- Created on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 09:10
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
When people walk past a newsstand and see him on the cover of â€˜OUT,â€™ a magazine that is geared towards gay men, their fashion style, entertainment desires, and overall lifestyle, they might pause and wonderâ€”especially with the shirtless picture of him on the cover.
If even one of those people stops and picks up the magazine and reads the article for which he was interviewed for than Michael Irvinâ€™s purpose will be served.
Many fans probably are not aware, but one of Michaelâ€™s many siblings (he had 16 brothers and sisters), Vaughn was gay. Michael found out when he was 12 years old and was out with his father. They passed what they thought was a woman leaving a house, but the walk looked exactly like his brother Vaughnâ€™s. His father confirmed what Michael thought; the person in womenâ€™s clothes was his brother.
In the article, Michael went on to talk about how his inability to deal with the knowledge that his brother was gay may have led to some of his behavior of the years, namely the womanizing. He said that he could not help but wonders if his own fears and insecurities that he might be gay led him to treat women the way that he did sometimes.
"I'm certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions and that came up."
Vaughn died in 2006 from stomach cancer at the age of 49.
Irvin is not perfect by any means; he freely admits that, but he is a man of his convictions that stands up for what he believes in. The former Super Bowl champion now sees fighting homophobia, in professional sports and in society in general, as the next battle that he wants to take on for no other reason than it's the right thing to do.
"I'm not gay, but I was afraid to even let anyone have the thought. I can only imagine the agonyâ€”being a prisoner in your own mind -- for someone who wants to come out. If I'm not gay and I am afraid to mention it, I can only imagine what an athlete must be going through if he is gay."
The timing of the article could not be better without being planned. Recently, wide receiver DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles has come under fire for using gay slurs when responding to a caller on a radio talk show.
Jackson took a defensive stand when he was criticized for his actions at first, but has since backed down and apologized for what he did.
If Jackson really wants to be a champion, maybe he should read Irvinâ€™s article and find out how one acts.