Bud Selig’s Response is Anything But Fabulous

by Mike on June 24, 2006

in Politics,Sports

Ozzie Guillen recently responded to sports reporter Jay Mariotti’s criticism by using a gay slur. Though he apologized to those in the gay community he may have offended, Guillen did not apologize to Mariotti. Baseball Commissar Bud Selig responded by mandating that Guillen attend sensitivity training.

Ordering people to attend a brainwashing academy for using language which may offend some people sets a dangerous precedent. Guillen would have been wise to use another term to criticize Mariotti; however, where will we be if one day the people who determine which words require re-education are people who possess warped values? Let’s just stick with freedom of speech.

Whether the context is Ann Coulter using colorful language to accurately describe the Witches of East Brunswick or Cindy Sheehan praising Hugo Chavez, ignoring such speech is always an option. There is no obligation to endorse offensive speech. People are free to ignore, denounce, fail to endorse or laugh at the words people use.

Major League Baseball is a private organization and therefore not subject to the First Amendment. That is not the basis of my criticism. Selig could have made it abundantly clear that Guillen’s comments did not represent the views of Major League Baseball. He could have issued a stinging condemnation of Guillen’s words. He can even prevent Guillen from using Major League Baseball equipment, property, media etc. to issue such statements in the future. No one believes that MLB is obligated to provide Guillen with a microphone but Selig did not have to mandate a training session that sounds like something out of Orwell’s 1984. Selig’s response is the gayest thing I ever heard.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ryan June 26, 2006 at 3:01 pm

As a teacher of children with “skulls full of mush” for 5 years, I can say with authority that the word “gay” is used by nearly every youth, male or female, at sometime to indicate that something sucks or is stupid.

Since “stupid” and “sucks” have been slowly weened out of their in-class vocab by elementary school teachers, “gay” seems to have replaced them in the middle and high school level student hallway vocabulary (that and the f-word and n-word).

They rarely use it in my class, but it has been said. For instance: McClellan’s approach to using Union forces in the Civil War is not “gay” as a certain student indicated– in fact, it has no particular sexual orientation of which to speak. They laugh at the student after my witty retort, he understands that he’s hit the line and should not approach it further. I do not believe this student needs the “thought police” to pull him out of class, beat him a while before throwing him into sensitivity training a-la “Clockwork Orange.”

Ozzie said “gay” in a way that offended some. Yet, the use of this word in that context is so widespread, using high profile people to crucify may only encourage its use further.


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