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  HALF-ASSED APOLOGIES

NFL’s James Harrison: I Should Have Used “Faggot” More Carefully

Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker James Harrison called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “faggot” in a recent interview with Men’s Journal. Now he’s offered up the requisite apology saying it was “a careless use of a slang word.” So… that means there’s a more careful way to call the NFL commissioner a “faggot”?

Here’s the faggy sections of his apology:

I also need to make clear that the comment about Roger Goodell was not intended to be derogatory against gay people in any way. It was careless use of a slang word and I apologize to all who were offended by the remark. I am not a homophobic bigot, and I would never advocate intolerance of gay people…

Unfortunately, the above items and other comments have detracted from the original purpose of the story – a position I have been advocating for some time now. If player safety is the NFL’s main concern, as they say it is, they are not going about it in an effective manner…

As far as the character and reputation hits I may suffer as a result of my comments in the article, I’ll take those hits and more if it brings increased attention to the re-examination and installation of rules and regulations that would create a REAL impact on player safety.

You heard it here, folks. If saying “faggot” brings increased attention to NFL player safety, it was totally worth it. Ah-ha.

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Jul 15, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 32 Comments
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself
      Abirdwillingtobeitself

      He’s not the first athlete to talk about taking character hits, in GWB “bring em on” language. It’s always a battle with athletes.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      “So… that means there’s a more careful way to call the NFL commissioner a ‘faggot’?”

      Well, yes. Members of our community use the term all the time. Same with the “n-bomb” in the black community, etc.

      When these events occur, It’s context that matters: audience, professional and personal role, purpose, etc. “We’” use the word all the time, and straight friends have used it with/to us. We don’t do while addressing the President, but we might over drinks, for example. So when a person says, “I used it the wrong way”, it’s important we don’t pretend that no one ever uses it. It’s how and when it’s used, not that the word should never be aired again.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      This is why public apologies are worthless and a waste of our time: THEY. DON’T. MEAN. IT.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chrissie riot
      chrissie riot

      I love the “I’m sorry that you were offended by what I said” apologies. They’re as good as the “I can’t be a homophobe because my * is gay” argument.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealMannequinAdam
      TheRealMannequinAdam

      @Daniel: Context is completely irrelevant, for the N-word, the F-word, and everything else. Either you agree that these words should not ever be used by anyone, or you submit to their conditional usage and the offense it may or may not bring.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @TheRealMannequinAdam:

      I agree.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jakey
      Jakey

      @Daniel: What a load. The “slang” context of that word comes directly from its gay-related derogatory meaning, which is still in use today right alongside it. (We can agree on that, right? I don’t think even you would argue that it’s based on the “small bundle of sticks” definition.) All that’s different is that the people eligible to be called “faggot” is a bigger group now. Same story for using “gay” as an insult. Pretending that it’s totally different is nothing more than trying to create an excuse to keep using it.

      If only the people who wasted such energy on explaining why calling people “gay” and “faggot” are not really offensive, you guys, would apply that energy to JUST NOT DOING THAT.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ben Rivers
      Ben Rivers

      Who is that guy in the picture? It certainly isn’t James Harrison.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim
      Jim

      @Jakey: I agree. It seems that people use words like ‘gay’ and ‘fag’ in phrases as a general, all-purpose insult. I heard it used all of the time when I was in school. They don’t necessarily mean ‘homosexual’ when they say that, but I submit that it doesn’t matter. This is because they wouldn’t use these words as insults if ‘homosexual’ wasn’t one of the definitions. Obviously, I’m preaching to the choir here, but this directly refutes this common BS you hear regarding the words.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      The word “maggot” doesn’t have the harsh fricative consonant as its first letter, but using it would keep a lot of athletes & musicians out of hot water if they’d make the switch… /rant /linguistics

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McGullen
      McGullen

      @Jeffree: I don’t think so… you’d just get a lot of athletes saying maggot when you know they mean faggot.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      why is the word “faggot” even associated with gays? it means a bundle of sticks and “fag” is a cigarette in Europe..I never understood that..but as for James Harrison..who cares..he’s an athlete not a lawmaker,cop or someone who’s social views might affect public safety..He was stupid to use it in a magazine interview but he is just a football player..

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McGullen
      McGullen

      @Tony: Not public safety, just public opinion.

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @McGullen: You’re right, of course, but it’s at least a word that refers to something truly vile. And the p.r. person would have a slightly more defensible position.

      Whenever some public person uses the f word, you just *know* theyre praying someone else will say it too — & soon — so their own lapse will get overshadowed by the next one…& the one after that !

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      @Jeffree:

      but why is that word attached to gays? I’ve seen a video on you-tube with TheYoungTurks where one of the host got a letter from a gay man saying that “homosexual” was offensive…a lot of other epitaphs have a history..but I don’t see how “faggot” got attached to gays..

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      i forgot to add..you guys may know this already but they have a food product in the UK called “Mr Brain’s Faggots”

      Jul 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Tony: there are a lot of theories out there about the origin of the word, but no real agreement, as far as I know (it’s been awhile since I read that stuff). If someone else doesn’t weigh in, I’ll do some more research but that will take a day or two….

      Jul 16, 2011 at 12:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @Tony I read once that the term faggot for gays came from the term as a bundle of sticks and the fact that they used to burn gays in the same way that they burned witches.

      Jul 16, 2011 at 12:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chrissie riot
      chrissie riot

      @Tony: Basically no one knows. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2112/how-did-faggot-get-to-mean-male-homosexual

      Jul 16, 2011 at 12:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tony
      Tony

      Just to let you guys know..i appreciate the non-negative responses..I would be considered “anti-gay” but I’m partly that way because I am attacked when I give my opinions and I try to explain I was raised in a culture where it’s “normal” to have my views..the way I try to explain it to people is imagine if a store wanted to start selling cat/dog meat..or something that is not a norm here but may be a norm somewhere else..it’s hard to get past that conditioning

      Jul 16, 2011 at 1:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jcknck
      jcknck

      I hate when people use homophobic slurs and then say they are not homophobes. yes you are. you may not be conscious about your hatred, but its somewhere in your brain. you may not want to be a homophobe, and may not have yet processed these subconscious feelings. but, using those terms and then just saying you aren’t a homophobe does not get us any closer towards ending homophobia.

      Jul 16, 2011 at 3:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      And when someone calls James Harrison “nigger,” I hope he remembers that’s not intended to be derogatory against black people in any way, merely the careless use of a slang word. Further, I presume Mr. Harrison wouldn’t just assume someone who called him a nigger is a racist bigot advocating intolerance of black people…

      Jul 16, 2011 at 9:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Darsco76
      Darsco76

      This guy is a TRUE moron lol. He’s using his race to try to hide his homophobia. Im blk gay etc etc, and This is bad just dont judge ALL blacks based on this behavior. It’s better to call him a bigot or an A-hole. Once he’s called the N-word it insults all blk ppl. anyways and this just might be my opinion , athletes are a lil DL anyways. Guys piling on top of other guys sounds like my teenage allboy orgys lol.

      Jul 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Go Crusty! #22 Perfect analogy. Nothing more can be said.

      Jul 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown kev
      Chitown kev

      and what do y’all white queens call a white person that utters the f-word?

      defintely nothing with the historical weight of “nigger”

      Thereby proving that you hold black people to a higher standard than white people on questions like this.

      and that’s racism.

      Jul 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheRealMannequinAdam
      TheRealMannequinAdam

      @Chitown kev: I’ve seen white people called white trash, rednecks, crackers, etc. Not saying they have the historical weight of the N-word, but whites often use slurs for other whites.

      Jul 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JoeyO'H
      JoeyO'H

      Used it more carefully? He shouldn’t have used it at all, thug.

      Jul 18, 2011 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JoeyO'H
      JoeyO'H

      @Chitown kev:

      “Faggot” holds enough wait as “nigger” does. They are both vile words. They are both words with historic value. None is worth more or less than the other.

      Jul 18, 2011 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @JoeyO’H:

      Historically, no it does not. and That is not even debateable or up for discussion. But no, of course Harrison should not have used it.

      Nor was that my point. darsco76′s statement was my point; you have black gays reading this page from time to time you know (In fact, the rascism on this page is one of the biggest reasons that I no longer come here…but it seems as if white gays give about as much of a shit as black homophobes like James Harrison and I see in in the EXACT same light.

      And still my point holds that they very fact that you can hurl the n-word at a black person and you do so every-damn-time a black person uses the f-word means that yes, you ARE holding black people to a higher standard.

      @TheRealMannequinAdam:

      THIS is the correct answer.

      Jul 18, 2011 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @JoeyO’H:

      I take that back.

      Maybe it holds that much weight to you but that’s only true if you’re white.

      Jul 18, 2011 at 11:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chitown Kev
      Chitown Kev

      @Chitown Kev:

      and by weight, I mean “historical” weight.

      I cringe when i hear anyone use either word.

      Jul 18, 2011 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle
      Tackle

      In terms of historical weight of the word nigger, that depends on the person.
      #22 & 24, sorry to burst your bubble. Having worked with many athelets and having interaction with them: Lakers, Clippers and some NFL players, these players are battle tough. Just like many non professional playing Blacks, in America are. The idea that just because someone is called a nigger,will cause them to be crushed, their heart is gonna be sooo broken. They will forever drop their head down, and need therapy for the next five yrs is a joke.
      I think many racist White, gay, straight or whatever want to believe they have this power over Blacks.

      Many of these Black athletes have been playing sports half their lives. And this word, comes with the territory. From Jessie Owins, Hank Aaron, Arthur Ashe, Ali, Magic Johnson, Kobie Bryant, Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters. All have been called this word more times then what you would believe. Be it from the stands, e-mail, letters, blogs etc. And after awhile, it looses it’s punch. And many of them are not gonna blow-up and risk looking foolish, going to jail or possibly loosing out on lucrative endosements for someone who is not that important to them. Many do consider the source.

      Jul 18, 2011 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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