Monday, February 12, 2007

On Haydar and gaydar

Today's Detroit Free Press has an interesting story where various members of the Red Wings are asked for their thoughts on the lack of gay NHLers. Here's Chris Chelios:
"I don't see people coming out and saying, 'I'm not gay,' so to me, I never got that. To me, it's a nonissue. I don't understand it; why there are gay marches. Why aren't there not-gay marches?"
Most of the other Wings have, shall we say, more measured responses, including Jason Williams:
"It'd be difficult (to come out while playing), I think," he said. "There are stupid guys around the league that would say things that would be inappropriate to him and stuff like that. But I'm sure if he could block that out, he could play."
Adam Proteau also offered these thoughts at Globe on Hockey last week.



At 6:25 p.m., February 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weirdly, this came up in Google alerts (under "hockey") and this gay-themed site seemed to have no problem with Chelios' comments.

At 7:46 p.m., February 12, 2007, Anonymous Logan said...

Where's the Haydar part? OR are you saying Darren Haydar is gay?

At 9:10 a.m., February 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's public knowledge that Wendyl Clark was at one time "rooming" with a figure skater. Take that how you see fit.

At 10:18 a.m., February 13, 2007, Anonymous pete said...

Well, given the general population, it's statistically probably that there's something in the neighbourhood of around 50 active gay NHLers currently.

So technically, it's more a question of why don't/can't gay NHLers come out of the closet, than it is a quesiton of could a gay person make the NHL.

At 10:21 a.m., February 13, 2007, Anonymous pete said...

i also find it funny you singled out williams for his more "measured" response, but he certainly sounds like a bit of a douche in this: "It's not a big deal. It's totally fine to be gay, but, like, leave it aside when you come to the rink."

What does he think a gay man is doing to do? try to kiss him on a breakaway?

At 10:30 a.m., February 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that it matters for the purposes of this discussion, but that, "one in ten" figure has been challenged by respected researchers, and is no longer accepted as conventional wisdom. There may well be a few gay NHL players, but the numbers are probably very small. That doesn't excuse ignorance or intolerance, but the efforts to promote tolerance by inferring larger numbers than really exist are disingenuous.

In his own Neanderthal way, Chelios does make a fair point. Why should it matter? Gay activists loathe the fact that some gays stay in the closet, but really, whose business is it of anyones who you are sleeping with? I could care less if a dude is gay or straight - I know who I sleep with, so someone else's preferences are really none of my business. Once you get a little older, you don't talk about sex 24/7 - there are plenty of other subjects to discuss. The media loves talking about this due to the titillation factor, but really, it's only a big deal if people make it into one.

At 11:21 a.m., February 13, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

What is this mythical age when you stop talking about sex all of the time?

At least those responses were better than what Shavlick Randolph of the Philadelphia 76ers had to say:

"As long as you don't bring your gayness on me I'm fine."

At 11:34 a.m., February 13, 2007, Blogger Black Dog said...

ppp - I'll be forty this year and, well, I don't talk about sex all of the time but I think about it quite a bit still.

And my old man, god bless him, is 75 and he's still a randy old goat.

So, uh, never?

Maybe some day it will happen but man, he'd have to have thick skin. The cement heads on and off the ice would have a field day.

At 12:39 p.m., February 13, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

So at 23 I really have no hope.

I doubt it will happen within the near or even the not very near future and it would probably have to be a superstar for the fall-out to be minimized.

It would be interesting to see if the columnists that devoted so much ink to Amaechi's announcement in a positive sense would write the same articles about an athlete coming out during his career. The players could, of course, be counted on to display the tolerance, intelligence, and thoughtfulness that they are all known for.

At 12:59 p.m., February 13, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

i also find it funny you singled out williams for his more "measured" response

Well, he and Zetterberg are certainly trying to be more PC here than Chelios, so I'll give him that.

At 2:29 p.m., February 13, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

In the 1993 semifinals, between LA and Toronto, the backup goalie on the Kings would lean over and scream a certain three-letter slur for a homosexual (starts with "f"), every time a certain player on the Leafs skated by the LA bench. (I'm trying to not get my comment deleted.)

And that was just a _rumour_. *And* Wayne Gretzky was sitting right there, having played 10 years with this certain Leaf player while they were both in Edmonton.

It will have to be an established superstar for an NHL player to come out without getting slaughtered, and, better yet, one who is known for his toughness.

I mean, if in 1993, both Cam Neely and Pierre Turgeon had come out, who do you think would have had to put up with less crap?

At 2:52 p.m., February 13, 2007, Blogger Julian said...

If any player were actually interested in coming out, the best time would probably be immediately after a Bertuzzi-like incident which focusses the media's attention elsewhere and strongly contrasts the two stories.

And then he'd better hope that there are six or seven or more gay players willing to come out right after the first one does.

At 11:49 p.m., February 13, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

When will these blockheads learn. Gay men are nothing to be afraid of. For christ's sake, do the cost/benefit analysis. Every extra guy who's gay is one less guy who's competition. My dream day is when 90% of the male population comes out of the closet, except that, with my luck, 95% of the women will follow them.


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