Is There a Don’t-Ask, Don’t-Tell Policy in Youth Sports?
Before becoming a contributor to Forbes.com, Bob Cook had an always interesting blog called Your Kid's Not Going Pro in which he covered youth sports. The father of four who is "in the throes of being a sports parent, a youth coach and a youth sports economy stimulator in an inner-ring suburb of Chicago" continues covering the same beat with great insight at his new online home.
WIth the recent repeal of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy in the military, Cook questions if a similar policy will become commonplace within other institutions - say, for example, youth sports. He notes that a few youth athletes are proudly out, but for the most part gay students find the locker room a foreboding place.
As you might have heard, the law that allowed gays to serve in the U.S. military — but only if they didn’t show any signs of gayness like telling anybody, or appearing with a partner, or an unusually high skill level at arranging flowers — is over [as of last week]. I am eager to hear if, in my 14-year-old son’s JROTC class today, anyone took the time at uniform inspection day to make a Big Announcement.
For so many reasons, I’m sure that won’t happen. But I would expect the budding Navy kids to be much more likely to do it, and much more accepting of it, than, say, the football team. That’s because in sports, despite some progress, don’t-ask, don’t-tell is still the de facto law of the land.