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Column calls for end to gay slurs in hockey

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Yesterday's USA Today featured a column from hockey columnist Justin Bourne titled, "It's time to end the use of gay slurs in hockey." It's a nice sentiment, but it feels like a blip on the radar the day after an entire state smacked us down.

There hasn't been progress on this issue for years. When I ran the idea for this column by my uncle, a sportswriter and editor, he mentioned a piece he wrote 20 years ago after the general manager of a major junior hockey team in Canada said something like: "We don't have any weak-wristed players in this locker room."

Twenty years later, this attitude has yet to be shucked from hockey. We can't wait another two decades ignoring the small but consistent strides of progress that the world outside sport is making.

We need to make a change now, because kids who move away from home to play junior hockey at 16 or 17 are still impressionable. If they don't encounter a good role model, the seeds are sown for a person, who after trying to fit in, thinks it's OK to drink, treat women a certain way and use homosexuality as a punchline.

Of course, this kind of column drags out the Neanderthals like "Emmitt":

So they can take a flying, blind-side, cross check in front of millions but don't dare call them a queer. Come on,,,, toughen up! Anyone and everyone in a locker room has been called some kind of name at some point in their life. Toughen up. It builds character and gets you ready for that big bad world!

And Bonnie...

We're all becoming a bunch of pansies that can't take a punch. Our sexual preference is a private thing and has no place being held out there like a flag.

And Astrolite, who totally misses the point...

Locker rooms like confessionals are sacred places where what's said there should stay there.Why does everyone have to be afraid to have some good old natured fun at someones else's expense.

No one's talking about good-natured fun, you fool. They're talking about hateful words.

And the genius of Rober...

We're all supposed to tolerant of "gays" but they don't seem to tolerant of heterosexual people.

And keystonekid...

Oh stop with the offending stuff. That is the problem with this country these days. Ohhhh we don't want to offend anyone or hurt their feelings..... We need more people standing up and exclaiming what is wrong is wrong and if you don't like it too d a m n bad! Life is not fair and we should not sugar coat it just to oppease someone or groups of people.

Then there's neloving, who thinks you spell "word" W-O-R-K...

The work homophobic is the most mis used work in history. A phobia is something feared not something of a disagreement. This work is all too often applied to people who simply disagree with a chosen lifestyle.

And on and on and on...

Here's hoping Bourne writes about this issue on a monthly basis instead of this just being his one "gay column."

Hat tip to Ted Rybka at GLAAD.