(This story was published in 2002).
Editor's note: We received dozens and dozens of e-mails after we were quoted in today's (Sept. 27) New York Daily News about Jeremy Shockey's comments about gays. Virtually all were negative towards us and many of them asserted Shockey's First Amendment right to say what he wanted to. We agree he has the right to free speech, but so do we, a point lost on the e-mailers.
We feel it is important to let our readers know what people on the other side of the gays-in-sports issue think, so we are printing representative letters. We have not edited them.
If you have feedback, feel free to e-mail us or post on our Discussion Board.
Cyd Zeigler Jr.
From Some Opposition
From Some Supporters
It is equally ethical to be with an 8 year old [biblically-speaking] as it is with someone of the same gender, or with another species...most real men and almost all athletes feel this way but are too buttless to admit it---too politically incorrect.
All I can say is society has done everything it can to protect your (gay) rights. People, in general, accept things as a way of life in a liberal society. There are a few (maybe even more than a few) people who abhor your conduct. I don't necessarily agree with them although I don't condone gay sexuality. But I say this to you.
You have been given a great freedom and opportunity in this country like very few other countries, where you can be what you want to be and express (publicly or privately) what you want to express. By the same token, you are no less guilty by assuming that you know what Shockey's comments meant. You don't know what he meant any more than I do, or anyone else does, save Jeremy Shockey and God. Your comments were self-serving and inconsequential, except to further drive a stake in the wall that separates straights from gays. You have no one to blame but yourself for your senseless, thoughtless and unfounded remarks (see below).
"Having heard the tape and heard the tone in which he said it, I don't believe that," Zeigler told the newspaper. "There was not an ounce of joking in it. How is what he said funny? Someone who doesn't believe those things doesn't say those things. Someone who doesn't have a problem with gays doesn't say, 'I hope there are none in the NFL.' If I'm a gay player on his team, I just took another step back into the closet."
And finally, gays do not have a right to occupy space in a position of employment that requires communal nakedness (such as the NFL or military showers) without making it public that they are gay. You have absolutely no rights in this area whatsoever to keep your status a secret among fellow employees.
You have great freedoms in this country.....along with those freedoms comes great responsibility. If you can't handle that responsibility, you need to step down and give it to someone who can.
I read about the Shockey comments on MSN.com and in the story was your website address, so I decided to visit it and email you my thoughts.
I was once a world-class athlete and if I knew about another gay athlete, or any gay person, I wouldn't have tolerated them. Men liking other men in that way is disgusting and repulsive. God didn't create man to have sex with other men. God created WOMEN!! Do you understand?? If he had created man to have sex with other men, then he would've created man to have the ability to get pregnant. Last I checked, men cannot be impregnated. All gay men should be rounded up and outcast by society and be sent to live together on an island or different planet, with no contact with the real world. Gay men are a disgrace to the human race and your website is too.
HI: LET PEOPLE HAVE THEIR OWN OPINIONS ABOUT GAYS. IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, TOUGH. ALOT OF POEPLE DON;T LIKE GAYS EITHER. YOU ARE TOO SENSITIVE FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. FREE SPEECH IS A PROTECTED RIGHT.
If a man has an opinion-and it is one held by many other people- then why do you have to cry like a bunch of babies about it. You are so hypocritical in protesting Shockeys comments. You all say that you are for freedom of _expression, but the moment that someone says that they dont like gays, the you get all fired up and say that it is unacceptable. My point is most people dont care what a person does in their bedroom, just dont throw it in my face or flaunt it. By the way I have never come to this site. I found it when I read the story about Shockey on espn.com
You know I read your article about jeremy Shockey and other sports athletes. I never knew this site existed. I think its sad!! You whine about athletes saying things like shockey did (example he couldnt stand having a gay team member in the showers) but so what. Then you turn around a pose pictures of athletes in positions that appeal sexually to you? I mean you have the picture of jeff garcia being tackled innocently but you write little subtitles cause the tacklers face is in his groin. Im doing some more research on you guys but I get the feeling you are right up on the starting trouble list with PETA, MARTH BURKE and others. As an American you have every right to freedom of speech to condone what you see as gay bashing but as a non gay American so do I. The difference is you try to make everything into someone is picking on us..waaa.
u doody loving pisshole licking nut sucking freaks need to bury yourselves!!!!
You guys are both a waste of human flesh. Why can't you just be gay and shut the fuck up. Acceptance would come naturally if you didn't advertise your sexuality. It's the constant whining of the gay community that I find objectionable and even offensive.
I don't want to come off as a "straight guy bashing the gay guy" type, but I totally disagree with exploiting an individual's feelings and comments. Jeremy Shockey should have known better to go into that area because of his fame, but I do feel that every individual has a right to speak what is on his mind, as do most homosexual people.
I don't agree with the homosexual lifestyle and will never understand it and why people live that type of lifestyle, but that is not the point of my writing to you. I really think that gay people and the website you write for are making more of a joke out of this than Jeremy shockey was supposedly trying to.
The wesbite, Outsports.com, is a private website that I had never heard of and that's fine if you continue to keep writing for them, but regardless of what the editor approves to be posted, please know that you are only making it worse for straight people to accept homosexualality when they see and read articles and complaints like your website has made out of Jeremy Shockey's comments. Have a good day and hope my opinion somewhat matters to you.
All Gay people should go to church and find Jesus. If you read the bible (like you should) you would know that all gay people are destined for Hell. Anyway, your website is a joke, how many pro gay athletes are really good anyway? I bet I can name all of them on one hand. Maybe you should change your website to "athletes that suck"--literally and physically!
What your group is saying is "We want everyone one to accept our sexuality in public regardless of how someone may feel privately." If this is true and I certainly believe it is then keep your sexual preference private. The first amendment allows you and I to express our opinions. Lay off Shockey. He just gave his own guarded opinion. If your going to make your sexual preference public then let the games begin because, once it is public I have the right to offer an opinion, whether or not you agree with it. If I screwed my wife in the ass last night do I have the right to tell the world and exclaim that its an OK thing to do? If I did, It would not bother me in the least that you publicly don't care for that kind of thing, albeit you do!!!!!
I felt I had to contact your organization today. I have had many gay friends in the past (I used to be a dancer). I lead a pretty ordinary life now, so I very seldom run into people that may be gay.
I just read your story re: the comments from Jeremy Shockey. I see nothing wrong with what he said. He wasn't condeming the lifestyle, made no disparaging remarks regarding homosexuals nor did he say it was wrong to live that lifestyle. He simply stated his opinion.
I listened to the "Stern radio show" that morning and heard the entire piece. Jeremy commited no crime, bashed no one's belief, nor suggested they be persecuted in any form. The gay community, in my experience, is voicing their opinions about their lifestyle and asking for acceptance for their feelings. However, I find it ironic that when a contrary opinion is stated, they are up in arms about it. If we, the heterosexual community, are being battered by the gay communities for having a different opinion and speaking about that opinion in a non-threatening manner, where is the "tolerance" and accpetance your peers so thirst for?
Wake up. Unwanted sexual attention is unwanted sexual attention. Why should it be different in the case of homosexual men? Men on sports teams don't want to be in a locker room with men who are viewing them in a sexual way. Is that really so hard to understand? I sure wouldn't be allowed to shower with my local women's basketball team, even if I promise not to touch anyone or make comments. If you want to dispute the fact that this unwanted ogling and snickering commentary happens, please check your readers' comments on the message boards re: professional athletes' behinds, etc. It's annoying.
Props to Jeremy Shockey for his view on gays. Anything anyone says that pushes gay people further back into the closet, the better. Hopefully you fellows will soon understand that being gay is wrong and it's not something that should be forced on society.
Finally adimit it, you are GAY! NOT accepted in the world as maybe you would like. GET USE To IT! If you are gay, it does not make you any more special than the next person. So, why are you all over Jeremy Shockey's comments? He is entitled to his own opinion. Right? Why do you feel it necessary to point out to the media everytime someone has a different opinion against gays? Trust me, it is, and never will be, acceptable behavior in the overall population of America. Why should it be so special for people to know what goes on in one's sex life? WHY? Why do you feel the need to voice the fact that you like your own sex organ? So what! Get on with life, accept the fact that coming out of the closet ain't gonna make gays life any easier, but will make it worse. We as a society have the RIGHT to choice what we like and do not like, as you are trying to demonstrate by being gay, so don't tell us that we have a problem when we say we don't like gay people. Accept it or go to another country that will accept you, because as American people, it doesn't, and won't, be accepted as a whole population. Don't bombard us with your rights, etc. Like I said, what you do with your sex life is your business. Why should you be viewed above any one else on this earth? What makes you special?! Not a damn thing. Shut up and move on. Please! Just because you have no morals does not mean Mr. Jeremy Shockey doesn't. You are all bigots yourself. Think about that!
I FIND IT QUITE SURPRISING THAT YOU FIND HIS THOUGHTS AND VIEWS OUT OF LINE OR TOUCH OR THAT IN SOME WAY YOURSELF AND THE GAY COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN WRONGED.
Just a note to let you know that I and my family applaud Shockey's comments...I am sick and tired of Political correctness...Screw that!
If you believe you and all gays are entititled to your choice of sexual preference. Then why is a football player not allowed to express him discomfort with having a gay man in the shower of a locker room.
I sure as hell wouldn't want to bend over for the soap in the local sports gym shower with you butt fuckers around!!!!! Don't you know butt fucking and sucking a shit covered cock causes aids????
I think that Jeremy Shockey didn't mean what he said in his apology, he just wanted to stay out of trouble. This is fine, he had the right to say what he did. Think about it, if he knew that there was someone who was gay on his team, he would be very uncomfortable especially in the shower/locker room. If he ignored something like this, it could lead to a poor performance on the field. I'm not htin gays or anything, just I don't see why you're making a big deal out of stuff like this. I agree that he might of said too much on it and he probably shouldn't lied in his apology, but he was scared because of past athletes in this situation.
I read your story on Jeremy Shockey and his comments on the Howard Stern show. Now I have to ask the question is there something wrong with you. First off, the Howard Stern show is a joke. Anyone who
Please [add] the following names to your anti-gay list
Isn't america the land of the free and the home of the brave? Do we not have a freedom of speach? Do we not have the freedom to think and act as we want as long as we do not break the law? Why do you people always try to make headlines and become popular at others expense? I have no problem with gay people, straight people, black people, white people, orange, green, yellow, or any other kind of people. Humor is humor and if its funny and you want to say it, say it. The same rights that give people the right to choose if they are gay or straight is the same right for someone to crack a joke.
I personaly am tired of homosexual men blaming heterosexual men for not wanting them around. Especially in some locker room where more than just helmets and pads are exposed. Leave Shockey alone!
Just want you to know that this is America free and paid for in blood. This is the country where we have the right to think, write and speak freely about everything. Far as I'm concerned the football player shouldn't have apologized. What he said was right about showering with gay men.I wouldn't want some guy looking at my ass and getting aroused because if they like men then they will. I base this on the fact that straight men including myself get turned on by looking at women. More if they are in the shower naked. Shockey only apologised to appease the gays because of his career in football. He lost my respect for not standing firm for his constitutional right to freely speak his mind about gays in the shower. Next you gays will want to know what each person thinks. I say this to you: Go to "HELL". Kinda what the Bible says. Also the word gay used to mean "a happy time" and you detroyed it.
Signed a straight american with rights.
It's too bad that Jeremy Shockey does not have the guts to just say that he does not like gays if that is how he truly feels.
You gay mother fuckers. Your the reason for aids !!! Whats it like to stick you dick in some guys hairy shitty ass hole. I hope you rot in hell.
oh poor Shockey talking bad about the big cry baby queers, and now all you pieces of scum wanna talk bad about him. We need more people out there like him to put these faggs back in there place which by no means is in sports but rather an island in the middle of no where that nobody knows about. Everything you queers stand for is what is wrong with this country so i hope know that any fagg keeps his mouth shut cuz nobody needs to know there is a devil i mean queer boy out there where kids can look up to. So i hope when the queers die they all go to the same place hell. Good bye all u cry baby faggots
I think it is unfair to highlight someone's opinion on human sexuality. Yes maybe he was on air in New York when he made the comments but we, as Americans, ridicule our presidents everyday, we chastise our government on a daily basis. Why can't a man make an honest comment, that was in no way degrading, without having the gay community label him as being prejudice. I don't think I would be comfortable in the sower room with a gay standing next to me. I also wouldn't feel comfortable with a woman standing next to me in the shower. What is wrong with that? And so what if he doesn't like gays. Is that wrong? Democrats don't like Republicans, America doesn't agree with Iraq, the Cowboys hate the Redskins. This is the type of press that creates chaos and ruins peoples careers and lives. Let it go. I think in the long run it will have more of a negative impact on the gay community.
I applaud Shockley. …Why can't gays just be gays and leave it at that? The answer is that deep down you know it's not right, and you're hoping that public 'acceptance' will make you feel better about yourself. Don't kid yourself; "What she does in her private life is her own business." is not acceptance. Regardless of what you think the public into saying, the individual masses still feel the same way: this is a disease.
You Faggots should get off of Shockey. Its a shame more people dont feel like him. Gays are disgusting and one of the reasons our morals as a nation are going down the crapper.
I just read the story concerning Mr. Shockey's comments about gays. I must say, and you know, there have been much worse things said about gays over time. One athletes comments come to mind.....John Rocker?? That name ring a bell? How do the comments of these two athletes compare? The only comparison is in the fact they were both aimed at gays. Mr. Rocker's comments were malicious in nature and very inappropriate. His intent was to hurt. However, Mr. Shockey was on the Howard Stern show!! RELAX!! Howard Stern is a moron and anyone who takes him or the content of his show seriously, gay or straight, is showing his/her own intelligence level. If you are this upset over Mr. Shockey's comments you must have been an emotional wreck after Rocker's tirade. Sad!
GOD MADE ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE,IF GAYS WANT TO BE TREATED
Shockey was right, gays have no place in professional sports. Nor do they have a right to promote their lifestyles as positive roll models in sports or life in general.
My opinion on Jeremy Shockeys comments
Jeremy Shockey has a right to say whatever he wants. I don't care who's gay but I don't want to be naked around them. They don't let men and women shower together do they? So what's the difference. If someone of the same sex is attracted to that sex you have a right to not be naked in front of them. Liberal Socialists like you are destroying this country.
I just finished reading a story on espn.com concerning Jeremy Shocky. I get tired of all this liberal rhetoric. The statement that Jeremy Shocky made was his obvious true feelings. Ohh my gosh so sue him because he is not politically correct! He obviously does not believe in your type of lifestyle.
All you gays are going to HELL!!! Don't you read the Bible?
I was shocked more by the so called straight men's replies to this than what Shockey said. These insecure boys are totally missing the point.
It's not that the gay community doesn't support free speech it's the content and hate of the speech we don't support. If you are an intelligent, rational human being with an legitimate gripe let's hear it. But, these comments about putting "people" on an island and "pisshole licking nut sucking freaks need to bury yourselves!!!!" comments are adolescent at best - It tells me allot of what they think of women - If I'm not mistaken they want their girls friends and wives to be this way and their not "freaks" and to the boy who said that gays should tell their team mates that they are gay- well how many "straight" men walk into a show shouting "I'm straight, it's ok you can bend over and I won't look"? If a gay person did that they would be killed. The point of Outsports - I believe- is to make people aware of how many people are gay in sports and because very few gay people do come out those that do should be commended - because like it or not for every one "real humane" person who is brave enough to make a stand 5 more will get a little bit stronger. I believe GOD blesses the child that has his/her own integrity.
I am a gay college football player. I'm actually pretty good. I know it must be a surprise to many of the ignorant people that have written hate mail to this site, but homosexuals are no less equipped to excel at sports than heterosexual people. I spent my entire teenage life wishing everyday that I would wake up the next morning straight. I thought about suicide, and lived in constant fear of what would happen if my friends/teammates found out.
I want all of you who wrote the completely un-educated, pitiful emails to know that I will not let your twisted misconceptions about the reasons behind why my genetic code spelled out homo keep me from a sport I love. And by the way, if you're going to use the bible as an argument, you might want to read it a little closer, the last ones to get into heaven are those that judge on Earth (Let no man judge, lest he be judged...) That message of acceptance shows up a little more often that the message of the evils of homosexuality. Most of those closest to Jesus were those shunned by the rest of society. I have very strong convictions in my faith, and would appreciate it if you didn't put words into my Lords' mouth.
I read about this site through Espn.com reading the Shockey article so I thought I would check it out. I read the hate mail and was appalled. I think the amount of ignorance in those letters was disgusting. I'm not homosexual but I think the comments Shockey made were idiotic. obviously he also thought that because he apologized. and to think that this site had to receive mail bashing it and defending precious Jeremy's views saddens me.
I am utterly disgusted by the emails your site received regarding Jeremy Shockley's ignorant comments. It saddens me to see that we are still living in such a closed minded, bigoted society. I knew that most of the population still held such antiquated beliefs against homosexuals but I would have hoped after all of the statements about how this country has come together in a time of political strive and how humanity was so much better after 9/11, something as unimportant to society as a whole ,as someone's sexual preference would have made people more accepting. Who cares what someone's sexual preference is, that is the individuals business. Who someone loves shouldn't matter to all of the ignorant people who responded to your site. By the way, I am not a homosexual, but I applaud this website for being out there for other gay people who are interested in sports and don't feel comfortable in other straight male dominated venues. I am going to show this website to a gay friend of mine who insists that most homosexuals aren't interested in sports. I wish this website great success.
Just wanted to express my feelings about this whole Shockey situation from an ally's perspective. Nothing I have to say is new to anyone at this site most-likely...I would hope you have some heterosexual allies who work with the site. I hope people don't lose sight of the fact that all these emails are coming from people who hate anonymously in the consequence-free land of the internet. What most of you self-righteous e-mailers fail to recognize is that the reason it is so easy for you to dismiss any reaction from the gay community about Shockey is because you have never faced a minute of cultural oppression in your entire lives.
I am a out lesbian & visited your website for the first time today. I heard about this site while reading about Shockey's homophobic comments. Thanks for addressing the issue. It is sad that in the year 2002 there is so much hatred. I read some of the e mails you posted & had to stop. I have been the victim of harrassment because of my sexual orientation and its not easy to defend yourself but it must be done. If they think gays & lesbians are going to hell, well I think some of these people might be going to hell too. How do they know what God is going to do ?
Just wanted to send you a supportive email after all that crap from the Shockey incident.
You guys have put yourselves on the front lines -- but you know from the message board that there are many of us standing right there with you! If anything, our community that you've fostered at outsports will only get stronger.
I'm sorry that you have to deal with all the hate -- I couldn't bring myself to read even halfway down the page of the mail you posted.
Hang in there -- you're making a tremendous difference.