There’s something stuck in my crawl (crawl? Where is that?). So give me a minute to hop up on my soapbox.
Now I don’t know if you’ll know about what happened with Kobe Bryant. If you haven’t, let me fill you in.
During a game Kobe Bryant was issued a call by a referee that he didn’t agree with. He went into a tirade as all players do after a call they don’t agree with (or after any call if you’re Gary Payton). During Bryant’s tirade he screamed profanity and called the referee a homosexual slur that rhymes with Zagat (use your imagination boys and girls).
I waited to see the backlash surrounding Kobe‘s comments…and I waited and waited…there was nothing. All I heard were people defend Kobe Bryant and dismissing his comment. I even heard someone say (I’m not going to say who it is, but his name rhymes with Chris Webber) that, people are competitive and sometimes things slip. What…”Things slip” really? The lone voice that came out against Kobe was Charles Barkley on the Dan Le Batard Show (Purple Drank). So allow me to align myself with Mr. Barkley by saying, Kobe Bryant’s language was completely unacceptable. Please don’t try to excuse that kind of langue as something that always happens in a competitive arena. When you start using slurs, it’s no longer about competition. You are trying to hurt someone, and degrade them as an individual.
The word that Kobe Bryant used toward the referee was disgusting and abhorrent. There is no place for that use of language. I am shocked that people on sports television, that run their yap for a living, haven’t stood up for what is right. It seems that when the shoe is on the other foot, social activist seize the opportunity to promote themselves (“Paging Al Sharpton, Paging Al Sharpton”). We all know if Kobe was white and he called a referee a Nigger. People would try to kick him out of the country (“Oh here comes all Sharpton”).
Now I’m not saying Kobe’s a bad guy, because I don’t pass personal judgment on people I don’t know. What I will say is the reaction to Bryant’s comment speaks to a bigger problem in the American sports arena. There is a homophobic acceptance in sports, because of the lack of representation of openly homosexual men in American sports. Is this a problem? Yes and no. The lack of openly homosexual males isn’t a problem. People have the right to be whoever they want to be in their life. It’s no one’s duty to let the public in on their personal preferences. However, I do think that fact that sports culture hasn’t evolved into present day society is a problem. We have confronted and somewhat conquered racial inequality in sports. It’s time to address homophobia.
The recent Kobe Bryant comment has brought to fore front a huge problem in sports. I really hope we resolve the issue of homophobia in sports. It only takes one person to start the movement, so pardon me while I get Al Sharpton on the phone. I will tell him Don Imus is on line 2.
-Kortney Shane Williams
Comedian and Writer