I didn’t want this one to get by, so I’ll post it for the weekend.
Growing up there were two unquestioned bastions of masculinity – sports and the military. And the beefiest of the sports that people considered real sports was football. Those were the two legs of homophobia when I was growing up and nothing had changed that until recently.
Homophobia in professional sports was always as much of a problem as it was in high school locker rooms. It was just part of the atmosphere. Well, that seems to be changing.
This is what happened: A bonehead old fossil of a state legislator in Maryland sent this to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens (Let’s leave aside the impropriety of anyone in government sending anything like this to a private entity.)
“I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Ravens football player,” Burns writes.
“I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.”
The story blew up and went national. Brendon Ayanbadejo had this to say about that:
“I’d have to thank him more than anything for bringing national attention to the issue,” Ayanbadejo said Friday.”
As we say down at the Cockpit, “bitch.” Beautiful bitch.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Next Chris Kluwe of the Minnesota Vikings lit into the state legislator, Delegate Burns. Excerpted from his letter – he starts off addressing the Constitutional issue:
“By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech.”
Then he proceeds to the main issue:
“2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.” Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have “no place in a sport”? I can’t even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for “beautiful oppressionism”).”
But please, read the whole thing. I hope in later years it’s taught as a text in high school composition classes as a model of structure and achieving an effect.
Delegate Burns backed off with a mealy-mouthed deflection about exercising his First Amendment rights, when the lying sleaze knew very well that was not what had gotten his dick in a wringer at all.
This rather resets the field, don’t you think?
This comes near the anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Remember all the Sturm und Drang about how that was going to implode the military, destroy recruiting and impair retention, angst-field jeremiads, most loudly from civilian gadflies like Elaine Donnelly? This despite all the senior military leaders who decided maybe it was not such a big deal, including retired ones, who were unlike their active counterparts free to speak out, GEN Colin Powell and GEN Shalikashvili? Well it turns out the generals and the hate-America Democrats who voted for repeal were right.
It turns out:
“Far from the U.S. military being broken by allowing gays to serve openly, a recent report by a group of U.S. military school professors writing for the Palm Center found, “The repeal of DADT has had no overall negative impact on military readiness or its component dimensions, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.” The U.S. military today has the same level of readiness as it did in 2011. It didn’t have over half a million servicemen exit in protest, as these opponents claimed would happen.”
“Those who predicted doom ignored that the military of today is staffed by young, millennial men and women who do not share the anti-gay sentiments of previous generations. They ignored empirical research, drawn from over half a century of evidence gathered by independent researchers and the U.S. military itself. They ignored the experiences of allied militaries in places like the UK, Australia, and Israel, all of which found that open service would not be destructive. They ignored that planning and leadership are the keys to successful policy change, and that the U.S. military excels at both. Simply put, their predictions of peril were endemic of the “post-truth” practice so common in politics today: hype and hysteria as a poor substitute for facts and substance.”
tl;dr – Times have changed in the military and you are going on outdated stereotypes of military people. There’s a lot of that going around. Ahem.
So there you have it – the military is getting along fine with all its queers out and proud and now footballers are calling for marriage equality. As Cartman would say, “Goddamit! ” Where can the self-appointed guardians of decency and social morality going to turn after these betrayals?
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