Who doesn’t love a good gay joke? Especially one broadcast on a banner carried by a plane. Let’s let everyone laugh at how silly the gays are.
Two veteran players of the Toronto Blue Jays planned a “gay wedding” for their teammates, in an effort to build team unity. According to an article in the Toronto Star:
Aaron Hill and Russ Adams, the Blue Jays’ young second base/shortstop combination, were surprisingly “married” – the surprise being entirely theirs – in a team-building prank yesterday orchestrated by pitchers Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett.
The mock nuptials, which were fully catered and included wedding gifts, were retaliation for a stunt Hill and Adams pulled a couple of weeks back. Noting that Halladay had a new training buddy in Burnett, the two had T-shirts printed featuring the two ace starters and with reference to “Brokeback Mound” – a play on the movie Brokeback Mountain.
Adams and Hill knew revenge was in the air when a plane circled the field during yesterday morning’s stretch towing a sign that read: “Aaron, will you marry me? I love you. Russ.”
The decorations for the “ceremony” included several sexually-explicit messages, some of which were painted on the SUV parked outside the Blue Jays’ clubhouse, which the newspaper chose not to print due to their offensive nature.
Now, never mind the fact that they put the ass-fucking gay jokes on banners pulled by airplanes and signs parked out on the street; the Toronto Blue Jays club found the joke so funny they posted the entire affair on their web site, for all to enjoy. And now that joke is in the daily paper.
It’s one thing for friends to pull a prank on each other. We all make jokes, we all say things that should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. And there is certainly no shortage of Brokeback Mountain jokes out there.
But it’s really disappointing for a major community organization to publish the joke, and set an example for their fans to follow. Especially when even the newspaper acknowledges the message went beyond funny, and was offensive. It makes it all seem alright. “Team building,” remember? Go team.
There is no way this joke would fly if it were referencing anyone else. If one player was black and the other was white, The Blue Jays would never publish “It’s A Jungle Fever Party!” pictures. But because it’s about gay people, the joke is acceptable? And funny enough to publish?
Although we really can’t blame Halladay and Burnett for acting out, as they are under a lot of pressure this season. Perhaps Halladay is nervous because, despite his enormous $10 million paycheck, the Blue Jays haven’t had a World Series run since the Joe Carter days of 1993. Perhaps Burnett can’t get past those memories of those final Florida games with his 0-6 pitching record, and he fears he might choke again. Perhaps Burnett’s nagging elbow injury isn’t from pitching, and he developed his repetitive-stress injury from spending quality time dreaming about his own Brokeback fantasies, shame shame! Or perhaps, despite positive projections for their upcoming seasons, they both know that recently-traded Carlos Delgado was the real star of the team–and with career-average ERA rankings of around 3.7, they’re both just living in his shadow, and their good-but-unspectacular pitching games will be forgotten.
Or were we not supposed to know that? Sorry. We’ll stick to talking endlessly about gay movies from now on.
While we are annoyed by the Fred Phelps crazies of the world, who are out to be offensive, we are much more bothered by people who appeal to the common public, and try to mask their bigotry with a touch of humor. If people laugh it off, then they think these kinds of messages are okay.
The fact that these jokes are “common” does not mean they are alright. We have become so desenitized to people mocking the idea of gay relationships, we are willing to shrug off the slurs if they are said with a smile. But it’s not alright. It’s not alright to sit back and be the brunt of the jokes anymore. And it is NOT alright for a baseball team to plaster their website with gay jokes, “harmless” or not.
Let’s all send the folks in Toronto a note, and let them know we appreciate them plastering their jokes all over the internet and their newspaper:
Toronto, Where Gay Jokes Go To Die [Toronto Star]