Saturday, April 11, 2009

2 comments Don't Hate Them Because They Are Beautiful...And Don't Call Them Gay Either...Actually Just Don't Talk To Them

LZ Granderson, who I normally really enjoy reading, has written a column that tackles the most pressing topic in sports right now. Why do we call our athletes "gay" if they pose in magazines and try to be beautiful? I think we should all sign a petition requesting that President Obama forget about the economic conditions here in the country and forget the war in Iraq to focus more on making sure attractive male athletes are not called "gay" when posing in model-esque poses in magazines. LZ, who I can't emphasize enough that I normally enjoy reading his columns so I am a little disappointed, take it away.

Make no mistake about it: Alex Rodriguez's spread in the current issue of Details makes him look like a total tool.

Don't worry this is not about A-Rod, this is about A-Rod looking gay in the magazine...but LZ doesn't want us to use "gay," so I will say he set himself up for excessively feminine poses.

And trust me, if that were the whole story, I wouldn't be so irritated by the dialogue that has followed the photos' release.

If by dialogue, you mean, "anything Wallace Matthews wrote about this incident," then yes I was very irritated by it as well.

In fact, the whole story has way more to do with us than it does him.

A-Rod is beautiful, but that's hardly a reason to hate him.

I love it when Vidal Sassoon commercials are put in written form on ESPN.com. It makes the article written seem so.........useless and not related to sports at all.

Now, you can hate him because he flaunts it.

You can hate him because he lied, because he cheated or because he's not Derek Jeter.

Thank you ever so much for permission to hate Alex Rodriguez. Here I have been black market hating him for nearly a decade now. It finally feels so good to get this out in the open and not feel like I am an outcast for hating him. Thanks for the permission LZ.

Would it be inappropriate in the context of this article to say you have given me permission to come out of the closet in saying that I actually hate A-Rod and Derek Jeter? Just don't tell my loved ones...they don't know yet.

But most men, particularly the insecure ones, hate him because he reminds them of their own perceived shortcomings, and so to make themselves feel better, they call him the one word they have relied on to strip a man of his worth for decades:

Playoff choker. (Wait, that was two words.)

gay.

How about if I call him, "excessively feminine" in his pictures? Would that work? Because I don't even think "gay" is the right word for it and I actually haven't heard anyone call him "gay" for taking those pictures. Maybe I just don't remember...I got hit in the head with a glow stick at my "Coming Out of the Closet For Hating Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez" party last night.

It's curious how technology makes it possible for anyone on the planet to pull up A-Rod's photo spread, and yet when it comes to discussing it, we're trapped on some sort of medieval hamster wheel.

Political commentary! Possibly true political commentary, but also the very reason I am writing my post about this article. Every once in a while I feel like sportswriters use one incident in sports to go off on a political or social tangent. I feel like that is happening here.

Athletes are very macho people and pride themselves on being tough and don't want to be seen with any type of faults that may demean them as men. That's how they are and that is how they are built and supposed to be perceived. As much as I would love to see this change a little bit, it is not happening because of the culture of sports.

Just like ballet dancers and ice skaters (except Apolo Ohno because he is the man and VERY macho...please don't post this anywhere thinking I was insulting him...plus he is a speed skater and they are like the macho version of an ice skater) aren't going to go around and act more macho generally, pro athletes are going to be judged for posing in magazines that make them seem excessively feminine. We can drop the word "gay," that's cool, but changing the culture is harder to do.

It's not a character flaw in the fans and the players, it is a response to their public image in their sport. They present an image in their sport and the fans react to it.

I'm not going to lie -- I'm not an A-Rod fan

A disclosure: I invited LZ to my "A-Rod and Derek Jeter Hating Party" and he did not come.

Look, gay simply means you're attracted to the same gender -- that's it.

Two things:

1. Gay also means you are excessively happy. Don't take that usage away from the word, I like to use it in socially awkward situations...well actually to make people feel awkward in social situations.

2. A-Rod was kissing himself in a picture...so he does come close to the same gender definition, except in a more "I love myself above all others" way.

I asked former New York Giant Jason Sehorn what it was like on the field after he became the face of 2xist underwear, and he said he heard all sorts of negative comments.

He is modeling underwear. He should expect to hear negative comments about him. That is what happens when you model in your underwear. Notice Sehorn did not say everyone called him "gay," but he heard negative comments. There is a difference. I am all for tolerance and not belittling people but I don't know how anyone expect in the sports arena for one person in the entire locker room to not make fun of him a little bit?

I find it really weird if these type of comments really bother athletes. It's not like they were forced to do these types of advertisements and pictures, they chose to do them. They have to be secure in themselves enough to get in their underwear in public, I don't see how comments would affect them.

Another former NFL player, Tony McGee, said his sexuality often was questioned because of his looks.

"Guys will say anything on the field to try to get an edge," he said. "And for some of them, calling me 'pretty boy' was all it was. You do your thing during the game, and then it's over. But for others, it was really personal, like they just couldn't let it go."

I am really trying to be sensitive here, but is this that big of an issue? It's not high school. If Tony McGee is a homosexual then the comments were true and they should not bother him, if he is not a homosexual then he knows the taunts are not true and should ignore them.

Easier said than done I am sure, but I am sure when there is taunting there is a lot of other nasty comments that go on during a football game not related to how pretty a player is. Often times players do take taunting to where it gets personal and that is probably where a lot of fights start out. It's more of the result of a player being an asshole rather than a person being insecure.

Clearly, you don't have to be a gay male to be good looking or say, "Tom Brady is a good-looking guy", but you do have to be secure in who you are and who you are not.

Right. I would think if there were ever a group of individuals that were secure in who they were, it would be professional athletes. I guess I am wrong.

And obviously that's a tall order, considering that when many straight males talk about the appearance of another male in a positive way, he usually has to follow that up by punching a dude in the arm or adding a disclaimer such as, "My girl likes him, so I guess he's good looking."

First off, I am not sure when the subject of attractive men have come up during a sporting event with my friends and me, because usually we are watching the sport and not trying to judge what the players look like. I don't know anyone that would punch me in the arm if I said Tom Brady was attractive, usually they would look at me like I was crazy for randomly bringing this up. Though I have had discussions on whether Wayne Ellington wears eye makeup and if A.J. Abrams eye lashes are fake.

Of course I really don't care what people think about me, so if I did bring up anything related to a man's looks who plays sports, I would not provide a disclaimer. I literally have no idea what I am talking about right now.

The true rub is knowing men don't have a problem judging a guy when he's not attractive.

Larry Bird, Popeye Jones? Ugliest NBA players of all time.

Men tend to say this because it makes them feel better about their own looks. It has nothing to do with a man thinking, "ok, I can make fun of this guy because no one will think I am gay." Again, I am sports fan so I watch the games and ignore what the people playing the sport looks like. Maybe I am in the minority on this.

It's funny how A-Rod often is criticized for letting his insecurities get the best of him, yet it quite often is his male detractors who let their insecurities get the best of them when talking about him.

I really want to know who is going around calling A-Rod "gay" for taking these pictures for Details magazine? I am sure there are some people but isn't there a slight chance we are overblowing the issue here a little bit? I have made fun of A-Rod's purple lips before but I have never called him "gay," and I don't think his pictures are "gay." I think they show a fairly self involved individual who doesn't exactly know what his public persona should be.

Well, as a gay man, I for one wish these so-called general managers would stop trying to assign players they don't want to my team.

Oh I see. He is not good enough for you. You blame heterosexual males for allegedly calling him "gay," like you are offended by this. In reality, you are just offended because you don't like him enough to have people label him as "gay."

So unless you're willing to swap Rodriguez for, say, RuPaul and a couple of second-round draft picks, you're just going to have to deal with it.

Deal. Just remember, A-Rod has to disappear off the map completely just like RuPaul did. That is part of our agreement.

And while we're negotiating, I'd like to swap Lance Bass and cash for Jon Stewart and a character from Family Guy to be named later.

Wow, LZ Granderson is very picky about who gets to be publicly homosexual. This is kind of a weird way to end this column.

I will do a better job of ending it. I don't think A-Rod's photos have anything to do with male athletes and male sporting fans being afraid to say what athletes are attractive. I think those pictures have more to do with A-Rod being in love with himself and this isn't the best time to try political commentary that may not be relevant to the situation. That's just my opinion and I do usually enjoy LZ's columns.

2 comments:

Martin said...

Arod would be narcissisticly gay then? He only is in love and wants to do himself.

I don't think LZ wrote this column. Jemele Hill did. Seriously, this is the kind of weird reverse arguing against their own made up argument that Jemele specialized in. Give me quotes, tell me where these things happened, because other then commentators on various web sites, was there any actual publication where they called Arod "gay" or said the pictures were "gay"?

Loved your point about how LZ has co-opted the definition of teh word gay.

Bengoodfella said...

Yes, I would say A-Rod is narcissisticly gay. He loves himself and only himself. Though I have a feeling he really hates himself. It's very complicated.

I don't know of any one that actually called A-Rod gay. I think JemeHill did write this column. He made up a fake argument and then disproved that argument using faulty logic. I am sure somebody somewhere called A-Rod "gay" for taking those pictures. I just have not read those articles, so I don't see the real problem here. There is all kinds of taunting that goes on in athletics and I am sure calling someone "gay" is not the worst of it.

LZ can not have the word "gay" as his own definition. I need to keep it definitionaly ambiguous so I can make people feel uncomfortable. Besides it is a slang word for homosexual, I would think no one would want the word as their own anyway.