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Bullies or victims? Fairness and proportionality strike out in sport and sexuality

So, a guy who plays pro sport is an idiot. Good Lord, I can’t believe it! I mean, who knew?

Yes, Yunel Escobar was dumb enough to write on his face in Spanish something akin to “You are a faggot,” thus enabling every hypocrite and self-indulgent victim fetishist to moan about the horrors of homophobia.

Big money and big entertainment will do pretty much anything to not offend the gay community these days, and in this case their acts of ostensible contrition were positively nauseating.

Frankly, I don’t think Escobar intended a slur on homosexuals, and was probably not even thinking of homosexuality when for some perverse reason he wrote these nasty words beneath his eyes. It was probably some silly, jock, inside joke.

When it’s used by teenage boys, the word faggot generally means idiot or loser. I’ve heard kids who are trendily pro-gay and pro-same-sex marriage use the term “fag” with no apparent understanding that there is a connection. I’ve also heard gay people use it about other gays. The word will disappear naturally, as is right.

It should never have been written, and no professional sports team should allow an employee to write anything, even innocuous, on his face.

But the story ends there really.

Rogers, the owners of the Toronto Blue Jays, fined the guy $90,000 and suspended him for three games, which is fair enough.

Unlike in 2011 when television sports anchor Damian Goddard was fired from Sportsnet, also owned by Rogers, just hours after he tweeted his support for “the traditional and true meaning of marriage.” He had been defending a hockey player’s agent who was receiving death threats and abuse for refusing to support a pro-gay-marriage campaign.

It could have been a coincidence of course, but we’ll leave that to the human-rights commission where it is being considered. Goddard never used an offensive word, and merely expressed his opinion of marriage. Perhaps he should have written it on his face — he may well still be employed!

As for Escobar — bad word, move on. Stop the grovelling, stop the nonsense, get it in proportion. After all, it’s nothing like what happened to Peter Vidmar. You didn’t know? OK, let me explain. Vidmar is one of the most successful athletes in U.S. history. He was chosen to be the chef de mission of the U.S. Olympic team in the last Olympics, as was gay activist Mark Tewksbury for Team Canada. But Vidmar is a Mormon, and it was discovered that he had made a small donation to the Proposition 8 campaign, enshrining marriage as the union of a man and woman. He has never called anyone a nasty name, never treated gay people badly, is an example of a gentleman in sport. But he opposed gay marriage, and after relentless pressure he was forced to resign.

So who are the bullies, who are the victims, in sport and sexuality? Nobody should face or feel discrimination in professional sport, but can we please stop magnifying a dumb gesture into an act of sociological and moral barbarism?

Oh, and as for compulsory sensitivity training, the Jays are in far greater need of baseball training. The genuine victims are the fans.


Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Posted under the categories(s): Canada, Columnists, Michael Coren, Ontario Joel Johannesen on TwitterFollow Joel Johannesen on Twitter

A hateful paradox: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid oppose what is really the bitter truth.

A homophobe writes, so to speak.

Actually I don’t hate anyone, and I’ve not been frightened of, or intimidated by, much since working in Belfast and the West Bank. But because I oppose same-sex marriage and some of the more aggressive aspirations of the gay community, I’m called all sorts of things.

It doesn’t matter. What does matter is some 6,000 gay men have been murdered in Iran and thousands more beaten, tortured and slaughtered in Egypt, Gaza, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Jordan and pretty much everywhere else in the Arab and Islamic world.

I mention this because once again Queers Against Israeli Apartheid are about to march in the Pride parade in Toronto. The term is a gruesome misnomer, a macabre political irony, a hateful paradox.

And it’s time for someone who is not regarded as a friend of the gay community, and who would never attend the parade, to make it abundantly clear that only a moral criminal would ignore the plight of gay people inside Israel’s neighbours, and pretend that Israel treated homosexuals with anything other than total equality.

Let me be clear. I do not approve of the Pride parade, and find the hedonistic displays, cross-dressing, nudity and self-obsession highly objectionable. I also know that the claims of more than a million attendees are a joke.

It is my right to disapprove, as it is the right of gay people to be treated with respect and to have the same freedoms and protection under law as anybody else. Discrimination in employment, housing or inheritance is wrong. End of story.

One of the reasons I so admire the Jewish state is that whatever its challenges — and few nations face more — it labours to guarantee these fundamental principles and laws. There are many Muslims, Christians and Jews in Israel who would prefer there were no Pride parades in Tel Aviv, Haifa and now even Jerusalem. But there are. There are some who detest the thriving gay scene in Tel Aviv, the welcoming of gay tourists, the presence of openly gay army officers, some of whom have won medals for the highest gallantry.

This disagreement is part of the democratic process. It does not, however, exist in any Arab country. Even relatively moderate Jordan or Lebanon have no protection for homosexuals. The first gay conference in the entire Arab world, held in Beirut a few years ago, had more police guards than participants. Gay Palestinians flee their homes for the freedom of Israel, gay Egyptians plead to enter Israel for a life of dignity.

Don’t believe this homophobe, go and visit.

So how dare they, how the hell dare they, try to exploit the parade in Toronto to spread their venom and their racist propaganda! They’re not queers against Israeli apartheid, but neurotics and extremists screaming at mommy and daddy, and using people’s ignorance or indifference to create an untruth. If you tell a lie often enough, said the fascists, people believe it. How right they were.

Remember one thing. The parade, and even the anti-Zionist fanatics in the parade, would be allowed and protected in only one place in the entire Middle East. Yes, Israel. L’chaim.

Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Posted under the categories(s): Canada, Ontario Joel Johannesen on TwitterFollow Joel Johannesen on Twitter

The Quebec mobs explained in 16 words.

The mobs of spoiled pseudo-students in The Nation Of Quebec?

They’re liberals*, raised by liberal parents, taught by liberals, and entertained and informed by the CBC.

And now you know the truth.


* the word “liberal” is interchangeable with progressive, and in many cases socialist. Some are Marxists.

Contact the Editor: Joel Johannesen
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Posted under the categories(s): Canada, CBC, Quebec Joel Johannesen on TwitterFollow Joel Johannesen on Twitter

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