The Professional Athlete’s Unfortunate Pedestal

By Travis Jaudon, Staff Writer

Daniel Murphy made headlines last week while with the New York Mets at spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Mets second baseman didn’t make headlines because of anything he did on the field. The commotion was caused by Murphy’s response to a reporter’s question.

Billy Bean (not of Moneyball fame) is a former big league baseball player that came out as openly gay after having retired; he now works as an ambassador of inclusion for Major League Baseball. After Bean visited the Mets last week, Murphy was asked if he would accept a gay teammate. He said“I disagree with the lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love a teammate who is gay. . . . I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a professional aspect.”

His response was unpopular in the media and in LGBT communities.

I can certainly see why such comments would offend homosexuals, although neither Bean nor myself saw anything inherently hateful in Murphy’s response. A dissapointing aspect of the situation was the negative response the story received from the media. Daniel Murphy is merely the latest to find himself on the illogical and unnecessary pedestal all of our athletes seem to tip-toe on.

Professional athletes are given authority and credibility on every subject under the sun simply because they are professional athletes.

Think about how fans, and society in general, care about the political and religious views of pro athletes. Furthermore, think about the amount of emphasis we place on the cleanliness of any given athletes personal life.

Society takes the pro athlete, gives him the ball and bat, then asks him to explain his views on evolution and creation as if he’s Stephen Hawking in a uniform. These are athletes, yet we put them on a pedestal by considering their opinions and beliefs more valuable than that of the average person.

Why should we care what Daniel Murphy thinks about homosexuality? That’s like caring about what Kanye West thinks of the 2016 presidential election.

It’s high time people started using their own brains to form their own opinions rather than depending on professional athletes to give us the talking points on world politics or gay marriage. People like Daniel Murphy shouldn’t make the headlines for our nation. So lets stop giving those headlines undeserved attention. Lets leave politics to  politicians. Lets leave religion to the scribes. And please, I beg of you; lets take the athlete off the pedestal before they inevitably fall off themselves.