A Gay Man, Boxer, Killer

There’s a documentary about a man named Emile Griffith who died this week. He was a man who tragically grew up in a time where it was not OK to be gay anywhere. Now we have communities but back then there was no place for a man, an athlete to go to. This is also a man who once killed his opponent in the ring. They say he was being called a “fag” and “maricon” and this may have set him off. Well, I’d like to think it was just the other fighter’s determination that kept him in the ring and his manager’s poor judgement to not throw in the towel, that lead to his sad, public, death.

If you watch the YouTube video, which I won’t show here because it’s a little too much for me, you can see the man just kept fighting until the fight was over. There was no way for Griffith to know things had gone so far and so wrong. This man had to lead the rest of his life in a closet, occasionally having relationships, hiding from the world who’s eye always seemed to be on him. He was black, he was gay and he was a killer and this was the 60′s. There’s not much this man could do to make his situation better, but I do hope he had some happiness this year when current notable athletes came out. I wonder what he thought? Did he say, “good for them”? Did he cry tears of joy? Or did he cry, “I wish that could have been me?”

Here’s the promo:

Here’s the doc: