Ah, life. Every day a learning opportunity! For example, Roger McDowell, a 51-year old man, only just learned last week that it is not acceptable to shout homophobic insults and threaten to knock out peoples’ teeth with a baseball bat.
McDowell made headlines a few weeks ago when he did just that in San Francisco: the Atlanta Braves coach yelled at some fans that they looked like “a homo couple” and then picked up a bat and said “how much are your teeth worth?”
He was suspended for two weeks. Who knows what would have happened if he’d actually knocked the man’s teeth out! He might’ve gotten three weeks.
But now his two-week suspension is over and he’s back to work this week like nothing happened. Well, something’s changed: he clearly got in touch with his faggoty side during those two weeks, since his eyes welled up at last week’s press conference. What a girl! LOL JK.
But seriously folks, McDowell promises that everything’s going to be different from now on. “My feeling is that this is something that I’ve learned from,” he said. Yes, a very important lesson! Who could possibly have guessed that anyone would have reacted negatively?
Well, now we know. And let’s never talk about it again. “What happened … I don’t think is something that needs to be rehashed because I don’t think it’s productive in any aspect,” he added. Quite right. The most important thing that you can do, once you learn something, is to forget it as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the SF Giants have just announced that they’re going to make an It Gets Better video. Will the Atlanta Braves follow suit? For that matter, do they even have any gay fans left after all this?
It’s like coaches have a predisposition for homophobia! Glad they made him feel bad, but could of been done a bit nicer I guess.
Mike in Asheville
If straight people do not learn and grow from their experiences, then we would have been doomed long ago to the sodomy laws of each and every state — and remember, sodomy laws (though still on the books of handful of states) were only ruled unconstitutional 8 years ago!
Who knows whether this coach has truly opened his eyes and mind to see that his behavior was threatening and homophobic. He works in homophobic profession. Professional and collegiate sports coaching took a good 25 years from Jackie Robinson’s race barrier breaking til more than less coaches outgrew their racism and another 10 years or so before the fans nationwide publicly frowned on any continuing racism. And, even after all that, we all know that racism is alive and well in our country.
Except for those who are stuck in their ways, people and communities do learn and grow. If that were not the case, there would be no fight for marriage equity — it would not be an issue as the vast vast majority of Americans in the 1960s-1970s were aggressively against the idea of homosexuality and any [then] so-called civil rights for gays/lesbians.
But, fortunately, that is not what happened. While it has taken and continues to take great efforts to broaden acceptance and understanding, every gay and lesbian can now legally marry. To ensure that every gay and lesbian can marry in their home state and/or have their marriage recognized in every state, more straight people will have to learn and grow.
Irrespective of the sincerity of the coach featured in this posting, the story itself has generated tremendous learning and growth within the fields of coaching, playing, and fans. Since this story broke 4 weeks ago, there are now self-outed team owner, coaches and players. And the warning: go ahead and express your angry homophobia, but it is now the bigot who faces a media wrath, not the victim.
I welcome all formerly anti-gay rights straights to our side of equality. I hope Coach McDowell is one; but his case/story has ensured that many others are or will be joining us.
When someone makes an overture toward growing, the correct response is to applaud and welcome it. Lets show the haters that our community is capable of it. We will never have allies if we don’t give people permission to not be perfect out of the gate.
@Fitz: Holy shit, I can hardly believe that someone on this site posted a comment that wasn’t full of hate and negativity toward everything non-gay. Bravo to you, sir, for taking the high road and stating the obvious: That as long as gays hate the haters, there will never be any reconcilliation, only conflict. Thanks, Fitz.
To answer your absolutely retarded question, yes. The Braves do still have many many gay fans left. Not everyone is as reactionary as you would like to imagine. Too bad the revamp of this website didn’t come with a better set of writers.
@Fitz: I come to it slowly– when I think about all the awful things that I have done and said in my youth, I realize that if it weren’t for the love of some friends and my partner, I would still be a bound up ball of ugliness myself. It takes some time and permission to grow up, and I want to be on the team that is pro growth, not pro resentment and vitriol. Thanks for your words!
I don’t understand why you people are rushing to applaud this tool. He apologized because he had to. He should have been fired. In fact, anyone who would threaten physical violence- in jest or otherwise- is mentally ill and shouldn’t be working with the public. The only thing he learned is not to say shit like this where he’ll be caught. I am sure nobody goes from being a raging homophobe to being sorry for saying something like this in a matter of weeks. The only thing he’s sorry for is getting in trouble for it.
Exactly then I see people on this site CONSTANTLY sucking up to making excuses and rationalizing these individuals behavior.Its disgusting in all honesty the more these people make excuses and rationalize this behavior the more these haters are gonna think they CAN walk all over us and our rights as Americans and human beings.
@Michael: Exactly where do you see the sucking up, excuse making, or rationalizing behavior? How is it any of those things to say “I’m glad that he appears contrite, and I hope he comes over to the side of people who don’t hate”?
Probably because its ridiculous to constantly assume that just because a person has apologized (for being caught in the act).That they have changed their tune that quickly.Think about the short length of time between when McDowell made those hateful remarks at the game and the short length in which it took him to say he was SORRY.Something doesnt add up there he was just pissed he got caught got in trouble and was upset that he was suspended.
Dont you ever notice how these anti gays NEVER once apologize to US? Not once they always use the typical pr response : I regret what I said and it was never meant the way people thought it was.Or this wonderful one : I am truly sorry to anyone whom I have hurt or offended by my words .They always say WHOM or THOSE who Ive offended they dont even have the decency much less balls as a man to apologize to the people they OFFENDED to begin with.
So what are we supposed to do let them off scott free and expect they will never do it again just because they said they were sorry?
I think not.
If people like him want respect then they should first GIVE it to others period.
Furthermore if he was a decent human being to begin with he never would have said the hateful bigoted crap he said period.
@Michael: We are in different places altogether on this. I think it’s useful to allow people to change their tune. You think it’s useful to hold a grudge. I might be naive, but it’s practical and humanistic. You might be better than me at remembering every offense, but bitter. Is that what you want?
@Fitz: Its only useful when they REALLY change their tune. I bet he’s still calling us all fags all over the locker room- just around other people who he is SURE agree with him, rather than around those who might take offense and out him as a bigot again.
And the fact that he thought saying something so disgustingly violent to ANYONE-gay or otherwise- is disturbing, to say the least. His job is in the public sector. Who’s to say he isn’t dangerous?
@Shannon1981: You BET he’s still calling us fags? That assumption of what other people are doing based upon a snippet is very analogous to what homophobes do when they stereotype us. Why not assume that this is a growth moment and invite him to learn more, and use his position to reach out positively?
I don’t know if he’s contrite. I don’t know if he’s just an ass who wants the camera off him. But I remain a firm believer that people can grow up. I was raised in a house that was amazingly mysogynistic and racist, and I absolutely bought into that crap as a teen. I couldn’t be further from that position now.
I am not bitter at all sir just realistic. Only time will tell if this experience has in any way changed this mans way of thinking .But I do however have hope that most human beings have SOME form of decency within him.I would love for McDowell and people like him to prove me wrong it would definitely be a step in the right direction to see that people like him CAN change.
As I said though only time will tell. I appreciate your civil and respectful response also ty for that.I dont see that often on this site.
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