Last week, we got a ridiculous amount of backlash for sharing the story of Fallon Fox, the transgender MMA fighter whose fight license is under review in Florida. People who’ve never commented on a With Leather story (or haven’t commented in years) showed up to anonymous type some hateful shit into a comments box and post it, because the most difficult thing to do in the world is be compassionate about something you don’t understand. “I hate this group of people because X” became an opinion, and not something crazy people say when they want to be horrible.
Anyway, the positives of sharing that story outweighed the negative. The sports world (and the sportswriting world, by proxy) need every single one of its important people to stand up and say “hey, stop it.” Today we got a big one, thanks to UFC’s Rashad Evans, via his outstanding statement on OutSports. He spoke candidly — and, most importantly, like a f**king grown-up — about same-sex marriage and gay rights. Here’s a sample:
“I’ve never been a homophobe, never understood what that is all about. I knew some people who were gay and never cared about their sexuality. But at the same time, I didn’t fully understand the issues around gay people until my friend BA started telling me about his full public support for gay marriage. We talked about the issue and I decided its not enough to not be against a minority, if you want things to go better for them you have to speak up with them.
“I’m a UFC fighter, a macho-type sport. I am a heterosexual guy in a tough macho sport, which is exactly the reason I feel a duty to say I support gay marriage and gay rights.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much this makes me like Rashad Evans. It’s strange that comments like these still seem refreshing, but they are, and I encourage you to read a few more quotes after the jump, high-five OutSports for sharing them with the world, and support Evans in everything he does. Even if he tries to fight Bones again.
“I have nothing to gain personally from supporting this issue, and that’s the point. Society as a whole is better when there is equality, and I want to live in a country where everyone has the same rights because we all benefit from that.
“What people overlook is that is isn’t a sex issue, its a love issue. There’s no justifiable reason for trying to get in the way of two people who love each other.
“I have kids. I don’t want them growing up in a society where they, or their friends, could be second class citizens based on which person they fall in love with or who they want to be happy with.”
Here’s what he just did to your argument:
Thank you, Rashad.