Less than twenty-four hours ago, the biggest story of Dwight Howard’s career broke. He was immediately a trending topic on Twitter for all the wrong reasons, and possibly for the first time in his ten plus year NBA career, the story was one he might not recover from.
Around 8:45pm Saturday night Howard’s alleged ex-girlfriend Masin Elije’, a transgender author, posted a series of tweets outing him for shameful actions including harassment from Howard and violent threats from members of his camp. Pictures and videos of conversations were posted with a man who is thought to be Howard denying any knowledge of what Elije’ was talking about. Also videos of conversations of a man who is believed to be Howard’s pastor came into play. The disrespect that was heard in that video alone is what angered me the most. I am a straight man, I am a child of God and I am a pastor. I have been in ministry for nearly eight years and have never even considered disrespecting someone in this manner.
In no way, shape or form am I perfect, nor will I ever claim to be. Which is why I look to treat everyone with the same love, honor and respect as I would ask to be shown. Whether I agree with someone’s lifestyle or not, the God in me and the Bible I read tells me to love my height as myself.
Dwight Howard, a journeyman in the NBA, while he bears the most shame in this matter we should also be ahasmed on how we are treating this situation. Yes, I do enjoy a good joke and think that there can be humor in every situation, when is it no longer cool to be a social media troll? I do not believe that the story should be flipped here. Lots of what been seen on Twitter and other platforms is this story being turned to shame Masin Elije’ who is a victim in this situation. As shameful as Dwight Howard’s alleged denial in the situation is, our lack of empathy is shocking. In a time where we have an uproar for racial equality, why do we lack equality based upon sexual orientation? Let’s not forget how Jason Collins and Michael Sam were praised for being the first openly gay athletes in the NBA and NFL respectively. What is the difference here?
Once again, my personal views/beliefs differing from how someone else believes will not change how I treat them because that is not what my Bible tells me to do. I can give three scriptures off the top of my head that reminds me to treat everyone the same. So I will do just that.
Sometimes doing the right thing puts us outside our comfort zone. And honestly, as a black man who has lived in the south for the last decade, I for one can empathize with someone who is being discriminated against. What baffles me is how many “Christian” folks I am seeing that are all about condemning Elije’ instead of showing love. I guess we can all act like Jesus until it comes time to do so in a forum that could get us banished.
Do I agree with the lifestyle portrayed here? Absolutely not. Will I judge, condemn or degrade someone based on that lifestyle? Absolutely not. Will I look to understand everyone’s point of view and love them regardless of their beliefs? Yes, because I read somewhere that, “…as you wish that others do to you, do so to them.”