We’re all for a story that has a happy ending, especially if it involves a reformed homophobe.
Colorado Mesa College coach Sean McKinney was investigated for saying “we kill gay people” after his former player Tyler Dunnington was profiled for OutSports. Dunnington didn’t name the source of the remarks, but the school’s investigation led them to McKinney.
Instead of firing him, the school chose to use it as a teachable lesson for McKinney, who gave OutSports the exclusive on the school’s decision:
“As the story spread and more stuff was revealed, it got really tough this week. I’m forever in debt to the people in this university and my friends and family. They know my true character. Some of that is in question, obviously, because of what’s gone on with Tyler’s story. But I would never harm anyone on our team. This week I’m sure this has been questions about how I feel about Tyler. I hope he’s OK. I called him this morning to apologize. I want him to have a good life.”
McKinney has met with LGBT students at CMU, and says their stories are helping him evolve his initial views, which he says came from ignorance:
“I feel so much empathy. The stories that I’ve listened to about them coming out and how tough it’s been, and the gut-wrenching feeling they’ve had, is similar to the feeling I’ve had this week. I want to help them. I want to help raise awareness not just for our team but for our campus. I’ve made some off-the-cuff comments, and one in particular was not right. Tyler heard it, and I apologized for it. Through this process I’m learning everyone’s stories and what the impact of our language is.”
CMU is actively implementing more programming to increase acceptance of LGBT students and to curb the type of locker-room homophobia that makes many gay student athletes feel unsafe.