Bill Littlefield Hosts NPR's Only A Game. His weekly commentary airs on WKMS Fridays at 6:30 a.m. Only A Game Air Saturday Morning at 6:00.
A player with a gun or two provokes no strong reaction,
But one who's gay? Some fear that he will be a great distraction.
A player who has dosed himself with 'bute to kill his pain
Should prob'ly be regarded as a step short of insane,
For 'bute is meant for horses and it isn't meant for men,
But players who have used it and gone out to play again,
Were never a distraction and they were not viewed as zeroes.
Among their fans and teammates they were sometimes seen as heroes.
The man two lockers down from you snorts powder up his nose,
And you pretend that you don't see where all that powder goes,
For you're concerned with how your losing team can gain some traction,
So you don't let the drugs around you constitute distraction.
Another fellow down the line beat up his wife one night,
And though you don't regard his actions as exactly right,
Your teammates all agree that they should constitute a faction
Of players who would never let assault be a distraction.
The players who were in the clubhouse just a few years back,
Are asking surgeons to replace the knees that now they lack,
Or begging for the pills that might relieve the pain they've got
From years of playing football. They are feeling not so hot…
And as the players of today have heard and also read,
They risk, each time they play, concussions to the only heads
They’ll ever have. They shrug that off, like ducks caught in the rain,
They brush aside the danger that the very precious brains
That make them who they are will one day not take in the action…
But someone gay who joins the team? That would be a distraction?
We know that football players are devoted to their game.
Their concentration is intense. I do not doubt that claim.
So maybe we should worry less regarding their reaction
To players who are gay. I think they'd be no great distraction.