Michael Irvin Takes Stand For Beliefs

The former Cowboy great speaks out on equality.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

It's quite frequent in today's society to see athletes speak out on key issues that touch them personally. With their increased image and the relatively easy access to some form of platform to speak from, it's almost a requirement that stars promote some form of issue. But, as is also true to form in today's world, they tend to avoid anything too controversial or racy when they do it.

This makes what Michael Irvin is doing so much more prominent and important.

Michael Irvin, a Hall of Fame receiver who played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys, is the latest cover person for Out magazine. As the name implies, Out magazine is a publication that caters mainly to gay men. Irvin, appearing shirtless on the cover (and still looking in playing shape), speaks out in the magazine to lend his voice to the promotion of equality and to lend his support to the gay community.

"No one should be telling you who you should love,” Irvin said, according to the magazine. “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."

This topic may seem a little off for a man that has had his fair share of personal relationship issues over the years, Irvin has been known as a womanizer and has had a number of allegations thrown his way, until you learn the root of his issues and why this topic is so personally important to him. Irvin states that his decision to take a stand for equality stems from his relationship with his gay brother Vaughn, who died of stomach cancer in 2006.

Irvin says in the article that he stumbled upon his brother wearing women's clothing back in 1970 and that, after a lot of introspection recently, felt that it was that event that led him down the road of bad relationships he has been on.

"And through it all we realized maybe some of the issues I've had with so many women, just bringing women around so everybody can see, maybe that's the residual of the fear I had that if my brother is wearing ladies' clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?" Irvin said to Out. "I'm certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions, and that came up."

Whatever the reasons, it takes a man firm in his convictions to take a stand on an issue that would have many men afraid to speak out on, and Irvin should be applauded for speaking out in this fashion.

"The last thing I want is to go to God and have him ask, 'What did you do?' And I talk about winning Super Bowls and national titles," Irvin said, according to Out. "I didn't do anything to make it a better world before I left? All I got is Super Bowls? That would be scary."