|NFL player DeSean Jackson called a fan a "gay-ass faggot."|
First, he tweeted: "They looking to take ya down at all times no matter how positive and what you do! It's always a way they try to get ya. I'm standing tall."
His apology [through a representative] later said:
“I am sorry for using words that I know to be hurtful and unacceptable. I have made a mistake and would like to make it clear that the words I used meant no disrespect to the Gay and Lesbian Community. Intolerance is unacceptable and I apologize to anyone I have offended.”Now multiple sports commentators are calling Jackson's choice of words "ignorant" and "unacceptable" and "stupid" (duh) and also aren't satisfied by his apology.
ESPN.com writer Dan Graziano said:
I don't think that Jackson, when he said what he said, was accusing the caller of being homosexual or insinuating that he would dislike him if he were. I think he was using a common insult of whose gravity he is, sadly, ignorant....
Jackson owed his apology to the homosexual community, no doubt. The language he used is offensive to them whether he intended it that way or not. And no one is "out to get" him here. He didn't say these things in his home, or in a private conversation that was overheard and broadcast on YouTube. He said it on the radio, whose purpose is to be heard by as many people as possible. As he said in his statement, "a better choice of words was needed." I'd argue that the best choice in a case like this would have been no words at all.
But the boilerplate apology Jackson issued Saturday didn't address his larger problem, which is what he's going to say now to all those kids he's been trying to help. How can a guy stand up against bullying, and convince others to do the same, when he's just so publicly been the worst kind of bully himself?
CBSSports.com National Columnist Gregg Doyel said:
Decent apology. Doesn't change the fact that Jackson's stupid. He's stupider than NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah were earlier this year when they were caught -- in the heat of the moment, during games, from the bench -- calling someone "f-ggot." Bryant muttered the word under his breath at a referee. Noah spit it angrily at a crude, heckling spectator. Bryant and Noah were wrong. They were insulting. They were insensitive.
But Jackson was stupid.
He sat in an air-conditioned room, listened to some anonymous soul out there in radio land -- a face he couldn't see, a name he didn't know, a voice he'd forget by the end of the show -- and then leaned into a live microphone to spew out a sneering, dismissing homophobic tirade. And DeSean Jackson thought he just won the argument.
Jackson lost, because the world is changing and he's one of the last to know. Just like the world changed in the 1960s when certain words once considered acceptable in decent society -- dehumanizing words used to categorize black people -- began to fall out of favor. There are people who still use those words today, but they're stupid people, because those words are unacceptable. Likewise, it eventually became unacceptable to use certain derogatory words to group all people from China, or Italy, or Mexico, or ...
Today if DeSean Jackson were to go on Sirius radio and call someone from China a five-letter word that rhymes with "drink," he wouldn't get away with it. I don't know what would happen, but it would be bad and it should be bad. Using a word like that is a fireable offense. I doubt the Eagles would fire Jackson for using that word, but he'd lose fans. He'd lose endorsements. He'd lose something. Because society has decided -- and thank God for this -- that words like the one hypothetically suggested in the first sentence of this paragraph are unacceptable.
What do you think? His "choice of words" were definitely unacceptable, but was his apology enough to make up for what he said?
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