Jessica Kirsner is the Development Associate with the Secular Student Alliance. She graduated in the Spring of 2012 from the University of Miami with a BA in biology.
Earlier this week Brittney Griner, widely considered one of the best female basketball players of all time, did something no one in a major men’s sport in the U.S. has done so far: She came out as gay. Perhaps even more remarkably, no one cared. Maybe it is because there are already out WNBA players (like WNBA great Sheryl Swoopes). Maybe it is because people aren’t surprised that a woman who is athletic is gay. Or maybe it’s because Griner wasn’t in the closet to begin with. [Click headline for more…] Read more
My grandfather recently died. He was old — 91 — and had Parkinson’s disease. His physical well-being had declined over the years and it had been hard to watch, especially because he was still very mentally sharp. My grandfather was a retired professor and one of the smartest people I’d ever known. He, like the rest of my wonderful family, was one of the driving forces impressing the importance of education to me, which has had such a big impact… Read more
In light of this Sunday’s Super Bowl match-up, the Public Religion Research Institute polled over 1,000 Americans on their feelings on the entanglement of sports and religion. (Note: The survey is limited to sects of Christianity and a broad “unaffiliated” group. I wish they had included other groups, but so it goes.) As it turns out, 27% of those surveyed think that God plays a role in determining which team will win a sporting event. A majority of those surveyed (53%) also think that God rewards faithful athletes with “good health and success.” Read more
Sports fans tend to be loud, obnoxious, and in your face. I should know; I’m one of them. Because of this, bigotry can often be displayed publicly by a country’s sports fans. Earlier this week, fans of a Russian soccer team, Zenit St. Petersburg, called for non-white and gay players to be excluded from the team. Read more