Queer as an NBA Point Guard


 A Man in Uniform?

Chris Culliver

Former NBA coach Phil Jackson made news of a sort this week when he asserted that he had “never run into” a gay professional basketball player.

And, according to Huff Post, San Francisco 49ers player Chris Culliver told Artie Lange that he would not welcome gay players in the NFL or on his team. “I don’t do the gay guys, man,” Culliver is quoted as saying in a pre-Super Bowl interview. “I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.”

Finally, the week ended with ESPN leaking tapes of Rutger’s basketball coach Mike Rice physically abusing players while calling them faggots and worse.

Sports in America may be the last bastion of the homophobe, a place where it is till OK, cool even, to deny that gays and lesbians are part of the game–indeed, that they even exist.

Randy Phillips

A Real Man in Uniform

Steven Randy Phillips is, serendipitously, from Eclectic, Alabama.

He is an Airman in the United States Air Force and has served his country in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere.

Phillips is gay and used social media to proclaim his sexuality in 2011.

It is beyond ironic, even bizarre, that gay and lesbian men and women risk their lives to protect our country, police our cities, fight our fires and rescue us generally yet we condone and even idolize athletes and coaches who blatantly discriminate based on human sexuality.

The truth is that Phil Jackson, Chris Culver, and Mike Rice aren’t fit to shine Randy Phillips’s boots or for that matter, the boots of any of the thousands of other gay and lesbian soldiers, sailors, police officers, paramedics or firefighters who keep America safe.


  • Alan says:


  • Victoria Huckenpahler says:

    There was a fascinating program on NPR this AM on Christa Tippett’s show, On Being. I always enjoy it because she has good thinkers who contribute to civilized discourse. There were 2 conversationalists on there today: a gay man, and a straight guy who used to be very right-wing Christian in his views on gay marriage, but has now said that he feels it is un-American to deny other folks the right to think differently. (That doesn’t mean one has to abandon one’s own views, but that one graciously extends the other the space to think as he/she wishes.) He said that in this polarized time we need to put ourselves in the other side’s place and admit that they just MIGHT have a point. Also, he said if we are 100% certain of our own position, we have no need of the other person who might introduce an opposing view which would cause us to re-evaluate our own. In that way, we cut ourselves off from our fellow beings. He also said that this country was based on compromise and that our politicians and others are sure forgetting that. All in all, it was a very lucid conversation.

  • MAEMTB says:

    Thank you for this.

  • Mike Schwartz says:

    Eric, just read this one. Very timely as I just returned from a GLBT training day at the police academy. I used to think that the police were the last bastion of homophobia, biphobia and transphonbia. Not anymore. You are so right that there are men in blue and black uniforms who, like Steven Randy Phillips, are putting their lives on the line for Phil Jackson to protect his homophobic, biphobic, transphobic ignorance.
    Thanks for reminding us.

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