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‘No homo’ and why it is offensive

The slang phrase “no homo” received significant attention this weekend after Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert used it during a postgame news conference on Saturday following Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. He was fined $75,000 by the NBA for using the phrase and cursing at the media. I imagine the bulk of the fine was for the “no homo” drop rather than the cursing. Some people do not understand the harsh fine or why Hibbert was fined in the first place. They also do not understand why “no homo” is offensive. I figured I would explain.

The impenetrable authority that is the Urban Dictionary says no homo is a “phrase used after one inadvertently says something that sounds gay.” No homo is “said to show that you aren’t gay after saying something that sounded gay.”

An example would be a football coach evaluating a player and saying that the player has a wide butt — which is generally a positive trait for players — and saying “no homo” afterwards to let everyone know that he is not gay despite praising the player’s behind.

The whole idea that someone would have to clarify that they are not gay stems from the perception that being gay is a negative thing. I realize that there are still factions of society who will argue that being gay is a sin or wrong in some other way, but I think most people feel that being homosexual is inconsequential.

Roy Hibbert probably did not intend to be homophobic when he said the phrase. He was probably just trying to keep up his street cred when he uttered it. (Being able to catch one’s self is like a game). Until now, he probably never thought about the root of the phrase and what it really means to gay people. Now that he has been faced with all of that, he has apologized.

Other NBA players have used the phrase “no homo” or even “pause” (which means the same thing) over the past few years and escaped a fine. Dwight Howard said “pause” on national TV in 2011. So did Chris Paul. LeBron has even been heard saying “no homo” during an interview.

Hibbert being fined shows us how much our society has changed in terms of attitudes towards gay people. People could get away with saying one of these phrases a year ago. I even thought it was funny when I posted a “pause” video on the site in 2007. But it’s 2013 now. And if an NBA player feels comfortable coming out as gay, then we should welcome and support him. And if people still think being homophobic is funny, then they are wrong. Because it’s not.

Adrian Peterson on gay marriage: ‘I’m not with that’

Adrian-Peterson-Wants-to-Play-for-Fantasy-OwnersWhen superstar athletes express their opinions about gay players in sports, the ripple effect occurs almost instantly. Adrian Peterson gave us a perfect example of that last week when he provided his thoughts on gay marriage.

During an interview with Bruce Murray and Amani Toomer on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Peterson discussed his former teammate Chris Kluwe and the way he was such an outspoken advocate of gay rights. While AP said he does not discriminate against anyone because of their sexual preference, he made it clear he does not support gay marriage.

“To each his own,” Peterson said, via NESN.com. “I’m not with it. But I have relatives that are gay. I’m not biased towards them. I still treat them the same. I love ‘em. But again, I’m not with that. That’s not something I believe in. But to each his own.”

While Peterson will certainly deal with a good amount of backlash for not supporting gay marriage, he was simply being honest. Everyone is entitled to their own personal beliefs, whether they stem from religion or elsewhere. It’s how they handle those beliefs in everyday situations that really makes a difference.

Peterson doesn’t have to support gay marriage. Supporting something and tolerating it or being respectful of it are entirely different concepts. It seems to me that Peterson is saying he does not condone gay marriage, but that he would not judge those who do. There’s a fine line there that is easy to cross, but I don’t think he crossed it with the aforementioned comments.

On a separate note, this NHL star still has the best view on gay teammates.

Brittney Griner: Baylor discouraged me from being openly gay

Brittney GrinerBrittney Griner says she was discouraged by her coaches and the Baylor athletic department from being openly gay while in college the past five years.

Griner just completed her senior season in Waco and was selected No. 1 overall by the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The former two-time first-team All-American center came out publicly last month, though she says she has been openly gay since high school.

Griner told ESPN The Magazine/espnW that she was discouraged from being open while at Baylor. She says she was told to keep it private because it could damage recruiting.

“It was a recruiting thing,” Griner told ESPN The Magazine and espnW. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor.”

Griner says she told Baylor coach Kim Mulkey up front when she was being recruited that she was gay. She says Mulkey told her that was not an issue. However, she was discouraged from being open about her sexuality.

“It was more of an unwritten law, but come to find out it was a written law. It was kind of one of those things like, ‘just don’t do it.’ They kind of try to make it like, ‘Why put your business out on the street like that?'” Griner told espnW’s Kate Fagan.

Griner says the issue first came up when she tweeted something.

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Adidas pulls Kevin Ware T-shirts

Kevin-Ware-Louisville-shirts

Adidas has stopped selling controversial T-shirts that they began manufacturing following Kevin Ware’s gruesome leg broken leg injury suffered last weekend, USA Today reports.

The shirts were being sold on the Louisville athletic website for $24.99. The shirts said “Rise to the occasion” on the front, and had the number five on the back. Ware’s No. 5 was not only on the back, but it was also in the place of the “S” in rise.

Adidas received plenty of backlash for attempting to profit off a player’s injury while that athlete is unable to receive any of the proceeds due to NCAA rules.

Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports puts that into context of the corrupt NCAA. He also points out that Adidas likely pulled the shirt not because of the moral dilemma, but because it is illegal; schools are not allowed to profit directly off a player, according to NCAA rules.

How do they get away with selling jerseys and shirts with a player’s number? Schools argue that numerous players have worn the number throughout the years.

Ware, meanwhile, has received plenty of support and notoriety since the injury. He received phone calls from Dwight Howard and Charles Barkley among others, and he did the Top 10 on Letterman Thursday.

Kings F Dustin Penner takes shot at athletes who skip White House visit

Dustin-Penner-KingsThe Los Angeles Kings visited the White House on Tuesday to be recognized for their 2011-2012 Stanley Cup title, and by all accounts it appears all members of the team were able to attend. As you know, there is a growing list of athletes — most notably former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas — who, because of personal/political reasons, have refused to travel to the White House with their team to meet the president.

For the most part, there are two sides to the debate. On one side, you have people who feel that athletes are given a forum most of us do not have and that they should use it to stand up for their political beliefs. On the other side, you have people who feel that it is disrespectful to your team and your country to refuse such a rare honor. After Tuesday, we know where Kings forward Dustin Penner stands.

If you ask me, he’s right. Everyone is entitled to their own political opinion, but going to the White House to be recognized for winning a championship does not mean you support the president. It’s a tradition and something that players should experience with their teammates. You can still take a handshake from Barack Obama and vote Republican. In my opinion, athletes should understand that and cast their personal beliefs aside.

Transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox’s license being reviewed

Fallon FoxFallon Fox is a 37-year-old MMA fighter, and she is facing licensing issues after it was revealed that she is a transsexual woman.

Fox won a featherweight fight last Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla., by first-round knockout (knee). A reporter learned of her transgender secret and called her and one of her trainers about it.

On Monday, SI.com’s Loretta Hunt revealed that Fox is a transsexual woman. She also reported that Fox’s fighting license in Florida is under review.

Fox underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2006. She told OutSports.com that she has been receiving hormonal therapy for 10 years. In a documentary teaser from Out Sports, Fox says she got into MMA after her surgery and began training in the sport. She credits it as a motivation for living.

Fox is 2-0 in her professional career and 3-0 as an amateur, with all of her wins coming in the first round. She is scheduled to fight in April after advancing to the semifinals of the Championship Fighting Alliance tournament, but that plan is currently on hold.

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Ottawa TomaHawks changing team name less than 24 hours after announcing it

Ottawa-Tomahawks-logoThe Ottawa TomaHawks were introduced as the newest member of the National Basketball League on Tuesday, with a new name and logo being unveiled for the city. Before the day was over, the team had already decided a name change was in order.

According to CBC News, the name TomaHawks was met with public outcry from Ottawa’s aboriginal community for being a racist term. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he warned the team about its name and advised them to consult with the First Nations community before making the announcement.

“Obviously they did not do the kind of consultation that they should have done, and they certainly spoke with me and spoke with my office before the launch, and I strongly suggested that they have proper consultations with First Nations, and particularly the Algonquins of Ontario,” Watson explained.

Team president Gus Takkale said he is committed to making sure fans know he wants the team to respect the community it represents.

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