Are NFL football players public figures like a Syracuse Mayor?
When NFL football players, who are selected by a group of men to serve their teams don’t deliver a return on the powers-that-be investment, they generally leave a sour taste for their fans on and off the playing field. Take for example cornerback, Chris Culliver, for the San Francisco 49ers. When Culliver made the ultimate scathing remarks about gay football players not being “welcomed” in their team’s locker room, many believed this young person had definitely crossed the line. As confident as he assumed his position, the comment held much weight as so-called straight men playing in Super Bowl XLVII were being likened to Goliath and the closeted gay men held hands with David. Culliver and his band of cronies would even deny taking part in a near “It Gets Better” campaign. For a moment, gasps could be heard around the world as the 49ers drew closer to triumph. Ultimately, Culliver and his Goliath brethren lost the match to the lone vocal David, Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the victorious Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013. While there are surely Christians who believe homosexuality is an abomination, Ayanbadejo’s good over-powered Culliver’s evil. Where was the leader or leaders who elected the bashing Culliver and his fellow mates at the time of the foul attention they garnered? No one said that Culliver was wrong for his poor choice of words during his interview with Artie Lang. It was almost as if the 49ers were sending a message directly to Ayanbadejo that “any sissies on the field are going down…” Isn’t it time for the media to make Ayanbadejo’s crusade for Gay Rights and his Baltimore Ravens victory an example to all who oppose gay players in the NFL? Would a 49ers victory at Super Bowl XLVII have been a slap in the face of adversity? No doubt. Isn’t it even time for team owners to speak up and say, “We will not and do not tolerate imposing fear on any player who can and wants to play football”? In no way has it been shared and cared that Ayanbadejo is himself a gay player for the NFL. However, if he is, has he not already become the “Jackie Robinson of the NFL?” Not only should the owner or owners of the Baltimore Ravens applaud Ayanbadejo’s behavior on and off the field, the general public should do so as well. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is obviously running amok in the testosterone-enraged locker rooms that Christians have helped to support. Are club owners held to a majority view-point? Maybe so. For the love of the game, whether a man or woman can play the game should take precedence over one’s lifestyle or “way-of-life.” Like any public figure, serving for the betterment of good should be the motto.
But like the NFL’s lack of cultural adversity, there are other figures or officials, like Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Miner, who choose to ignore those who elected her to her position. Like NFL players are employees to their team, a secretary or personal assistant to the Mayor should not overstep their bounds and become selective in which messages require a higher priority for the Mayor. It may be a given that the Mayor receives all kinds of phone calls from voters and non-voters alike. But when a call is made and a message is left with a secretary regarding discrimination or misuse of funds, the Mayor should extend the courtesy of returning the call. What a scapegoat for the Mayor to say that she was never made aware of the attempt to expose the wrongdoing. Again, like the abhorrent players in the NFL, a non-customer service oriented Mayor shows her true colors in a way comparable of flipping off endearing voters. Having become interested in politics at an early age, Miner may have inherited or obviously enveloped a “Fake it till you make it” mentality toward the people of Syracuse, New York. Although Miner is seeking a second term as Mayor in the Democrat majority-ruled city, her not so glorious performance record may go unnoticed by the people. While the word “Democrat” or democracy is synonymous with being “for the people,” it is not yet discovered who or what Miner serves or supports. Not returning phone calls is just one way to explain her ill towards the non-private sector.
A public figure is one whose life and behavior are the main focus of intense scrutiny and public interest. Whether viewing a game on regular television or paying monies to attend an intense match. As tensions brew on the football playing field, so do them inside City Hall or during the Mayor’s public and private addresses. But as serving for the majority is a key issue, bestowing one’s own personal beliefs become more hurtful to those who are blindsided as fans.