I have been hearing whispers.
In defiance of everything you have ever heard about professional athletes, I have heard some tales lately of this or that player who is either a virgin, or is in some kind of revirginizing celibacy process.
Not the kind of thing you can get people to talk about much “on the record” in my experience, but ESPN’s Chris Broussard did! Check out this passage of Broussard’s profile of Milwaukee’s Michael Redd:
A preacher’s kid and devout Christian, he’s known as a man of his word.
Who is going to question an NBA star who, because of his religious beliefs, was celibate for three-and-a-half years before he tied the knot in August 2006?
Honeys knocked on his door at 2 a.m., followed him to his car after games and left seductive messages on his phone, but through it all he was faithful, to his Lord and to his future wife, Achea. His teammates thought he was crazy.
“You gay, man?” they asked. “Scared?”
Once they realized he was neither, they got behind his decision.
“We used to joke with Mike about it,” guard Mo Williams says. “But we never doubted him because of how he carries himself. He’s so sincere you can’t help but respect him 100 percent.”
I’m going to squint, and pretend I am not seeing the implied “amen you’re not gay” there, and choose instead to kind of celebrate the fact that there are always people out there ready to shatter stereotypes. I applaud those people for speaking up.