Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nope, I Wasn't Offended

If there is such a thing as evolution, we've become a race that has developed thin skin. Sometimes I just want to scream, "It was a joke!" People may not have thought it was funny, but we're living in a society where you can't say anything anymore without someone else being "deeply offended" and demanding an apology.

Now, I realize that some comments are offensive and common sense tells us that making amends is appropriate. In fact, "I'm sorry" are two of the most powerful words one can utter. But everything doesn't deserve a drama rating of 10 on a 1-10 scale. Perspective, please!

Here's a good example. I've edited down an AP article via Yahoo! News:

L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said he deserved the reprimand he got from the NBA for making a sexual reference in a comment following the Los Angeles Lakers' loss in San Antonio.

The Spurs made 13 3-pointers, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters. "We call this a Brokeback Mountain game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said.

Still, Jackson couldn't resist making another joke as he apologized. "When you take it out of context, it wasn't funny. It was a poor attempt at humor and I deserved to be reprimanded by the NBA." He continued, "If I've offended any horses, Texans, cowboys or gays, I apologize," Jackson said.

GLAAD president Neil G. Giuliano issued a statement saying: "Phil Jackson's been coaching long enough that he should be able to talk about the Lakers' performance without resorting to cheap gay jokes."
I think GLAAD's statement struck a good balance. I'd prefer that they didn't say anything, but their function isn't to keep quiet — if they didn't comment, they wouldn't have a job!

In the end, I think it's more interesting that Jackson free-associated the word 'penetration' with homosexuality.

I found his comments sophomoric, not offensive.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. People need to lighten up. I'm not offended by his remarks either.

Michael said...

I thought it was funny!

RG said...

I thought it was funny. People really do need to lighten up some. Jeesh

Al said...

I agree with Gavin that it's sophomoric at best, and I'm not offended. More than likely because I have met Phil Jackson many times, as he's a friend of my fathers, and some of those times were in very pro gay environments. I really don't think he is a homophobic man.

That being said, I am glad that there was a response to the comment. And while I wouldn't take offense at the comment, others might. Perhaps with a justification, as my experience with hetero dominated male sports suggests that homophobia is wide spread.

cb said...

I found his comment completely apropos. It was a men's basketball team being dominated by another men's basketball team. The other team penetrated and kicked out and basically dominated them.

Like Jack was dominated by Ennis.

I think its a testament to this film that it has entered the public consciousness the way it has.

michael sean morris said...

Offensive is: "They played like a bunch of faggots." Not some lame joke. In fact, if people think they can't joke about us, they just might stop talking about us altogether.

Gavin is right though; it's very telling that he associated 'penetration' with 'gay'; I think we have Ang Lee and his indelible film-making to thank for that.

The culture is in a serious decline; today you could work at the NAACP all day, come home to a game of bridge, bid two spades and be compared to Simon Legree.