White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham apologized Friday for writing a friendly insult towards ex-teammate Chris Getz. Beckham wrote the message out in the infield dirt during Monday’s game against the Royals, saying “Getz is gay.” Getz currently plays second base for the Royals after spending the ’08 and ’09 seasons with the White Sox.
“I just want you to know that that’s not me,’’ Beckham said Friday. “I don’t use slurs. I have a lot of gay friends. I didn’t mean it as anything — you know, like gay as in . . . happy! Or, you know, an alliteration — ‘Getz is gay.’ ’’
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like that with Chris,’’ he said. “And I didn’t even see his reaction. I asked him afterward if he was going to write anything back, and he said no. It was wrong. It was stupid. If I offended anyone, I apologize. I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.’
Beckham was portrayed as someone genuinely regretful for his actions, recognizing it was childish and out of character. Even though he was just playing around with a friend, the point in this case is the same as it was with Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah: calling someone “gay” is not an acceptable insult. It’s an offensive slur to gay people and it should not be taken lightly just because most of the population is heterosexual. Come up with another term to describe someone who is “weird” or “strange” or “lame.” It really is not that hard to vary your vocabulary.
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