I have to work that needs to get done and I need to be up early so no long post tonight (if you want more serious thoughts on the matter, check out my Twitter account), but here is a video and an mp3 file of some, uh, actions from tonight's Rangers-Flyers pre-season game.
First an mp3 of Sean Avery threatening murder! (h/t @9inOrange)
Secondly, later in the game, Wayne Simmonds called Sean Avery a homophobic slur (you can lip read and find out what it is for yourself; that is a word I will not type here) (h/t the almost always despicable @twolinepass)
Breaking news: Sports athletes may not be the kindest, gentlest, and most politically correct people, even those who are victims of racial taunts and those who support gay rights! Outrage!
I pass not judgment on either men, but on the culture of professional sports in general (especially hockey, which is notorious for its homophobia). Yeah, I despise that 6-letter f-word with every fiber of my being. Yeah, I would prefer an autopsy not need to be done on my favorite Flyer. But if I were a betting man, Wayne Simmonds is not the first sports athlete to utter that word this year and Sean Avery is not the first person to threaten someone with the grim reaper (in fact, some people on Twitter are positive they heard Tony Romo threaten death to his center tonight).
There are reasons to be outraged that people call other people the 6-letter f-word in sports and in a serious tone say they are going to kill someone. This stuff has no place in sports. It should be removed. In a perfect world, it would be removed But the select few who get caught, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Simmonds, Tony Romo, and Sean Avery are merely biproducts of a sports culture where intolerance (especially the homophobic kind) are not outside the norm. It is a shame and has no place in the game, but there is a long way to go before we eliminate homophobia, death threats, and racism in sports. A long way. And yes, it sucks, because there are gays who I am sure are offended by their favorite player using that word. They hear (heard) it enough at school and they do not need to hear it anymore, and I do not begrudge them outrage that sports players use this language. But it is also unfair to single out the aforementioned guys who have gotten caught as the only ones who help contribute to this.
As a sports fan, I knowingly acknowledge the people I cheer for may not be the kindest of gentlemen or even people that I would want to associate myself with in everyday life. But sadly, there are people in this world much more naive than me.
The best way to get rid of this junk would probably be through education and by somehow teaching them what impact words can have on others. Now how do you go about giving a much-needed education to an entire culture? Beats me.