NFL Hall of Fame Legend Michael Irvin is on the cover of this month's Out magazine in which he discusses his passion for equality issues. Irvin publicly acknowledges that the impetus for taking a stand comes from his relationship with his gay brother, Vaughn, who died of stomach cancer at age 49 in 2006. Irvin had not spoken publicly about his brother previously, according to the magazine.
In the article, Irvin describes how his brother's sexual orientation contributed to his own issues, which included promiscuity to prove to others that he was not gay. Irvin says that his father, Walter, helped him learn a tolerant form of Christianity because the elder Irvin accepted his gay son and encouraged him to love his brother unconditionally.
He remained close to his brother, one of 16 siblings, until his death. "He was the smartest, most charismatic man I'd ever seen in my life," Irvin said.
Irvin now believes that the African-American community should support marriage equality. "I don't see how any African American, with any inkling of history, can say that you don't have the right to live your life how you want to live your life," he said, according to the magazine. "No one should be telling you who you should love, no one should be telling you who you should be spending the rest of your life with. When we start talking about equality, and everybody being treated equally, I don't want to know an African American who will say everybody doesn't deserve equality."
Kudos to Irvin for publicly supporting his late brother and the quest for equality for all people. His willingness to discuss the challenge he faced when trying to accept his brother's lifestyle and the destructive way that he dealt with it is open and honest. We're glad he's standing up for his brother, his family and the LGBT community with his actions and words.
Read more at ESPN.
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