Homo Hatred at the Hockey Game

  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Nov 13, 2008 7:13 PM GMT
    OK guys, here's something that happened last night and I don't know if I should have done or said anything and I'd like to know if you've ever been in the same position, what you've done, what you think, etc.

    Went to see the Blackhawks play the Bruins last night. I can only afford to go to like 3 or 4 games a year and buy my tickets usually off season ticket holders and almost always wind up going by myself since i have no friends who are into hockey or who like it enough to pay to see a game [my bf doesn't mind watching but $30 or $40 for a ticket is kinda steep for him as it is for me too sometimes].

    So i'm squeezed into my seat in the upper reaches of the United Center, i don't move all game because there's this weird code of conduct with the Hawks fans where you don't get out of your seat while the puck is in play and with the exception of the guy three seats to my right who'd yell 'let's go hawks' every couple minutes, the folks around me were well-behaved and serious students of the game. i really appreciated it even that a guy behind me was explaining almost every aspect of the game to his son, as well, which was way cool.

    Great game, went into OT then a shootout, which the Blackhawks lost.

    So almost everybody sticks around to hear the three stars of the game [another reason i love hockey] and after the No. 2 star - Khabibulin, who was inhuman and insane between the pipes, stopping just about everything the Bruins shot at him, was announced, they announced the No. 1 star of teh agme, the guy who scored the shootout goal for the Bruins.

    This is when the otherwise quiet and decent (i thought) guy to my left, who i was sitting ass cheek to ass cheek next to all night, shouted, "FAGGOT!"

    I stood there stunned. A guy walking out in the row in front of us, wearing a Bruins shirt looked at him, quizzically and the guy who yelled it [he was about in his 30s, was wearing a hawks jersey, only occassionally during the game would say stuff like 'shit!' or 'whatta dumbfuck' so he didn't seem like a typical mouth-breathing yahoo] said something to the effect of "Hey, they're from Boston. You know, they're all like that there." Not knowing if the guy in the Bruins shirt was from Boston and definitely not knowing he was brushing up against an actual faggot from the past three hours. The Boston fan just kept walking but i stood there, not knowing whether to tell the guy who he was sitting next to all night or to yell something at him or what.

    The "faggot" yeller was apparently with two other guys, and i was carrying my new keith magnusson t-shirt and commemorative banner, but i'm not sure if that was a good enough excuse for me to say nothing. and its not like what was happened at new york rangers games where a whole section of people i think would yell anti-gay stuff at some mascot guy, so it wasn't an 'i'm gonna write to the team about this' deal.

    I just wonder if there is anything you really can do in circumstances like that without getting into a fight or arrested. Man, i love hockey and baseball but sometimes i feel like an alien in the crowd.


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    Nov 13, 2008 8:40 PM GMT
    Pick your battles wisely.
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    Nov 13, 2008 9:17 PM GMT
    I wonder if he or any of his friends have ever sang "We Are The Champions" during some of the happiest moments of their sportsfan lives. It is one of the few songs that make meatheads cry.

    Well a big flaming unabashed faggot named Freddie Mercury delivered that song to the sports world.

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    Nov 13, 2008 9:26 PM GMT
    Well, maybe ya coulda said something softly like..."ya know, we coulda gone the whole game without that....it really isnt cool to say that anymore." ...and then just left it.
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    Nov 13, 2008 10:36 PM GMT
    Your whole post was like reading a foreign language (LOL, no interest in sports here), but Caslon's response would have been excellent! icon_razz.gif
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    Nov 13, 2008 11:13 PM GMT
    That's a good question man. I've been to a couple of the hawks games (always make it to the Hawks/Red Wings games) and have never heard anyone shouting anti-gay stuff. I have to admit though, most people are too busy chanting "Red Wings Suck" to talk about anything else. It's tough to say something back in a stadium. The guy is riled up from the game and not motivated to listen to what you have to say. In these situations, I usually choose to say nothing because it's not a situation where you're going to make the guy change his outlook. It's just going to get you and him more pissed.

    PS - That's funny, I always thought there was something studious about the fans at a Hawks game too. It's nice though that people don't stand when you're paying 40 dollars a ticket now.
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    Nov 13, 2008 11:35 PM GMT
    If he'd been drinking a bit, I might not say anything either--simply because there's no real reasoning at that point.

    For the NY crowd, you were referencing "Dancing Larry", who the crowds eventually changed to "Homo Larry". He's an unofficial mascot--really just a fan (think Dancing Homer). They've had some discussions about it, but "Larry" himself doesn't think it's a big deal.

    We've also had discussions about the Thrasher's use of the "Kiss Cam", which always ends up showing two guys, which is a big joke, as everyone knows. Read on, from Southern Voice:

    Pucker up
    Should gay hockey fans laugh at popular ‘kiss cam’ joke?


    By MATT SCHAFER
    OCT. 10, 2008

    Letter to the Editor

    IT’S A STAPLE JOKE OF EVERY Atlanta Thrashers home game, but is it made at the expense of gay fans?

    The Thrashers open season play at home today against the Washington Capitals. It’s likely that during a break from action on the ice, TV cameras will flash close-ups of couples on the oversized screens hanging from Philips Arena’s scoreboard. First they show a straight couple in the center of a big pink heart. The crowd cheers until they kiss, and the camera moves on to another heterosexual couple. The two-minute segment ends when the camera operators focuses on two men wearing the visiting team’s jerseys and the crowd erupts into boos and hisses.

    It’s a joke to make fun of the visiting team, but does it exploit homophobic feelings among sports fans? The Thrashers, and the Atlanta Spirit ownership group, decided not answer that question by not responding to a series of emails and phone messages left over a three-week time frame.

    “It doesn’t really bother me,” Mike Thrasher, 50, of Atlanta, said while hanging out at Atlanta’s gay sports bar, Woofs.

    Thrasher—yes, that’s his real name—is a season ticket holder at Georgia Tech and attends a number of Thrasher and Atlanta Hawks games each year.

    “I go to Georgia Tech games and they do the same thing at basketball games. I don’t think they’re doing it to be mean-spirited,” he said.

    IN THE MACHO WORLD OF MALE SPORTS, “faggot” is still a common insult hurled from the stands.

    Earlier this year, the New York Rangers, who swept the Thrashers out of their first and only playoff appearance in 2007, took steps to address the use of gay slurs after a series of complaints.

    The Rangers began receiving increasing pressure to address fan behavior as a result of a ritual where a fan dances in the stands during breaks. The crowd would chant “Homo-Larry,” despite the fact “Dancing Larry” is straight. After receiving pressure from a New York City Council member and the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, the Rangers began aggressively posting its code of conduct and increased security to cut down on anti-gay antics.

    While the Thrashers did not respond to requests to discuss any steps the organization has taken to address potential anti-gay behavior by fans, an official with the team did confirm its Diversity Task Force is inactive.

    WHILE THERE IS NO OUTCRY about the Philips Arena kiss cam, Peter Torres, 29, of Buckhead, sees a double standard.

    “What I think is if they ran two hot girls kissing that place would break out into insanity,” he said. “I would even say it wouldn’t be an issue if it was two women instead of two men.”

    Torres said the kiss cam doesn’t upset him, but on some level it does bring back feelings of insecurity.

    “There’s a part of me that is still hurt a little bit by it. I feel like I’m transported back to junior high for a few seconds,” he said.

    The Thrashers are starting this season in a hole. As of Aug. 15, the Atlanta Thrashers had the lowest percentage of season ticket holders renewing their seats in the NHL, according to Sports Business Journal. One of the team’s brightest prospects is refusing play for the Thrashers’ minor league club and is demanding a trade, joining other star players Marian Hossa and Dany Heatley who also demanded to get out of Atlanta in the past several years.

    The team has a rookie coach and is considered light on offensive firepower outside of Russian scoring stud Ilya Kovalchuk.

    With many reasons to expect the Thrashers to struggle through the 2008-2009 season with a tough economy and tougher opponents, Eric Aarons, a gay sports fan, sees even less reason to think the kiss cam is intended to be offensive.

    “With the economy the way it is, the last thing you want to do is piss off a group that has the highest amount of disposable income,” said Aarons, 45, of Midtown. “I’m in marketing, and that’s another reason why I don’t believe they’re doing it to be offensive.”

    When Aarons attends games he laughs at it, and has never felt uncomfortable by it.

    “I don’t take offense at it, and I think if they’re comfortable enough to show it we should be comfortable enough to laugh at it,” he said. “I’ve always gone with a group of straight but accepting friends, they laugh. It’s never been like they’re looking at me to see if I’m offended. It’s funny.”
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Nov 13, 2008 11:37 PM GMT
    You're not supposed to get up at any hockey game while the puck is in play :-)
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    Nov 13, 2008 11:47 PM GMT

    If you can't act like a total ass at a hockey game, where can you? I'm glad you let him pass, he doesn't act that way everyday.
  • abercrom110

    Posts: 5

    Nov 14, 2008 12:28 AM GMT
    This is an interesting post, I love how people use that word like its an insult to the player being that I am 22 and on an Adult league, I would ask the ones criticizing to put on a pair of skates and bring it because chances are the minute they hit the ice there falling or I would be the one burying there face into the boards. So I just laugh when I hear criticisms like that because he is the real asshole. Fighting at an event like that just makes a scene that isn't worth it.
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Nov 14, 2008 4:25 AM GMT
    also, it might be noted that the guy yelled 'faggot' not at a player on his team that played poorly, but to the Bruins player who scored the goal that beat his team. so, maybe he meant it as a compliment, since that player did something none of the hawks were able to do last night [well, except for patrick kane. ahhhh, patrick kane...]


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    Nov 14, 2008 4:58 AM GMT
    If I had a penny every time I heard a gay insult from a college guy watching football or something. I'd beat Warren Buffet.

    That is a gross exaggeration, but the point is accurate. it is used beyond excess. I firmly believe all that guys care about is insulting a man's ability to have sex with a girl. Because to some people that is what really matters.

    And I don't say anything, I just let it slide. I can't stop the 1000s of people in a 66,000 stadium who yell it. I just ignore it, knowing what they're doing is stupid.
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    Nov 14, 2008 1:32 PM GMT
    I am not surprised. Sporting events are full of obnoxious straight guys spewing inappropriate language. Last year I went to a basketball game in Toronto. A few seats from me were a couple of drunk young guys who were using language that I had not heard since high school. Faggot would have been a nice change actually. What was worse was the number of families with young kids that were nearby. They were eventually kicked out.

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    Nov 19, 2008 7:14 PM GMT
    Any guy with kids can tell you that stuff happens in every sport, at every venue. Any idiot yelling our curses or slurs at a game is not going to listen to the most well intentioned person telling him why its wrong. Its goes with the general lack of decorum in our society.
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    Nov 19, 2008 7:17 PM GMT
    There's a simple response to anyone who uses a gay slur.:

    "What are you, twelve?"

    Anyone roughly older than that should know better.
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    Nov 20, 2008 12:00 AM GMT
    XRuggerATX saidThere's a simple response to anyone who uses a gay slur.:
    "What are you, twelve?"
    Anyone roughly older than that should know better.


    brilliant. and pick your battles. punch first and ask questions later.

    had the black hawks won he still would have called him a faggot.

    I haven't been to new United Centre.
  • Aquanerd

    Posts: 845

    Nov 20, 2008 12:07 AM GMT
    McGay saidPick your battles wisely.


    Good Point.

    All we faggot's need to know that if they have a problem with homophobic name calling, stay away from just about any spectator sports competition, save figure skating, especially Hockey (see figure skating).

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    Nov 20, 2008 12:11 AM GMT
    I once found myself in a similar situation at a sporting event. Where this other guy was spouting all kinds of anti-gay crap, cause he thought I was simpatico with him.

    Toward the end of the game, he invited us all to go out for drinks afterwards. And I looked him right in the eye and said:

    "Nah, can't do that, cause I'm a fucking fag. You know, the kind you hate, a fairy, a queer. But thanks for the invite, and glad you enjoyed my company so much. You're kinda cute, ya know?"

    He almost died, and I loved the moment.
  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    Nov 20, 2008 5:30 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidI once found myself in a similar situation at a sporting event. Where this other guy was spouting all kinds of anti-gay crap, cause he thought I was simpatico with him.

    Toward the end of the game, he invited us all to go out for drinks afterwards. And I looked him right in the eye and said:

    "Nah, can't do that, cause I'm a fucking fag. You know, the kind you hate, a fairy, a queer. But thanks for the invite, and glad you enjoyed my company so much. You're kinda cute, ya know?"

    He almost died, and I loved the moment.



    AWESOME.
    Love it. Perfect.

    As far as looking at the guy and saying, 'what are you, 12?' i think that's a good line, too, but you gotta know that at that particular game, i was the uncomfortable guy in an unfamiliar space, trying to juggle my programme, new t-shirt, hot pretzel, etc. and i don't really exude confidence in such situations. conversely, though, for a couple years i worked as a doorman [some would call it bouncer] at a mixed, but mostly str8, bar/club in chicago and i have gladly thrown out guys who made gay customers uncomfortable after using such language. so i guess some of it depends on the environment and how confident you feel.

    it would be awesome if one of those hot young players [toews, kane, crosby] were gay and came out. even better if a tough guy [like a bob probert type] were to come out, as well.

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    Nov 20, 2008 5:33 PM GMT
    shoelessj said
    Red_Vespa saidI once found myself in a similar situation at a sporting event. Where this other guy was spouting all kinds of anti-gay crap, cause he thought I was simpatico with him.

    Toward the end of the game, he invited us all to go out for drinks afterwards. And I looked him right in the eye and said:

    "Nah, can't do that, cause I'm a fucking fag. You know, the kind you hate, a fairy, a queer. But thanks for the invite, and glad you enjoyed my company so much. You're kinda cute, ya know?"

    He almost died, and I loved the moment.



    AWESOME.
    Love it. Perfect.

    As far as looking at the guy and saying, 'what are you, 12?' i think that's a good line, too, but you gotta know that at that particular game, i was the uncomfortable guy in an unfamiliar space, trying to juggle my programme, new t-shirt, hot pretzel, etc. and i don't really exude confidence in such situations. conversely, though, for a couple years i worked as a doorman [some would call it bouncer] at a mixed, but mostly str8, bar/club in chicago and i have gladly thrown out guys who made gay customers uncomfortable after using such language. so i guess some of it depends on the environment and how confident you feel.

    it would be awesome if one of those hot young players [toews, kane, crosby] were gay and came out. even better if a tough guy [like a bob probert type] were to come out, as well.



    A friend of mine here manages an ostensibly straight Irish pub. He's gay and has even gone to Detroit to talk to unions and automakers about diversity in the workplace.

    Anyway, whenever he overhears immature homophobic crap from a patron he lays down the law* in a manner that's at the same time diplomatic, pointed, and unforgettable to the patron.

    We need more guys like him.

    (* it's a figure of speech, just in case any of you libertarians are thinking this is another opening for you to evangelize again)