I’m not one to make heroes of athletes but hats off to Scott Fujita:
On Sunday, Fujita will reach the pinnacle of his football career, playing linebacker for the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl. Fujita describes it as “this small moment in time where you have a platform to do some good things.’’ Last fall, that included speaking out in support of gay rights, a rare step in a professional sporting culture that often turns social stances into landmines.
Fujita, who is married, the father of twin daughters, and straight, pushes against the rising trend in sports to remain mum on cultural and political touchstones. His boldness, shaped by his unusual upbringing, makes him an uncommon and effective advocate for what he believes in.
“People asked me a question and I gave my opinion,’’ Fujita said. “People say, ‘That’s so courageous of you.’ To me, it’s not that courageous to have an opinion, especially if you wholeheartedly think it’s the right thing. For me, standing up for equal rights is the right thing to do.’’[…..]
In his support of gay rights, Zirin wanted to tap into the sports world, which he said is often regarded as “the last hamlet of homophobia.’’
Zirin believed that dissolving that stereotype could empower the campaign.