Sudden increase in sports homophobia on Twitter

In a very short amount of time — maybe a week or so — there has been a sudden increase in homophobic activity on Twitter from people who definitely would not benefit from making these posts.

After Rangers’ player Sean Avery came out in support of same-Sex marriage with an advertisement, his agent of all people decided to cause quite a stir with his opinion on the subject. Here is the agent Todd Reynolds had to say:

“Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage.’ Legal or not, it will always be wrong,”

Then, instead of taking back what he said to avoid further controversy, he just kept going with more.

To clarify. This is not hatred or bigotry towards gays. It is not intolerance in any way shape or form. I believe we are all equal. But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.”

This makes no sense at all. To say he doesn’t support equal rights for gays and then turn around and say that he isn’t being intolerant is just ridiculous and simply homophobic. And what is he doing? He is a sports agent, not Maggie Gallagher. Reynolds has a job and that job is to be the agent for Sean Avery, which means he should only be promoting Avery if anything. Social media accounts such as twitter should be used carefully and professionally in this case, and for Reynolds to go totally off track from his job to discuss something that will aggravate a lot of people is probably not the best idea.

Homophobia in sports is something that is being handled much more sensitively these days as society gradually becomes more accepting. Within the last month, we saw Kobe Bryant get fined $100k for using a homophobic slur on the basketball court and Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks without pay for being homophobic towards fans in the stands. With all of this, you would think that Reynolds would keep his mouth shut.

In other news, North Carolina state basketball player C.J. Leslie said on Twitter earlier this week that he would “rather not have a gay in the locker room” and that it is “something he would not want in his locker room”. He added that gay former NBA player John Amaechi is “too big to be gay.”

Leslie’s homophobic comments reinforces false stereotypes that gay men are supposed to be small, weak, or fragile. The problem with his comments that he doesn’t realize is that he most likely has shared a locker room or at least played basketball with a gay teammate before, even if they were closeted.

All of this controversial homophobic activity on Twitter makes me wonder what people are thinking when they are updating their accounts. If Twitter is supposed to be used to promote their brands, making homophobic comments doesn’t promote anything except negative publicity and potential fines or suspensions. Even if the person’s Twitter is private or limited to their close friends, their friends can leak the updates on Twitter to third parties and the tweet can be made public immediately.

Sometimes people really need to think twice.


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