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Does it Matter the WWE’s Darren Young is Gay?

Darren Young (Fredrick Douglas “Fred” Rosser) is a professional wrestler and an athlete. He is one half of the heel tag team The Prime Time Players in the WWE.

As we know now, Darren Young is also another gay athlete.

The former part of this introduction was what mattered most, not the fact that Young, who has been quite successful as a wrestler under Vince McMahon’s watch, is gay. The fact he has now announced to the world about his sexual status should not change your perceptions of the character or the man, just should make you aware he is still the athlete we rooted for or hated just the other night.

What we should be saying is, Darren Young is a human being, an athlete and a wrestler. So much is made of professional athletes and their “social status” that we get caught up in the juicy gossip and details of the life, not the athlete. We lose sight of why we root for them in the first place, whether it is on a tennis court (Martina Navratilova), a basketball court (Jason Collins) a football field (Esera Tuaolo) or now in a wrestling ring.

Young is just a man like you and me.

We live in a society that is driven by status and driven by titles which are placed on everything. Wrestling is no different as we root for our favorite characters based on their appearance, their gimmick and their success. In this case with wrestling, the crazier the better. The louder the more response. The more drastic, the more desire we have to follow the program.

The WWE has been mindful of the growing changes in wrestling and society, to the point that some years back, a program with Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo was designed completely around their “relationship,” a spot that caught heat from the LGBT community on a national level.

Young isn’t looking for heat or acceptance or to even discuss his situation or his personal life. He just wants to go on with his life and make a living – in the ring.

What started out as a question and answer period at the Los Angeles airport taught us all a lesson about life and continuation.

And life moves on. In my opinion, this is really a non-issue. I don’t see the WWE jumping to put out press releases and other sports organizations jumping to give a statement about its thoughts on the topic. And for certain, there will not be a comment made by President Obama on this.

Life will simply move on. Jason Collins announced he was gay and in 15 minutes it as old news. Whether Darren Young is as popular as Collins is something I am not aware of, but you get the idea of how small a deal this is in today’s world and unfortunately, society and the media we follow will open this up like a flesh-eating wound. In my opinion, that is not fair to the gay community and to Young, in particular.

There have been other wrestlers in this business who have been openly gay – Pat Patterson and Orlando Jordan to name two. So was Chris Kanyon. I am sure there are others who hid in secrecy and others who will not reveal their sexual orientation today.

It doesn’t matter.

The name on the marquee is professional wrestling, and that is what we watch and the soap opera that occurs each week. The days of Kayfabe are long gone, so are the days of secrets and being singled out. And when you think of it, if Darren Young can be so matter of fact about his lifestyle and the fact it was second nature, then maybe we should all realize that the man in the ring is more important than what he does when he goes home or when he is out in public.

David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be read here. Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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