Friday, March 18, 2011

John Amaechi Talks About Homophobia and Sports... And How We Are Better for Being Complex (And not viewing each other in two dimensions!)

I had the amazing opportunity recently to hear John Amaechi speak to a local middle and high school at their Diversity Day celebration.

John played for the NBA.

John is a tall black man.

John is British.

John is a psychologist.

John is... amazing.

He spoke about how "people love you very conditionally when you play sports - and conditional love sucks."

About how homophobia and racism and sexism are all different heads of the same monster: prejudice.

About the damage words can do... and about the disproportionate power of teens today to affect thousands of other people's lives - for the worse, or for the better.

I even got to ask him a question!

Lee: What do you think can be done to get rid of the homophobia in sports?

John: If there was a meme, it would be: 'Don't flatter yourself. You're not that clever, you're not that interesting, you're not that hot."

John was funny, erudite, and insightful. He has a memoir out, Man In The Middle, and after hearing him in person, it's launched onto the top of my TBR (to be read) pile!

Thanks, John!


No comments: