Air Force Football Player Receives Standing Ovation Coming Out To Teammates

Air Force football player Bradley Kim

Air Force football player Bradley Kim took a big step out of the closet this week and says its as much for other young people as it is for himself.

“The biggest reason I want to share this is to be able to reach people who are in similar situations struggling with the same things I have struggled with,” he told Outsports this week. “I want to be that example for kids that you can be gay, you can pursue your dreams, and you can have an athletic career.

“My dreams got me to a D1 football program. I want to be there for people who don’t feel like they have anyone there for them, because I was that kid growing up in high school.”

And so it was that on Friday morning, Kim shared his coming out on Instagram, beginning with a Bible verse and that “God made me this way for a reason:”

While he had quietly told a few teammates over the past year, before sharing with the world, the Air Force Falcons safety came out to the other defensive backs on the team.

The reaction? A standing ovation. According to Outsports, the entire team, including head coach Troy Calhoun, had a reaction of full-fledged support.

“They tell me they appreciate the fact that I felt confident enough, and they meant enough, for me to tell them,” he said.

It was that unwavering support that steeled Kim as he posted his message on Instagram.

‘’I’ve spent too many years worrying what other people will think and letting it affect what I do in my daily life. And I’m kind of done with that. It doesn’t affect my ability to play football. It doesn’t affect my ability to serve my country. No one cares here. We all go through the same thing, we all go through basic training. What we go through going through the Academy goes way deeper than worrying about what someone will think.”

(h/t Outsports)

Air Force Academy Superintendent: If You Can’t Respect Your Peers, You Need To Get Out

Lt. Gen. Jay Siveria

It’s been several months since we saw outright, stone-cold leadership.

And so, I give you Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the superintendent of the Air Force Academy.

On Wednesday, the mother of a student at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School posted a photo of a whiteboard outside her son’s room. A message had been scrawled on the board: “Go home n*****.”

The same message was written on five Black cadets’ boards.

The incident is being investigated, but in the meantime Lt. Gen. Silveria assembled all 4000 cadets and cadet candidates, instructors, and officers.

From the New York Times:

The head of the Air Force Academy delivered a resounding message on Thursday in response to racial slurs that were found on the academy’s campus, saying that if students could not treat their peers of different races with respect, “then you need to get out.”

In a five-minute address in front of the academy’s 4,000 cadets and 1,500 staff members, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria affirmed the Air Force’s belief in “the power of diversity” and insisted that “small thinking and horrible ideas” had no place there.

He was responding to racial slurs that were found on the dormitory message boards of five black students at a preparatory school on the academy’s campus on Monday, said the academy, which is investigating.

“If you’re outraged by those words then you’re in the right place,” General Silveria said. “You should be outraged not only as an airman, but as a human being.”

“If you can’t treat someone from another gender with dignity and respect, then you need to get out,” he said. “If you demean someone in any way, you need to get out. If you can’t treat someone from another race, or different color skin, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.”

Please note the calm, strong focus in Silveria’s eyes and the absolute confident tone of his voice. This man is speaking from his core.

This is how a leader addresses racism.

This man is a leader.

I highly encourage you (and Donald Trump) to watch the full five minute clip below.