While it has been a tremendous year for LBGTQ community in sports, it’s far from all rainbows and acceptance. From gratuitous uses of the “other f-word” to players who should think before they tweet, we’ve collected this year’s biggest dickheads in sports.
The Indian Pacer seemed to think that his wallet was too heavy and that some NBA fines would be the best way to lighten it. In an on-air post-game press conference this June, he referred to sports journalists as “motherfuckers” and peppered in a “no-homo” to earn him a $75K fine this June. Hibbert issued a hasty apology.
UFC lightweight Nate Diaz took issue with Bryan Caraway receiving fellow fighter Pat Healy’s bonus after Healy tested positive for marijuana and so Diaz relayed his feelings in the most elegant way he could: he called Caraway “the biggest fag in the world” via twitter. He followed that up with another tweet, “#sorryasslittlebitch.” Diaz was slammed with a 90-day suspension and a $20,000 fine.
When UFC fighter Nate Diaz landed in hot water because he called Bryan Caraway a “fag” on twitter, his manager Mike Kogan came to his defense in the lamest way possible. Kogan told MMA Junkie that “the word faggot, at least in Northern California, and where Nate is from, means bitch. It means you're a little punk. It has nothing to do with homosexuals at all.” Oh I see, well in that case, let it be clear that when I call Kogan a “fuckwit,” I’m using the standard definition.
The Winnipeg Jets forward tweeted, “Chris Bosh looked like a fairy going to the rim,” during Game 4 of the NBA Finals. “Fairy”? Haven’t heard that one since middle school. Kane spoke with Patrick Bruke of You Can Play, whose mission is to ensure equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, and tweeted this apology: “Just spoke with Patrick Burke + @YouCanPlayTeam and would like to sincerely apologize for a tweet where I used a homophobic term. I made a mistake and will learn from this.”
Here’s the thing about playing sports on TV, somebody’s always watching. Gordon, a forward for the San Jose Earthquakes, called Will Johnson of the Portland Timbers a “faggot” and NBC Sports Network caught it on camera. Gordon issued a post-match apology but that didn’t save him from a three-match suspension.
English footballer Joey Barton went on a transphobic twitter tear against Brazilian player Thiago Silva. “Have to take back what I said about Thiago Silva being over-rated today. Been immense tonight. Still looks like an overweight ladyboy though! “, “Secondly, Are you Pre-Op or Post-Op? #transsexual #thiagosaladyboy.”, “Baffles me, which way he’s going. Is he a man changing to a woman or a woman changing to a man? Can’t work it out.” Barton got a two-match suspension.
This ESPN sports analyst called Jason Collin’s homosexuality “an open rebellion to God and Jesus Christ” and then called into Power 105.1 Breakfast Club to double down on his ignorance. The theology expert stated “If a person who is a same-sex attractive [sic] and they’re sincerely trying to live for the lord, and they fall into a same-sex relationship…and they repent, and they ask for forgiveness, and they keep trying to serve God, I believe that person is a Christian.” Power 105.1 named him the “Donkey of the Day.”
Who knew that to be an NBA coach you've got to have a doctorate in Theology? When asked about Jason Collins’ coming out, Golden State Warriors’ head coach/bible expert said “As a Christian man, I serve a God that gives you free will to be who you want to be. As a Christian man, I have beliefs of what’s right and what’s wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family, and am certainly praying for them at this time.” However Jackson said he’d welcome Collins as a Warrior “if he had game.” Well that makes it all better then…
When asked about Fallon Fox during his segment on the MMA hour, Mitrione said he hadn’t “seen a man beat a woman like that since Chris Brown beat Rihanna.” During the whole segment the class act insisted that Fox was a “he” and went on to say, “that is a lying, sick, sociopathic, disgusting freak.” The UFC issued a swift denouncement of Mitrione’s statement and suspened him…for only 17 days, far short of the punishment he deserved: being tarred, feathered, and worked over with a pitching wedge.
Mike Rice made headlines when video surfaced of him berating, kicking, firing basketballs, and using slurs against his players. The Rutgers men’s basketball coach—who used language like “fucking faggot” and “fucking fairy” toward his players—was fired after the tapes came to the attention of the media. Some good did come out of it: we got this amazing SNL sketch starring Melissa McCarthy that’s based on the Mike Rice affair.
When rumors that a gay NFL player was considering coming out, the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end demonstrated his ignorance on twitter. He tweeted: “Who on Gods earth is this person saying he's coming out of the closet in the NFL?” Subtext: back in the closet, queer. He then said that he thought coming out in the NFL “was a selfish act,” that “they just trying to make themselves bigger than the team” and that he’s not homophobic he just thinks “something’s should be left at home.”
You’d think someone who plays for a San Francisco team would be in tune with the gay community. The 49er went on the Artie Lange Show and when asked if there were gay players on the team, he said: “I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah, can’t be in the locker room man.” You “don’t do the gay guys”? Cully, I know plenty of gay men who like ‘em built and stupid; they won’t even do you.
What can you expect from a man who spells his first name like a stripper? Not much clearly. The Detroit Tiger said, regarding a hypothetical gay teammate, “For me, as a Christian… I will be uncomfortable [with a gay teammate] because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it’s not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable.” Mind you this is same mouth-breather who called black Latinos “impostors.”
Katy Perry used “gay” in a derogatory sense and it launched her career. Liverpool FC midfielder Jesús Fernández Sáenz does it and gets hit with a £10,000 ($15K) fine. Moral of the story: if you’re gonna be bigot, do it to a catchy beat. He posted a photo of his teammate Jose Enrique with the comment “What fuck is he doing? This guy is gay… he does everything except play football.” Suso apologized and Enrique tweeted: "Is amazing how FA can fine my friend Suso Fernandez for a banter thing. Was just a joke!!!''
It takes an extraordinary amount of cognitive dissonance to call someone a “fag” while critiquing his footwear. Well, it seems that Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has the market cornered on cognitive dissonance as he tweeted at minor-league player Dayton Marze, “@Dmarze89 nice crocs fag lol.” Though Syndergaard has not been fined or suspended we believe that playing for the Mets is punishment enough.
During a match between Sörskogens IF and the Stockholm Snipers—who welcome and encourage LGBTQ athletes to join their team— Sörskogens players hurled insults like “you suck cock for 50 Kronor,” “all of you have HIV” and “we’re probably going to get infected.” While the Stockholm Football Association fined Sörskogens 5,000 Kronor ($750), as it was the Sörskogens’ first offense, the team’s management didn’t think this went far enough and suspended all of the players for the rest of the season.
In response to a joke about betraying a teammate from "humor" twitter “Because I’m a Guy,” the Cleveland Browns linebacker tweeted “@causewereguys unfollowed...your a faggot for that.” Though he deleted the tweet he doubled down on his ignorance, tweeting : “I don’t agree with being gay or lesbian at all, but saying faggot doesn’t make me a homophobe, it’s just a word.” The fathead backpeddled saying it was a “misunderstanding” and he “was not bashing the gay community.”
Rule of thumb for writing on eye block: stick to “John 3:16.” Toronto Bluejays shortstop Yunel Escobar decided to get creative and write “tu ere maricon” (“you are a faggot”) on his eye block. Needless to say people were a bit miffed. The MLB hit him with a 3-day suspension without pay. Escobar apologized and said it was “a joke.” Ha ha.
When Yunel Escobar wrote “tu ere maricon” on his eye block, Miami Marlins manager Guillen defened him. He told the Miami Herald. “I know he didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. Nobody is that stupid… In my house, we call [each other] that word every 20 seconds. I’ve got three kids—for us, it’s like ‘What’s up, bro? What’s up, dude?’ It’s how you say it and to who you say it. But that’s our country. We have to respect this country. Sometimes for us it’s funny, for other people it’s not.” So you and your kids use the word for “faggot” “every 20 seconds.”
Marc Bruch got himself suspended for three games last November when he called another player a “faggot.” The Seattle Sounder apologized the next day, but according to MLS commissioner Don Garber, “Major League Soccer” has a zero tolerance policy in response to this type of behavior from its players.”
When you tweet something stupid in America, you’re a dumbass. When you tweet something stupid in the UK, you’re a dumbass in the back of a cop car. Just ask Daniel Thomas, a semi-professional midfielder with Port Talbot FC. After Tom Daley and his diving partner Peter Waterfield came in 4th at the 2012 Olympics, Thomas tweeted “if there is any consolation for finishing fourth atleast daley and waterfield can go bum eachother #teamHIV.” Thomas was arrested for violating the UK’s Malicious Communications Act of 1988, which makes it illegal to send offensive electronic communications, but in the end he wasn’t charged.