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The Hockey Player Who Used to Say ‘Fag’ All the Time Wants Everyone Else to Stop

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SOUNDBITES — “In my days as a hockey player, I did nothing but contribute to hockey’s culture of homophobia and prejudice against gays. I used gay slurs more times than I’d like to admit. Six months after I left my last professional locker room, I felt a twinge of regret, followed by a full-out, stomach punch of regret. And by the time I finished the first draft of this column, I was disgusted with myself. … We need to make a change now, because kids who move away from home to play junior hockey at 16 or 17 are still impressionable. If they don’t encounter a good role model, the seeds are sown for a person, who after trying to fit in, thinks it’s OK to drink, treat women a certain way and use homosexuality as a punchline.” —Former New York Islanders player and hockey columnist Justin Bourne, calling for an end to homophobia in hockey.

Though Bourne has a few things he still needs to learn about writing professionally about the Gs: 1) He talks about gay players not “admitting” they are gay; nobody “admits” it, because there’s nothing negative to admit. We “acknowledge” it. 2) “Homosexuals” (a word this blog often uses in jest) is the clinical term for gays, and Bourne’s use of it — like in the USA Today column and his blog post announcing it (“My USA Today column on homosexuals in professional hockey is ‘out’ this morning”) — is striking, because it seems so out of place.

But hey, give the man credit: “It’s time to acknowledge we’ve been unfair to the gay community, that the culture of our sport can be misogynistic, homophobic and cruel. More important, it’s time to make a stand that we want it to change.” Especially when we’re dealing with this and this.

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14 Comments

  • Fitz

    Jesus, talk about biting the hand that reaches out to say hello. Switch to decaf.

  • Darrien

    For God’s sake Queerty, get a grip. Having just read his column, he’s a helluva lot better writer than some of the ones you have on here. He wrote a great column – a really great column.

    Celebrate the man: rejoice that he’s using his brain, that he’s prepared to take a pro-equality stance and that he’s so eloquent as well. We need more people like him in this world – both as a writer and an advocate.

  • AlwaysGay

    Celebrate what? That he doesn’t want to be anti-gay anymore? That is like celebrating someone who pays their bills on time, you are supposed to do it. Sorry, I’m not celebrating him at all. He was/ is anti-gay on his own accord. Gay people weren’t involved in that. It is pure anti-gay hatred.

  • jimmy

    #3 – So, are you saying that no one is capable of changing their heart and mind with regard to homophobia? And, when one makes and effort to change and takes a stand against hatred, they deserve derision? That’s a pretty constipated mode of thinking.

  • Fernando

    Why do they say “gay slurs”? I think they are antigay slurs.

  • El Brucio

    Wow. Expressing negative comments towards someone who admits they were wrong in the past and wants to work towards changing attitudes for the better in organized sports.

    What, did a hockey player piss in your cornflakes this morning or something?

    Equal rights and respect are never going to be won by insulting the very people we want to win over to our side.

  • Dave Farber

    I think Queerty is trying to make the point that the editors could have picked up an AP Style Guide and realized their mistake. Or maybe Bourne could have called up GLAAD (who has a Sports Media director) before writing his column.

    Valid points I think …

  • gomez

    damn queerty, you are bitter. lighten up.

  • Yuki

    Uh… homosexual may be the clinical term, but it’s STILL another term. There’s not much out of place about it; it’s just a slightly more formal word. Get over it.

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Cor blimey, can I bum a fag? I’m all out!

  • Dennis

    This guy is a perfect example of a thoughtful, remorseful new ally, who was ‘trained’ in being homophobic, but has learned to THINK FOR HIMSELF, sees the error of his past behavior, seems sincerely apologetic…and can now have a postive influence on others in his situation…

    What does this site do? Treat him to all the typical snark and add a grammar lesson to boot (quite a joke, coming from this site!) Ain’t you bitches ever heard of forgiveness or redemption? Didn’t think so…

    Way to piss on a new friend and ally…go Queerty!

  • Andrew W

    “But hey, give the man credit…”

    Uh… yeah. I don’t think your readers need that advice as badly as you do, Queerty. Christ, you’re miserable people to be around these days.

  • Kevin B

    Some people are so out of touch. (Yes, you #3)

  • Spence

    Do you people at queerty just look for something to hate? Does something about anything ALWAYS have to be bad or off? What the hell is the matter with you people? He is reaching out, changing his thinking, and moving in a positive direction and you have the nerve to be critical about trivial grammer? You people are idiots. If all gays were like you, I would not ‘admit’ that I was a ‘homosexual’ because I wouldn’t want to be guilty of being hateful by association to you.

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