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January 28, 2004 8:52 AM   Subscribe

Yer OUT!!! Minor league pitcher in Cleveland Indians organization admits that appearing in gay porn was perhaps not the best idea.
posted by psmealey (82 comments total)

 
Sorry for the news/sports filter post, but thought this was too novel not to share.
posted by psmealey at 8:53 AM on January 28, 2004


Through an interpreter, Tadano added: "I'm not gay. I'd like to clear that fact up right now."

::rolls eyes::

Who does he think he's fooling?
posted by BlueTrain at 8:56 AM on January 28, 2004


There are no openly gay players in the big leagues today. The same is true in the NFL, NHL and NBA.

Is this true? I don't follow pro sports at all, but I could have sworn I heard that there was an openly gay football player, maybe with the Eagles?
posted by starvingartist at 8:57 AM on January 28, 2004


What a versatile player: he pitches AND catches!
posted by dr_dank at 9:02 AM on January 28, 2004


What a versatile player: he pitches AND catches!

If baseball dosen't work out, then maybe he can try basketball. I understand he's good under the rim as well.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 AM on January 28, 2004


but I could have sworn I heard that there was an openly gay football player, maybe with the Eagles?
Only ex-players have come out, in all major-league sports so far, as far I've heard. They're all still closeted.

More on this at Outsports' bulletin boards--the place to go when stuff like this happens.
posted by amberglow at 9:09 AM on January 28, 2004


Given the rate of pro players that actually break the law (drugs, adultery, rape, murder), I don't see what this guy did wrong. Is it against the law to be in a porn video? He did it three years ago.

How does being in porn affect his pitching in any way?
posted by mathowie at 9:14 AM on January 28, 2004


Well, practice does make perfect.
posted by trondant at 9:22 AM on January 28, 2004


Having people watch you whilst you toss a ball or two is clearly frowned on for baseball pitchers.
posted by vbfg at 9:23 AM on January 28, 2004


I suppose playing with a length of wood would be more the batters' area of expertise though. Fair cop then.
posted by vbfg at 9:31 AM on January 28, 2004


Yer OUT!!!
appearing in gay porn .
Looking at this article, it may be in "left field", "appearing" may mean many things. What did he actually do? Pose naked.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:33 AM on January 28, 2004


Link
posted by vbfg at 9:34 AM on January 28, 2004


Given the rate of pro players that actually break the law (drugs, adultery, rape, murder), I don't see what this guy did wrong.

Didn't you read the article? He did gay stuff with the gay people. He's clearly a monster.
posted by Skot at 9:38 AM on January 28, 2004


Yeah, let's all yuk it up with the double-entendres. He's gay, he's been in a porn video, and he has the gall to play baseball: let's roast him! Is it me, or is our civilization actually rolling backwards?

If baseball can't accept the fact that some people are homosexual, it doesn't deserve this pitcher or my viewership.
posted by squirrel at 9:56 AM on January 28, 2004


Roast him? Just as jokes about race are inherently racist , jokes about sexuality are inherently discriminatory too. Right? Well, no actually in both cases. Sarcastic jokes about lengths of wood need not be homophobic, as ably demonstrated by my goodself above.

I could be deluding myself of course, in which case I'd be greatful if you could point out quite how it is that I'm roasting him specifically and not this frankly ridiculous situation.
posted by vbfg at 10:03 AM on January 28, 2004


Yeah, let's all yuk it up with the double-entendres. He's gay, he's been in a porn video, and he has the gall to play baseball: let's roast him! Is it me, or is our civilization actually rolling backwards?

Oh, come on.

Nobody here is saying he shouldn't be in baseball. If he can win 20 games a season, I don't care if he likes to hump palm trees. We're just poking some good-natured fun and using some obvious double-entendres that are too good not to use.

To quote Dennis Miller (ironically enough, considering his recent behavior):

"I think so little of your difference that I refuse to treat you like a faberge egg. Come join' in our reindeer games.."
posted by jonmc at 10:04 AM on January 28, 2004


You guys are harsh. But funny.

No one going to mention corked bats?

And listen, I can't think of any profession in which a starring role in a gay porn video - or a straight porn video - wouldn't raise (sorry) a few questions.

Sarcastic jokes about lengths of wood need not be homophobic, as ably demonstrated by my goodself above.

It is, after all, possible to make such jokes and still treat gay folks as Americans who deserve the same rights and priveleges enjoyed by straight types.
posted by kgasmart at 10:12 AM on January 28, 2004


It is, after all, possible to make such jokes and still treat gay folks as Americans who deserve the same rights and priveleges enjoyed by straight types.

Exactly. Because one of those priviliges is to be ridiculed mercilessly by the likes of me. HaHAHA!
posted by jonmc at 10:15 AM on January 28, 2004


Actually, he might want to keep the porn career on the back burner in case the pro sports thing doesn't work out.

Apologizing for what he's done, though, is silly.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:15 AM on January 28, 2004


kgasmart, he's not American, he's Japanese but I get your point.

The fact that major league sports are entirely homophobic is laughable considering the drugs and wife beating that goes on.

As for what he did in the video, the article says he took part in a homosexual act. That's a bit more than dropping trou and showing off your flesh bat.

He's not the first guy who's regretted taking part in a video, gay or not. And he won't be the last.

The real question is: Is Mike Piazza gay?
posted by fenriq at 10:23 AM on January 28, 2004


Sorry for the news/sports filter post
We had it on SportsFilter in September.

posted by kirkaracha at 10:29 AM on January 28, 2004


I'm not a gay, I just play one on TV.
posted by moonbird at 10:31 AM on January 28, 2004


jonmc and kgasmart, I can see your perspective; I'm not a humorless PC warrior. But, in the context of a homophobic society, using a person's gayness as a point of ridicule relies on and reinforces the power imbalance that denigrates homosexuals. If nothing else, its a reminder and a rejoinder that they have less power and must particularly watch what they do.
posted by squirrel at 10:34 AM on January 28, 2004


says he took part in a homosexual act.
read the article then posted later...the other thought I had: now, is he still, was or what?(no answer, honestly his buisness)
posted by thomcatspike at 10:45 AM on January 28, 2004


jonmc and kgasmart, I can see your perspective; I'm not a humorless PC warrior. But, in the context of a homophobic society, using a person's gayness as a point of ridicule relies on and reinforces the power imbalance that denigrates homosexuals.

Yes, but where do we draw the line? Riding ballplayers is a fan tradition. 290-pound Detroit Tiger Cecil Fielder used to be greeted with "Hey, Cecil, how about a hot dog?" when he stepped up to the plate. Fat people take a lotta shit in our society, does that make the above rib off limits?

Besides there's a difference between humor about gayness and homophibic humor. I think our jabs qualify as the former. And if this guy had starred in a straight porn, I'd be quite happy to make a lotta "I think he needs a bigger bat.." or "how about a money shot over the fence.." jokes.
posted by jonmc at 10:52 AM on January 28, 2004


was anyone else secretly pleased to see the old cliche? - "I was young...and I needed (the) money..."

priceless!
posted by triv at 11:03 AM on January 28, 2004


jonmc, yeah I may have overreacted. It really burns my biscuits that this is even a story.
posted by squirrel at 11:08 AM on January 28, 2004


Well, even if he was straight, the porn angle would've made it a story.
posted by jonmc at 11:17 AM on January 28, 2004


but we'll see if he now gets to the majors ever.
posted by amberglow at 11:21 AM on January 28, 2004


Hopefully, the guy goes onto the majors and wins the Cy Young. I really hope it wouldn't take something like that for this sort of thing to stop being an issue (either being gay or playing a gay man in the movies) in sports, but possibly that's what needs to happen.

I have often wondered why this is such a big deal. The professional sports governing bodies generally seem to indicate that "the fans aren't ready" for an openly gay athlete. But, having played baseball myself up to the first rung of the minors, I'm more inclined to believe that it is more the players whose mentalities prevent them from being "ready" for it.

If they aren't "ready", maybe a little K-Y would help.
Sorry... couldn't resist.
posted by psmealey at 11:26 AM on January 28, 2004


Amber, trust me, if he's good enough, he'll be there. If Charles Manson could hit .300, some team would draft him.

[I don't mean to equate homosexuality with serial killing, but you know what I'm getting at]
posted by jonmc at 11:29 AM on January 28, 2004


one of those priviliges is to be ridiculed mercilessly by the likes of me. HaHAHA!

See, now I think you're a Jack Chick character. HAW HAW HAW!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:31 AM on January 28, 2004


Actually, I'm a Mike Judge character. Huh Huh-Huh-Huh Huh Huh.
posted by jonmc at 11:35 AM on January 28, 2004


"How does being in porn affect his pitching in any way?"

I suppose it depends on whether he's known for his split-finger or his slider.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:39 AM on January 28, 2004


I don't see what this guy did wrong.


the problem is an awful lot of sports fans probably don't share such an enlightened view. (also, what about the chances of an openly gay US President/Defense Secretary anytime soon, anybody?) and even if they did -- which I seriously doubt -- the teams and the sponsors and their handlers would be terrified by the possible "bad publicity". bad because, as we all know, gay people are inherently evil, the "homosexual agenda" (and I'm quoting the USA's highest legal authority here, children) wants to destroy our way of life, God hates them, etc

do you guys really think that if, say, a major Hollywood actor came out of the closet his viability within the Hollywood system would remain intact?
same for sports.
it's very simple, really. there are no openly gay athlethes in American sports (or, say, in European soccer). that means that either gay people are terrible athlethes (bad coordination, terrible physical shape, etc) or the many gay pro athlethes (what's the stat, about 10% of the population is gay, hence 10 % of pro athlethes should be) know better than to come out of the (locker room) closet.

if, say, a famous athlete came out of the closet, rational straight fans wouldn't care.
a lot of Neanderthals would be appalled.
but many scared, confused gay kids would only be inspired by a major sports personality admitting his being gay. I'm sure it'd be a great boost for their self-confidence in a very delicate stage of their emotional development. but maybe I'm wrong.
posted by matteo at 11:41 AM on January 28, 2004


gay kids would only be inspired by a major sports personality admitting his being gay

Maybe there's room for half-measures here. David Beckham, despite his being a married straight man, is a gay icon.
posted by psmealey at 11:52 AM on January 28, 2004


matteo, I don't doubt that some fans would be offended, but at the same time I think a lot of people are undrestimating sports fans. Most of us aren't knuckle-dragging barbarians. Well, not in the bad sense anyway.

But think about it. The color barrier was broken in sports before it was broken in most other areas of public life. Why? Because for the fan at least, sports is about competition, settling who's best. With the color bar in place a lot of the feild of players was missing so we were cheated out of seeing whether Babe Ruth or Josh Gibson were the better hitters or Dizzy Dean or Satchel Paige was better on the mound because they were never on the field.

Ultimately, that's what will break the orientation barrier. There will eventually be an openly gay ballplayer who's credentials on the feild will be impeccable, and that's what it'll take, Like any good sports fan will tell ya, the scoreboard dosen't lie.
posted by jonmc at 11:54 AM on January 28, 2004


insert a "same" before "field" in the second paragraph.
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on January 28, 2004


I'm going to get yelled at for saying this--especially being a straight man with no athletic talent with no room to talk on the subject--but here we go:

The reason that fans and palyers "are not ready" is that gay players currently in pro sports leagues are being cowardly. I'll eat my hat if the first openly gay athlete goes through half as much shit as Jackie Robinson did, and I'll eat the Pope's hat if the second openly gay pro athlete gets half as much shit as the first one. It is just sad that for all of this very positive and earnest talk about the possible benefits/effects of having more diversity in gay public figures, the people who seem least interested in getting the ball rolling are the athletes themselves.

Esra Tuoloa is a great example. He could have beaten up an entire pickup-truck full of homophobes, and certainly spoke with more intelligence than most NFL players. It seems fucked-up to me that someone would be able to take on two 300-pound blockers trying to break his neck but at the same time be so afraid of himself.

/presumptuous, inappropriate, insulting know-nothing rant

Ultimately, that's what will break the orientation barrier. There will eventually be an openly gay ballplayer who's credentials on the feild will be impeccable, and that's what it'll take, Like any good sports fan will tell ya, the scoreboard dosen't lie.

Bingo.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:57 AM on January 28, 2004


they'll have to be so amazingly good that it overcomes the bigotry, which is not fair in itself...the problem is that no manager/owner will take the chance as things stand now. And up and coming players know to stay closeted.
posted by amberglow at 12:06 PM on January 28, 2004


they'll have to be so amazingly good that it overcomes the bigotry, which is not fair in itself...the problem is that no manager/owner will take the chance as things stand now. And up and coming players know to stay closeted.

Your last sentence is only true so long as things remain the same. Black kids in the 1950's learned real fast that they would be allowed to play in the majors, and white kids learned real fast to deal with it. And, as Len Pasquarelli humorously put it, it turned out that black athletes were just as good as the white athletes!

As for the coach/manager taking the heat, I think that can be avoided. I don't know as much about the structure of MLB, but the NFL specifically is much more of a planned, centralized dictatorship than it is a democratic institution (which happens to work very well for a sports league), and just as the league can force teams to interview minority candidates for coaching positions, they can centrally mandate shit re: gay players such that the individual teams/owners are absolved of "responsibility."
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:15 PM on January 28, 2004


they'll have to be so amazingly good that it overcomes the bigotry, which is not fair in itself...

Agreed. But that's what'll finally happen. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier (and broke down the racism in a lotta peoples minds) because he was unarguably great by any standard.

So to that gay kid out there with a knack for hitting the long ball, take extra batting practice. You owe it to your people and you owe it to your game.

Plus it would be remarkably cool to see squads of gay people cheering their heads off in Shea Stadium. NTM, to see the World Series on in a gay bar.
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on January 28, 2004


do you guys really think that if, say, a major Hollywood actor came out of the closet his viability within the Hollywood system would remain intact? same for sports.

See, that's what peeves me. Until someone actually does it, nobody can say what the reaction will be. Someone really needs to be the pioneer here.

Didn't anyone see Take Me Out?
posted by Tin Man at 12:16 PM on January 28, 2004


Plus it would be remarkably cool to see squads of gay people cheering their heads off in Shea Stadium. NTM, to see the World Series on in a gay bar.
There are groups of guys that do go to every game at Yankee stadium, and more and more bars do show the big sports things (world series/superbowl/figure skating) ; >

If no up and coming player will come out or be out, then how can any team or owner or organization find that Jackie Robinson for us? There is no parallel negro league--only the gay games, and various amateur teams around.
posted by amberglow at 12:23 PM on January 28, 2004


Why do all these homosexuals keep sucking my cock?
posted by kaibutsu at 12:23 PM on January 28, 2004


Well, there's gotta be somebody in the Gay Games with major league abilities. The gay community should find him and pressure the owners to sign him. If they resist, go to the fans and say that the office's homophobia is costing the team the pennant.
posted by jonmc at 12:29 PM on January 28, 2004


[side issue, new york thing]

Oh, and tell those gay guys to get the hell out of Yankee Stadium, and come out to Shea and root for a real team.

[/side issue]
posted by jonmc at 12:32 PM on January 28, 2004


For the MLB, I'm thinking the Oakland A's would be the team to pressure. Were there a gay player, it is likely that homophobia would decrease his market price, thus making him fit well into Bean's "Moneyball" philosophy, plus Oakland is geopgraphically situated well, and they like to do unconventional personnel stuff to win.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:33 PM on January 28, 2004


For the MLB, I'm thinking the Oakland A's would be the team to pressure.

NTM, supposedly back in the Jackson/Hunter/Blue days when they were winning pennants, the players all hated eachother, so maybe tension on the team won't be an issue.
posted by jonmc at 12:37 PM on January 28, 2004


It really burns my biscuits that this is even a story.

Well, I think the newsworthy thing here is that Japanese have live-action pr0n too.
posted by yerfatma at 12:47 PM on January 28, 2004


The reason that fans and palyers "are not ready" is that gay players currently in pro sports leagues are being cowardly.

I agree to a certain extenet, IJR, but consider the issue of safety. A baseball player has to stand in the middle of a crowded stadium 162 nights a year. That's gotta make you feel pretty vulnerable. If you were aware that even a miniscule minority of fans hated you because you're gay, wouldn't that make life awfully tough? It's something that a Hollywood actor doesn't have to deal with, at least not to the same extent.

We saw last season (or the season before, i forget) those two maniacs who charged onto the field and attacked an umpire. Players get things (notoriously, d-cell batteries and the like) thrown at them all the time. If I'm a gay left-fielder, I don't want to stand out there with my back to stands night after night. If I'm a 165-pound gay wide receiver, I'd be a little nervous about sharing a locker room with (or getting tackled by) a 350-pound 'roid-raging homophobic offensive lineman.

I'd love to see an active player step up to the plate (so to speak) and admit that he's gay. But I can understand why it's a frightening proposition.
posted by jpoulos at 12:49 PM on January 28, 2004


Well, there's gotta be somebody in the Gay Games with major league abilities.
Nah--it's all about participating, and less about winning. (like a giant, world-wide little league for all sorts of sports--without insane parents)
posted by amberglow at 12:50 PM on January 28, 2004


I agree to a certain extenet, IJR, but consider the issue of safety. A baseball player has to stand in the middle of a crowded stadium 162 nights a year. That's gotta make you feel pretty vulnerable. If you were aware that even a miniscule minority of fans hated you because you're gay, wouldn't that make life awfully tough?

I can understand your point, and it is valid, but at the risk of going all broken-record: JACKIE ROBINSON. Death threats every day. Slurs screamed at him everywhere he went. Not to mention that whole "Whites Only" thing, which must have been a drag. But black athletes don't get that treatment any more, because Robinson (and Liston and Clay) wasn't afraid.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:56 PM on January 28, 2004


jpoulos, all those worries are legitamite and I understand them, but if Jackie Robinson had felt the same way (and he faced the same shit), we'd still have segregated baseball leagues and god knows what else.

If I'm a 165-pound gay wide receiver, I'd be a little nervous about sharing a locker room with (or getting tackled by) a 350-pound 'roid-raging homophobic offensive lineman.

If were lucky we'll see a 350 pound lineman crush the homophobe reciever, which I imagine will be very gratifying for him.

On preview: what ignatius said.
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on January 28, 2004


But black athletes don't get that treatment any more, because Robinson (and Liston and Clay) wasn't afraid.

NTM, how many white kids minds were changed for the better via their hero worship of those men. Or Chuck Berry and Little Richard or Sidney Poitier or Flip Wilson. Yes these are stereotypical fields for blacks, but they are also the fields from which many young men pick their heroes and role models, if you see where I'm going.
posted by jonmc at 1:00 PM on January 28, 2004


So would they fire him if he appeared in straight porn? Because that kinda changes the angle...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:01 PM on January 28, 2004


I can understand your point, and it is valid, but at the risk of going all broken-record: JACKIE ROBINSON.

if Jackie Robinson had felt the same way (and he faced the same shit), we'd still have segregated baseball leagues and god knows what else.

Amen to that, but I don't think it's fair to accuse someone of cowardice because they don't have the courage of Jackie Robinson.

how many white kids minds were changed for the better via their hero worship of those men.

I know mine was. The story of Jackie Robinson not only helped make me the screaming liberal I am today, it's very much responsible for my love of baseball.
posted by jpoulos at 1:08 PM on January 28, 2004


Amen to that, but I don't think it's fair to accuse someone of cowardice because they don't have the courage of Jackie Robinson.

I'll give you that, but if things are truly gonna change I think that's what it's gonna take, and I see no reason to believe that gays are not capable of such courage.

The story of Jackie Robinson not only helped make me the screaming liberal I am today, it's very much responsible for my love of baseball.

I'm far from a screaming liberal (I'm more of a mumbling libertarian), but I know that watching Ali on TV with my Dad made it very difficult to countenance racism as did hearing the humanity in the voices of black men on my records.
posted by jonmc at 1:15 PM on January 28, 2004


I know this might sound silly, but what if the guy is telling the truth when he says he's not gay? It's not unheard of for adult actresses to have sex with women on camera and still consider themselves straight. And he only did one film, which could easily be chalked up to reckless youth rather than a barometer of sexual preference. The conversation we're having about gay sports figures coming out is interesting, but it could also be totally irrelevant in this case.
posted by Cyrano at 1:19 PM on January 28, 2004


how many white kids minds were changed for the better via their hero worship of those men.

Generations. [self-link]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:23 PM on January 28, 2004


an openly gay US President/Defense Secretary

(Shuddering at sudden unwelcome mental image of Bush/Rumsfield slash.)
posted by kindall at 1:26 PM on January 28, 2004


but we'll see if he now gets to the majors ever.
Tadano was one of Japan's top college pitchers and expected to be a high first-round pick in 2002. But after a Japanese tabloid published photos of him in the video a month before the draft, pro teams in Japan did not select him.
From the article, take it was his homeland, Japan, that ostracized him more, by not allowing him to be drafted or play.
The commissioner of Japanese baseball came out and said, 'You will not draft Tadano,' " asserted the pitcher's agent, Alan Nero.

Twice in the minor leagues last season, Tadano stood before his teammates and confessed to his participation in the video, which Nero said can only be obtained on the black market in Japan.
Tadano received overwhelming support from players at Kinston, N.C., where he started the season, and later at Akron, the Indians' Double-A affiliate.

Him being a professional baseball player, he is; the majors, we will have to see.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:27 PM on January 28, 2004


Hmm. Kinda sexy, from a distance.
posted by stonerose at 1:47 PM on January 28, 2004


[oops - that's entirely SFW, by the way.]
posted by stonerose at 1:48 PM on January 28, 2004


I know this might sound silly, but what if the guy is telling the truth when he says he's not gay?

I suspect he is telling the truth about that, actually.

It's not as uncommon as you might think for straight guys to have sex with other guys in porn, or as hustlers. There's a name for this: "gay for pay." It's also not uncommon for generally straight guys to occasionally fool around with other guys, even outside the situational homosexuality you find in many institutions.

People often separate gay sex from gay identity in some interesting ways. For example, when I was in the service, you could get away with having sex with another guy by saying you were drunk, but if you were gay and celibate, out you'd go!

Hmm. Kinda sexy, from a distance.

Yeah, I'd hit that.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:05 PM on January 28, 2004


It could be that he is straight and really needed the cash (and liked blowjobs).
It's kinda like posing nude for women in a way--Simon Rex of MTV semi-fame, Dean Cain (i think), the Joe Millionaire guy who did that "underwear" modeling...there are lots of guys who do all sorts of things that come back to haunt them.

Until there's a out guy with remarkable courage and fortitude and perseverance, AND the talent to make it in the major leagues/NBA/NFL/etc, it's not going to happen in any sport. I don't think any team or league will go out looking for an openly gay player...they have to look for the talent (which is what they should do). I'm ok with Lesbian basketball and tennis players and golfers and Gay figure skaters and ex-major leaguers for now. There are way more important things to fight for.
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on January 28, 2004


It could be that he is straight and really needed the cash (and liked blowjobs).

That last part describes almost every straight guy I've ever met.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:35 PM on January 28, 2004


I'm ok with Lesbian basketball and tennis players and golfers and Gay figure skaters and ex-major leaguers for now. There are way more important things to fight for.

Well, the reason some of us push so hard for the out major leaguer is that, since sports is such a big part of the collective American experience like Robinson before him, he can win a lot of hearts and minds, thus paving the way for those other things.
posted by jonmc at 3:37 PM on January 28, 2004


Ostrim, America's #1 Sports Nutrition Meat Stick

I feel an endorsement deal coming on.
posted by vbfg at 3:38 PM on January 28, 2004


I know jon, but getting employment non-discrimination laws (and for housing too, etc) and equal rights in general is more important to most of us I think--a pastime is a pastime, you know? It would be really helpful to expose straight people, but we're all doing that everyday anyway. I think an individual sport guy might be able to do it much sooner (NASCAR?).

vbfg : >
posted by amberglow at 3:42 PM on January 28, 2004


There are way more important things to fight for.

For gay people themselves, yes. But it seems that broader cultural change takes place in such a messy and distributedly social manner that symbollism is more important than real structural or institutional actions. As also appears to be the case with jonmc, I am unable to think about this situation outside the context of racial integration of baseball. I know that my pops would never have been as effected by a law in the same way that he was by cheering on Bob Gibson, and consequently never would have passed on those sentiments to my sisters and I. Not to underestimate my pops, but it seems a safe bet that without this sort of Reverse Orientalism during his childhood he would have ended up just another racist Ozarks redneck, with racist redneck kids (not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess).

It's the same reason that I would possibly vote for a (non Condeleezza or JC Watts) black Republican for President. The same reason that people always vote for the tallest candidate or the one with the manliest chin. We are a shallow, stupid people, and only by changing the stuff on TV can we change the way people think (there might be more optimistic ways to phrase that).
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:45 PM on January 28, 2004


Oh, and tell those gay guys to get the hell out of Yankee Stadium, and come out to Shea and root for a real team.

Damn right!
[/side issue]

And I suspect part of the difference between the gay and (pre-Robinson) black situations is temporal and cultural: baseball simply isn't the overwhelming factor in American culture that it was in the '40s and before (especially among kids, alas), so fewer young gay men have been out there dreaming of the majors, and gay culture has not been as sports-oriented as black culture (pace the Gay Games, and yes, I know this is all generalization), so fewer young gay men have been out there dreaming of the majors. Obviously there is some unknown number of gay players and prospects, who should by all means be allowed to come out of the closet; I'm just suggesting there isn't the huge reservoir of talent pressing at the gate there was in the parallel situation half a century ago. I'd be delighted to be proved wrong. (Flash: entire Mets team proclaims homosexuality! Headline: QUEENS IN QUEENS)
posted by languagehat at 3:46 PM on January 28, 2004


Excuse me, shouldn't that be "Queers in Queens"?

-- baffled Red Sox fan
posted by matteo at 3:53 PM on January 28, 2004


gay culture has not been as sports-oriented as black culture

I dunno. I work in the West Village/Chelsea area of New York and back in my drinking, I almost by necessity drank in a few gay bars from time to time. Plenty of the guys in there looked like they'd be right at home on baseball diamond, gridiron or basketball court. I have a bisexual coworker who grew up in the South Bronx and was as Yankees-mad as any other kid in the neighborhood and played his share of pickup roundball. And Elton John bought that soccer team mainly cause he's a raging fan. Now if they'd just do something about the music on the jukeboxes...

-- baffled Red Sox fan

Gayness isn't an issue for Sox fans. You were all already fucked by Bill Buckner.

*runs*
posted by jonmc at 3:57 PM on January 28, 2004


no, seriously now:

"gay culture has not been as sports-oriented as black culture"

you don't go to the gym much, do you?

most of my gay (male) friends are into weightlifting, lift more than I do, are into sports, and they can clearly kick my sorry heterosexual 6'3'', 182 lbs ass

steroids use in the gay community is a very real phenomenon, too.
posted by matteo at 4:05 PM on January 28, 2004


Sports fans can roast whoever they want, all in good fun, ignoring the rest of us PC nazis, I guess. Go to it. Play ball! I can't wait to hear the black jokes that will come out of that approach.

Side-stepping the gay thing entirely, wtf is the problem with doing porn? Anyone who's *not* a porn WATCHER care to throw the first stone, here? Yeesh. Sex workers get no respect.
posted by scarabic at 4:09 PM on January 28, 2004


baseball simply isn't the overwhelming factor in American culture that it was in the '40s and before (especially among kids, alas)

That's definitely true. However, sports in general still play a large aggregate cultural role. Keep in mind that in Robinson's time the NFL barely even existed (pre-merger, pre-Super Bowl) . I know nothing about the NBA, but my understanding is that it was not widely commerically successful and viable as a pure entertainment enterprise before the '70's. Any cultural space vacated by baseball has probably been filled by some other homophobic sporting venture. And I don't think that baseball has at any time been as central to American kids' identities as high-school football is in Texas right now. If Bill Parcells would just come out of the closet already, the whole state would go gay tomorrow. :)
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:14 PM on January 28, 2004


I imagine Jimmy Johnson'll come out first. C'mon would any straight man have hair that perfect?
posted by jonmc at 4:21 PM on January 28, 2004


I know where you guys are coming from on this, but i'll let it be your battle-- I'd rather see a football or basketball player come out before a baseball guy--i see those as bigger and more homophobic sports anyway. (and speaking of breaking barriers, when will they let a woman play baseball? It's not like you need extreme strength or anything)
posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on January 28, 2004


steroids use in the gay community is a very real phenomenon, too.

Perhaps this can help bridge the cultural gap between the gay community and the sports community?

"No no, you're injecting it all wrong."
"Wha.. you.. you use bovine growth steroids too?"
"I practically have an udder!"
[crying, they hug... then break into laughter]
posted by Hildago at 5:17 PM on January 28, 2004


when will they let a woman play baseball?

I'm assuming you mean major league baseball, because of course "they let" women play baseball already. When a woman can do some combination of hit, catch, throw, run, and hit for power well enough to make the majors, it will happen. In fact, I imagine a woman would get picked before a man with similar talents. The merchandising opportunities alone would make it worth it for any MLB team.

In hockey, there was Manon Rheaume, but she wasn't a very good goalie, compared to the NHL men. Hayley Wickenheiser, by most accounts the best female hockey player in the world, played with a Finnish men's team, where she was mediocre at best.
posted by alex_reno at 5:37 PM on January 28, 2004


amberglow: It's not like you need extreme strength or anything)
What Alex said. Baseball is very much a strength sport. Throwing, sprinting, jumping and hitting; it's like some unstructured pentathalon. Proof of my point: I bring out the whole ongoing steriod saga.

The NATA also classifies it as a contact sport for certification purposes, much to my surprise when I first found out.
posted by Mitheral at 2:16 PM on January 30, 2004


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