With the Bonnie Tyler '80s classic running through our heads, we joyfully choose to ingore the haters and lovingly aim the ShoutOutHealth spotlight on one influential, empowering, kick-ass individual, who's publicly speaking out for LGBT equality. And the debut "Hero" of 2014 is ...
Imagine a world full of professional athletes like former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. Though there's still too many Evander Holyfield's spewing ignorant, anti-gay comments, the barrage of media coverage created by this equally high profile, outspoken, equality-minded (and straight) jock -- who's willing to stand up for not just gay marriage, but equality and the day-to-day dignity that entails -- makes Kluwe our inaugural "I Need a Hero" choice for 2014.
Kluwe's controversial -- and now viral, having generated more than 2.4 millions views at Deadspon.com alone -- 'two cowards and a bigot' editorial prompted this story to explode around the world, and brought the debate of homophobia in pro sports to ESPN, USA Today, Olbermann and The New York Times. Opinions about Kluwe (and his allegations that he was fired by the Vikings because of his very public support of gay marriage) vary widely, and Kluew recently hired a lawyer as a formal investigation by the Vikings get underway.
This story will continue to spur debate, and with it put the spotlight on intolerance and homophobia in pro sports. But Kluwe's closing words from his Deadspin.com letter perhaps best sum up what this is really all about: "Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Never be afraid to do what's right. If no one ever says anything, nothing ever changes."
Now it's your turn. Is Kluwe's strong stand for equality an inspiration for you? In what way? Leave your comments!