Jaime Salcedo is a junior Men’s Soccer student-athlete majoring in accounting at Medaille College.He is very involved with the NCAA on campus, currently serving on the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Management Council, and Strategic Planning and Finance Committee. He calls himself “very motivated on and off the field, and am extremely excited to direct this motivation towards creating positive change for the LGBT community.” Below, he spoke with Athlete Ally Program Coordinator Brian Healey.
Q: Why do you think LGBT equality in sport matters?
A: Sports allow individuals throughout the world to escape the sometimes-chaotic world in which they live. No matter how difficult or confusing life may be, sports are always able to provide an outlet for happiness. Thus, I believe that individuals should never be judged by their choice of lifestyle on the field, court, ice, or any other form of athletic platform. Individuals in sports should not be seen as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, they should be seen as athletes. They should be seen as athletes who allow escape the issues of the outside world. That is why LGBT equality in sports matters.
Q: How did listening to Hudson Taylor’s presentation at your school affect your mindset when it comes to LGBT equality?
A: Prior to listening to Hudson speak I never truly realized the issues that LGBT athletes face on a regular basis. Never before had I realized how offensive common locker room expressions are to the LGBT community. In addition, I was able to recognize that LGBT athletes are often reluctant to speak out on such derogatory language. Thus, it is the responsibility of straight athletes to speak out on these matters and let the entire sports community know that such language must stop and that there is no room for LGBT belittlement in the world of sports.
Q: Are there any personal relationships you’ve had that made you more inclined to stand up for LGBT inclusion in sports?
A: I do not have any personal relationships with LGBT athletes, but meeting with Hudson obviously opened my eyes to this inequality experienced in sports.
Q; What do you see the roles of professional athletes being when it comes to advocating for social causes, like when AJ DeLaGarza or Robbie Rogers do work for LGBT equality?
A: Professional athletes play an extremely important role in our society. In many different situations, countless individuals view professional athletes as role models. Consequently, these athletes have an incredible ability to spread the practice of LBGT equality on and off the playing venue to millions of men, women, and children.
Q: How do you see an Athlete Ally Chapter benefitting Medaille?
A: The Medaille Athletic department is very small compared to other athletic departments throughout the country. Thus, it is an extremely tight-knit community that often works together to solve problems and create change. In addition, we do have LGBT athletes on numerous sports teams. I believe that an Athlete Ally chapter will allow our tight-knit community to create tremendous support for our LGBT athletes and LGBT athletes throughout our conference and division.