the Bible and church, and I'm concerned about how she's going to deal with her church friends." Perhaps I'm reading into things, but she seems to identify herself as a Christian, but then sees her mom as one who is into the Bible and church. Shouldn't any Christian be into the Bible and church? Of course, just before this, she makes the grand statement about people shouldn't judge one another, but she leaves no room for God to judge. She does not acknowledge that God determines right and wrong, but instead, leaves it up to the individual.
6. Being gay does not define you. Says Sheryl: "Being gay has nothing to do with the three gold medals or the three MVPs or the four championships I've won. I'm still the same person. I'm still Sheryl." I would agree. However, I would also say that three MVPs and four championships don't define you either. Somehow she is ok with the WNBA marketing her as a gay athlete (she encouraged them to do so in her interview) and has accepted deals from gay sponsors like Olivia, however, she does not want to be defined by it. It think it's important that we don't forget that this is just as sinful as Magic Johnson confessing he's unfaithfulness to his wife. This is just as bad as Kobe being unfaithful to his wife. This is just as bad as Michael Jordan having an affair during his playing career. It's just as bad as my lust. It is not just her homosexuality that leads to hell (as it appears some have confronted her with), but the fact that she is a sinner that leads to hell.

I would hope that in the midst of Sheryl's fame, success and money, that someone will get the chance to share with her that none of us need to be defined by our sin. That though I have grieved God and war against Him, through the cross of Christ, He sees His Perfect Child when He looks down at me. I wish I had a chance to share with Swoopes that much of her thoughts do not add up, not soley due to the lesbian issue, but because she is looking through sin cursed eyes. She said she came out because she wants to feel free. I pray that when she discovers that feeling of freedom has once again alluded her, that someone is there to share with her the truth that can set her free.


  • At 10:22 AM, Blogger ann sattley said…

    I've made several posts about this on my blog as well. I concur with your statements and was educated as well. I didn't know that Sheryl has "gay sponsors."

  • At 2:21 PM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    Dan Patrick agreed with you earlier today on ESPN radio.

    It's still big enough news for you to be blogging about it. You wouldn't be blogging if it was a woman golfer.

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Gary Underwood said…

    As Adrian Segedy once said, "Guys, I'm not Gay!"

  • At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    he also wouldnt be blogging about it if it wasnt in the newspapers, and they wouldnt be puting it in the paper if it wasnt big

  • At 10:39 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    you obviously aren't a subscriber to the Daily Advocate


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