On Sunday, The New York Times published a letter/article by NFL Linebacker Scott Fujita on the topic of gay marriage, specifically California Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.
Normally when athletes speak out on social issues, the end result is not good. In fact, when I hear that an athlete has voiced his or her opinion on a social or political matter, I cringe and hope they didn’t stick their foot too far into their mouth, shedding a negative light on their sport and its respective fans.
In this regard, Fujita’s article was different. Aside from the fact that I am biased and happen to agree with every word he wrote, his was a well thought out piece full of facts and personal testimony that let the audience know that this wasn’t some jock spouting off nonsense at the mouth.
Scott Fujita came across as a guy who genuinely cares about the issue and how it impacts our nation going forward — specifically the impact it will have on our children and how they view our nation’s history.
Like Fujita, I feel that the whole gay marriage issue is something we will one day look back on and wonder why we spent as much time debating as we did. Our children and grandchildren will wonder where the hell our common sense was when it came to such an obviously harmless act and show of love and why the time wasn’t spent instead on addressing the correctable issues of the world that actually hurt our fellow man.
The world can’t have enough Scott Fujitas, and it is my hope that other athletes see and dwell on not only what he said but how he said it. He made an educated point without ever once looking like he wanted to pick a fight with anyone.
A college professor of mine once told me that the pen is the most powerful weapon available to every person on the planet and yet, so few choose to use it properly. Nowadays, that pen is the keyboard, and Scott Fujita chose to use his weapon in a positive way to help his fellow man without making himself the focus of the conversation.
That alone is a refreshing alternative to the norm that has become the culture of “me”, where millions of people worldwide — both famous and not — use their keyboards for self promotion and little else.
Let’s hope Fujita’s efforts start a new trend — one where celebrities and athletes use their platforms of fame to address the masses with the honest intent of making the world a better place without doing so in a political or self-promoting manner.
BY J.P. SCOTT ON MARCH 25, 2013