This week at the end of the NFL draft, a Miami player Don Jones sent a couple of tweets about the NFL drafting an openly gay player. It went about as expected. The openly gay player had pictures of himself and boyfriend celebrating tweeted and reposted by reporters on the not-really-a-story story (the kind of picture that would prompt “get a room” if he were straight). And a Don Jones, presumably offended, tweeted “OMG” and “Horrible.” So of course he’s being fined and sent to tolerance camp.
I was immediately reminded of the story of Isaiah Washington, who made a similar mistake a few years ago. Isaiah Washington was a TV actor on the show “Grey’s Anatomy” who made the mistake of offending a gay cast member. Despite being considered a great addition to the cast and winning Image and SAG awards as well as making TV Guide and People’s lists for attractiveness, he found out that there is a hierarchy in modern culture and media of whose identity group is more powerful, and how merely using one word can get you erased.
Isaiah Washington in an argument where many words were exchanged was sufficient for him to be culturally removed. But all it takes is a magic word to go away.
KING: So why does that lead to this word?
WASHINGTON: He got un — became unhinged, face-to-face, spittle to spittle, in my face — first. I did not start it. And I’m asking him why is he screaming at me, why are we doing this? Get out of my face. Several times. Several times. And he just becomes irate. But I’m not understanding why am I being berated to this point in front of our crew, particularly after what we experienced in Seattle. You know, I mean, I think you owe me on apology and I’m being berated.
And by that time I pushed him out of my face and it just took off from there and I began to say a lot of — a lot of things that I’m not really proud of — but all referring to myself and how I felt I was being treated.
KING: But how did the bad word come out of that?
WASHINGTON: Well, I said several bad words, as well as he did.
KING: To him?
WASHINGTON: To him about how I was feeling. I said there’s no way you’re going to treat me like a “B” word or a “P” word or the “F” word. You can’t treat me this way in front of our crew.
Miami player Don Jones didn’t even call the gay NFL player any names. He got in no arguments, there was no getting in anyone’s grill, no spittle flying.
Jones just expressed disapproval, yet he’s being fined and ordered to tolerance camp because his opinions are not in line with those that are allowed.
What is allowed? Why, violence against women, of course!
Ed Morrissey at HotAir notes that the NFL is highly inconsistent, as it’s willing to crack down on people who disagree with gayness, but won’t crack down on players who beat women.
Fox Sports’ Clay Travis noted that the league is strangely inconsistent when it comes to off-field behavior, too. In February of this year, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was charged with beating his fiancée into unconsciousness in an Atlantic City casino. A grand jury handed down an indictment for third-degree aggravated assault, perhaps convinced by video footage of Rice dragging her out of an elevator, with no one else in sight. Rice has since asked for a pretrial “intervention” to avoid a conviction and a potential three-year sentence, expressing through his attorney that “he’s ashamed of his conduct and he’s sorry for what he did.”
And yet, as Travis notes, the Ravens and the NFL have yet to do anything to Rice — even though the league has spent the last few years marketing heavily to increase its audience among women. “You get in more trouble for a tweet about men kissing on a sports television show,” Travis writes, “than you do for allegedly knocking out your girlfriend and being charged with domestic assault? The message is clear: Words matter more than actions.”
Apparently women are pretty low on the identity group ladder when it comes to mainstream-lefty culture.
As far as I know, the gay player didn’t give a crap about Jones’ tweets, as he was busy enjoying getting a nice fat business contract and publicity enough that’s made his jersey the second most purchased since the draft. If he’s actually played football, and it seems he has, I’d bet he has thick enough skin not to care. I have yet to hear of him responding to it, probably because it woudn’t make his radar and he wouldn’t care, or might just talk some trash back and think nothing more of it. I guess if he surfaces with an indignant PC response or a “whatever, man, don’t care” response I’ll update, but as of this writing, he’s not even really part of the story – I haven’t heard of him asking for sanctions against Jones, and suspect he doesn’t really care.