Last week the manager of the White Sox (Ozzie Guillen) made a stupid comment. There's a columnist in Chicago, who bears a striking resemblance to Eddie Munster. The columnist's job is to irritate people and be a blowhard jackass most of the time. He has been in a constant pissing match with the White Sox organization, and their owner (who also owns the Bulls) for as long as I can remember.
I generally don't read him because he has no standards. Whatever he can say to irritate someone, he'll say it. But that's all it is. So anyway, this columnist, let's call him Eddie, wrote yet another derogatory column about Ozzie. Ozzie, who is known for shooting from the hip, called him a "piece of shit" and a "fag."
Now, don't get me wrong, I think discriminating against homosexuals is wrong. I don't give a crap what people do behind closed doors as long as it's not hurting anyone else. Gay, not gay, I don't care either way.
But this comment was all over national sports media for two days. People were up in arms. Panties were in a bunch. Gay rights groups and Eddie both called for Ozzie to be suspended. "What if he had called someone a racial slur? What if he had used the n word." Well. He didn't.
Like it or not, fag is a word used by men to question the manhood of other men. What Ozzie was trying to say was that Eddie should be a man and show up to the locker room and confront the men he constantly rips. The fact is that a comment like that says a lot more about the person who says it than it does about the group that was slurred.
Now, this is the type of thing I think I should be upset about. But I'm not. Fact is, Ozzie is a baseball manager. Not a senator. Not a mayor. He's just a baseball manager. The world is not set up so that everyone is protected from being offended by a baseball manager.
And besides, the hubbub is not about the word he used, it's about the guy he used it against. Last year, Ozzie said something very similar about a former player who he was in a 'feud' with. Was all of ESPN up in arms? No.
Two days after the comment broke in the news, a Reds player was arrested for punching his wife - in the face - on the street. Did all of ESPN get upset about that? No. When half of the Vikings were arrested for domestic violence several years ago, was the national media abuzz? No. Boys being boys...
I really got the feeling reading and listening to the sports columnists and radio hosts that they loved the fact that they could talk about a social issue for once. Well, next time I hope they remember that sports is the Toy section. If they can just keep that in mind and stop telling people what to think about how career baseball men should act, everyone would be a lot better served.