Jock Talk: Two slurs, two different punishments
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This month, we learned that Major League Baseball considers the word "faggot" a slur worthy of punishment. But the National Hockey League is not so worried about players using the word "cocksucker" to demean the officials with whom they work.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar was suspended without pay for two games after calling Atlanta Braves pitcher Jason Motte a "faggot" during a May 17 game. In a prepared statement, the Blue Jays said, "In no way is this kind of behavior accepted or tolerated."
Pillar apologized before the suspension was announced, saying he was "completely and utterly embarrassed" by his language and owed an apology to Motte, the Braves, and the LGBT community.
Two days after the Pillar incident, Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, apparently thinking he was being filmed for an episode of "Deadwood," called a referee a "cocksucker" during Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals.
The response to that outburst? Getzlaf penned one of the most pathetic non-apologies ever and was fined $10,000 of his $9 million salary, but not suspended – and a fan started an effort to pay that pittance of a penalty through online donations.
So much for zero tolerance of intolerance.
Getzlaf treated his use of "cocksucker" as though it were a rough patch of ice untouched by the Zamboni: something unfortunate that should not have existed, but nothing to do with him.
"There were obviously some words said, not necessarily directed at anyone in particular, it was just kind of a comment," Getzlaf explained. "I've got to be a little more responsible with the words I choose. I didn't mean it in that manner in any way, and for that to go that route was very disappointing for me. I accepted responsibility and I accepted it fine. We talked to the league and I understand it's my responsibility to not use vulgar language, period, whether it's a swear word or what it is."
Or what it is? It's exactly what Getzlaf intended it to be when he shouted it: a homophobic insult meant to challenge someone's manhood in a pathetic effort to assert his own alleged dominance. Own up to it, dude.
2017 World Outgames begins
The 2017 World Outgames are set to begin Friday, May 26 in Miami Beach, Florida, with a more modest schedule of sports events than originally planned; unanswered questions about event funding; and a late change of venue for the human rights conferences.
Organizers dropped cycling from the sports program in the final weeks of event preparation – the eighth sport eliminated since April. Several events were scheduled to be held in the partially demolished Miami Beach Convention Center, but renovations there are behind schedule, forcing the relocation of conferences and the opening and closing ceremonies. Those are now scheduled to be held in the Fillmore Miami Beach.
In late April, the Miami Herald reported that the city of Miami Beach had forgiven a $50,000 loan to the Outgames as well as several thousands of dollars' worth of fees connected to public facilities, but the status of two $100,000 payments that were to be made to the event was uncertain because they were dependent on unmet "fundraising milestones."
World Outgames spokesmen declined to speak with the Bay Area Reporter about how those loans and the low registration fees might impact scheduled events.
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