The Popular Fan Question NEVER Posted. Until Now.
We LOVE our fan questions. And we love our fans. And we do our very best to remain as politically correct as possible. Just yesterday, we received a fan question – one we have received around 30+ times before -that we have never posted, because well…we don’t want our page turned into some platform for people to be all judgy and mean-hearted and demanding that their opinion is the ONLY opinion, and generally bad human-like, which is seemingly such a popular way to be on the internet these days. Sigh.
However, since so many people have asked it, we are going to answer it, here on our website. As honestly and as politically correctly as possible. The following 4 questions, are REAL questions that came in from fans.
Fan Q: “My daughter got accepted to play for a select team in our local area but I found out the coach was a lesbian, and I am not sure she should play for her?”
Fan Q: “I just found out that our hitting instructor is gay because I saw him out in public with his boyfriend. Is this acceptable for a youth coach?”
Fan Q: “How do I explain to my daughter the lifestyle choices of many famous softball players who do not hide the fact that they are gay?”
Fan Q: “Should I be concerned about all the talk of lesbianism within the softball community? It is against our religion and I don’t want my daughter being turned into one?”
You get the gist. Here we go.
Softball, much like life, involves participation from all sorts of different people. People of different sizes, and different colors, and different religions, and different educations, and different family cultures, and different sexual orientations, and different opinions and different EVERYTHING – working for one common purpose.
In softball, and in life, you will meet (and your kids will meet) a lot of people with whom you disagree with at some level. You will meet people that may be different from you. Their being different….now please listen to this…..doesn’t take away from your right to be you so why should your opinion take away from their right to be them?
In other words, let’s get over ourselves a little bit. Please, let’s not diminish the sport, or the talent of people in this sport, based on some definition of others, that offends us, for the sake of creating drama. If a gay coach or teammate or player bothers YOU – it is your problem, not theirs.
Their being differently minded, DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO ABANDON YOUR CONVICTIONS, or beliefs, or feelings, simply in order to interact with them with civility. And likewise, they DO NOT HAVE TO ABANDON THEIR CONVICTIONS to meet your expectations.
In fact, learning how to communicate with, partner with, learn from and teach those that are different from us, and still work together as a TEAM anyways, is one of the most beautiful things about softball. It’s simply called being a human being, and being part of society, and learning to love, accept, and respect people who are different.
Which you and your child may find, will be the case with quite a bit of people. If you run from every experience in life where you or your children are confronted with differences, you will end up staying home, and stealing many opportunities from your child.
Specifically speaking, when it comes to a gay coach, or gay teammate, or gay hitting instructor – who really cares? You should judge these folks on their passion and ability and experience FIRST, just as you would any other coach, player, teammate or famous athlete.
In the same fashion that your heterosexual coach shouldn’t flaunt sexuality or sexual orientation in you or your child’s face – neither should a homosexual one. I don’t particularly want to see a male coach sucking face with his girlfriend or wife in the dugout. Do you?
It’s more about manners and respect and knowing there is a time and place for everything than it is sexual orientation.
Do you question a fellow dad coaching his daughters team about any bad intentions he may have, simply because he is a male and the team is made up of girls?
Additionally, these coaches or teammates or famous softball players are NOT asking for your acceptance or for your PERMISSION to be themselves. And frankly, its none of our business. We would be willing to bet, they are simply passionate about the sport – which gives you and them something pretty valuable in common.
Do they ask you about your religion or marriage BEFORE agreeing to teach your kid? How would you feel if they said your child was too fat, or too skinny, or too Jewish – and they didn’t want them to be a part of a team?
And if you are getting your information about the famous young players from Instagram or Facebook, simply choose to not follow those folks. Look at your children’s online accounts and BE A PARENT and set limits and boundaries and expectations.
We would also like to add that the world is changing. Our kids world is WAYYY different from the world that we grew up in. The best thing we can do is prepare our children to live in THAT world. In this world.
Kids today, are generally accepting of, and KNOWLEDGEABLE about, all the ways that people are different today. Discrimination and judgment is learnt.
We really can disagree with one another on many things, but can still maintain human respect!
Long gone are the days where people had to hide themselves. It is 2015, and society has evolved and will continue to evolve. Hiding everything you don’t like, or don’t want your children to see or hear, or know about at some point puts a child at a disadvantage. You can still teach your point of view, and beliefs – AND LEAVE ROOM for yourself and your child to respect and appreciate and even be close to people who may be different from you.
So our blanket answer to all the fan questions:
“We believe you should judge a softball coach or teammate, or player, or another softball parent based on how well they treat you and your child, their knowledge, their experience, their coaching style, their credentials, etc. Nothing else should matter.”
It’s extremely narcissistic for any one of us to believe that everyone in our lives has to be JUST LIKE US in order to be acceptable. We can hold on to our convictions, even if someone lives differently or disagrees with us. And if for some reason, we can’t – then chances are the beliefs and convictions weren’t strong enough to begin with. This is a BIG world, and there is enough room for all of us.
Learning to agree to disagree is perhaps, one of the most important gifts we can give our girls. And as for whether playing softball will turn your daughter gay….we feel pretty safe in saying that’s not something you should even worry about.
Those things in life that bring us together happily and joyfully,THEY are the things we should focus on.
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I understand the concerns. But I would like to say this. It does not matter about the sexual preference of the coach. What one should be concerned about is, How does this person coach the kids, Does this person respect the players and the game, is this person knowledgable of the game, is my daughter going to benfit from this coach and learn more about this sport? All of these questions should be answered yes. No where in there is the sexual preference concerned. It is what is inside that person that counts. How they treat the kids not whom they are sleeping with. I say God Bless her for taking in this job that she does because she loves the game.
Nice! I think you handled that extremely well! Good job SIFG!!
Hey I like chocolate ice cream and my wife likes vanilla, for the most part peoples choices don’t affect how well they coach or instruct, work or associate with other people.
Sexual orientation should not be an issue in a good coach. They are there to coach, not “force their views” onto your child. If you like the coach, your child likes the coach, the team does well, then what is the problem? It’s narrow minded to hinder your child from playing on a great team simply because a coach is gay. Welcome to 2015… sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Get over it.
Very well said!
As far as religious beliefs; the first thing in religions is LOVE. Love thy neighbor as thy self.
Second: FORGIVENESS. Forgive those that have wronged you or forgive yourself for wronging someone else.
Thirdly: please don’t judge, it’s not your job!
Don’t judge someone because they “sin ” differently than you.
Thank you SIFG for all the amazing works you do to bring awareness to this great sport we love.
The fourth thing is to speak the truth in love! Be an example of the light within us!
well said , as a male coaching young children baseball and softball , with softball the main sport these past 12 -13 years.. i have been extra diligent around my gals even the simplest gesture can be misunderstood i used to pat my gals on their shoulder i quit that about 11 years ago i was afraid it would be mistaken for something else, times have changed. i’m nearly 60 , 32 years coaching little league. i’ve had teachers that were gay and lesbian , i learned from those experiences that if you respect their boundries they will respect yours you may be uncomfortable but some folks may be uncomfortable around you . the main issue is what are they doing to improve your child’s skills and are they pushing an agenda you can live with your child will have to learn to cope ,deal with this issue at some point why not under your close supervision so you can help her mature into the person you hope she can be ..!
Eloquently put. I agree with your answer .. Judge them by their ability not their life style choices..