Balls Out: Homosexuality in Boxing

After fathering 11 children with three women and falling into some financial problems, boxing legend Evander Holyfield took some drastic measures to provide security for his extensive family.

He put off retirement till the age of 48, sold a great deal of his memorabilia and finally stooped to joining both “Dancing with the Stars” and the incredibly classy and riveting show, “Big Brother UK.” His debut on the reality show that I could openly mock with little remorse for a great deal of this column led to a regrettable conversation–one that is painful to read in this age, where even the Pope has opened his mind to homosexuality. In this conversation, which has sparked rage among a number of people, Holyfield makes his opinions clear that homosexuality is something that is not right and has the potential to be fixed.

The conversation began with a fellow contestant inquiring as to whether there are any gay boxers. I can only assume this question was asked in a highly intelligent and inquisitive manner. I bet someone with a true sense of wonder and depth of inquiry was hoping to be enlightened with truth…

Anyway, Holyfield answered incorrectly stating that there probably are, but none have come out of the closet. However, in 2012 boxer Orlando Cruz did in fact let the world know he was gay and since has been an influential advocate in the sporting world for tolerance. Not unlike Hudson Taylor, the heterosexual wrestler who visited our own campus as an advocate back in fall quarter. The conversation sheds light on how crucial Taylor and Cruz’s work is within the sporting community, as there still remains an unfortunate number of insensitive comments regarding the subject–not only in the sporting arena, but in the general conglomerate of winners we call society today. Like Macklemore states, “Have you read the YouTube comments lately? ‘Man, that’s gay’ gets dropped on the daily.”

Below is the conversation found in a Yahoo Sports article:

Holyfield: The bible lets you know, that’s wrong, that’s right.
Zissman: That’s just the way some people are.
Holyfield: No, it don’t make no difference. If you were born and your leg were turned this way, what do you do, you go to the doctor and get it fixed back right.
Zissman: It’s not about being fixed, it’s about… that’s just the way that you are.
Holyfield: No, no, no, no, no, you mean to tell me…
Zissman: I really don’t want to have this conversation.
Holyfield: I’m not mad, I’m just saying…
Zissman: You don’t understand, I don’t think it’s an appropriate conversation to have in this house, honestly.
Holyfield: All I’m trying to tell you, you know how handicapped people are born, you can’t say because they were born that way…
Zissman: You can’t compare, of course you can’t compare someone that’s gay to someone that’s handicapped, it’s not a choice.
Holyfield: Yes it is a choice, come on…
Zissman: I’m tired. I don’t think people have a choice in their sexuality, or they would be unhappy.

Don’t worry though, “Big Brother UK” rectified the situation by announcing over it’s loud speakers, (used as a means of communication between contestants and producers) in a divinity-like manner that “Big Brother does not tolerate the use of offensive language, and must therefore warn you to consider, very carefully, the effect expressing such views you may have, and the harm and offense you may cause by repeating these views inside the house.”

Emily Hedberg

Emily Hedberg is a junior Nursing major beginning her third year at The Spectator. Emily is from Phoenix, AZ and therefore enjoys every drop of rain that falls. Emily also enjoys running, dumplings and coffee shops.


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