Yesterday we chronicled some of the things we're most thankful for in LGBT sports this year. Now, of course, we bring you this year's biggest turkeys. Be sure to add your turkeys in the comments.
10) Dexter Manley
Former Washington Redskin Dexter Manley may have been suffering from some brain damage when he referred to former Dallas Cowboys QB Troy Aikman as 'a queer' and then refused to apologize. No question that Manley played at a time when this kind of language was de rigueur, but it's no excuse for using it today.
9) Adrian Peterson
The Minnesota Vikings running back doesn't seem to be a bad guy, just a turkey. While he said he wouldn't be bothered by having a gay teammate, he did say he'd be creeped out by it in the shower. Funny, it's always the straight guys who bring up this issue. The gay guys don't care. And who's the problem?
8) Asante Samuel
The Atlanta Falcons corner did Peterson one better, saying he doesn't think gay people should come out publicly but should stay in the closet their whole lives. He also said he doesn't teach his kid about gay people because he only teaches God's way. A turkey and a jackass.
7) Mike Rice
The rehabilitation of the former Rutgers basketball coach has been nice to see recently, but it's hard to create this list without giving a nod to a guy who physically and verbally harassed his players, threw basketballs at them and was a fan of gay slurs. In the end this could be a story of redemption, a la Tim Hardaway. But for now, that video footage is still front and center in our minds.
6) Coach & Athletic Director magazine
The conservative magazine for sports professionals fired editor in chief Michael Austin shortly after he proposed writing a column about LGBT issues in sports. While the magazine won't talk, the State of Oregon determined he was fired without cause and that the reasons given to the state for his firing were suspect.
5) Phil Jackson
The legendary NBA coach said that a question about gay NBA players was "ridiculous" because no one -- including him -- have seen it in their career. John Amaechi was quick to point out that Jackson had met with him and shown an interest in signing him. Of course, this was four weeks before Jason Collins came out and made everyone realize that there are -- very clearly -- gay NBA players.
4) Ole Miss football team
When some of the players of the Rebels football team attended a production of The Laramie Project chronicling the story of Matthew Shepherd, they shouted "fag" among other things to the people on stage. Their apology was weak and the response from the school has been weaker. Just good ol' boys bein' good ol' boys.
3) Everybody who defends hazing in sports
When Miami Dolphin Jonathan Martin went public with the harassment and hazing he had experienced in the Dolphins locker room, he was followed by a parade of NFL players and commentators defending the practice. The general tenor of the nonsense has gone something like this: "We need to mentally beat the crap out of players to toughen them up, so we have to tape rookies to goal posts, cut their hair, make them spend $10k on a dinner and direct racist and homophobic slurs his way." They fail to acknowledge that the Jaguars and Texans hazed just as much as the Seahawks and Broncos this year. Reality is simply this: These veterans like a hazing culture that makes it that much harder for a rookie to come take their job. Nothing more.
2) Vladimir Putin and the 436 Russian politicians who unanimously passed anti-gay hate law
We should be readying now for sepia-tone profiles of inspiring Olympians with sweeping music scores. Instead, many in the LGBT community are fretting over new discriminatory laws in Russia aimed at silencing LGBT people. Will the laws have much effect on the Olympics? Doubtful. But they're creating an unwelcome environment for gay Russians and a lot of angst for gay Olympics fans not sure whether they should watch or boycott their TV.
1) Close-minded turkeys of MMA
When Fallon Fox came out publicly in March, uninformed MMA fans, fighters and pundits came out of the woodwork to insult Fox, trans people and the intelligence of their fans. Some critics were crude and bigoted. Others were simply misinformed about the physical being of a trans woman who has received gender-reassignment surgery and a decade of hormones. Most recently, Ashlee Evans-Smith, who beat Fox last month, claimed trans fighters had an unfair advantage and shouldn't be allowed to fight against men or women. My guess is she doesn't have a degree from Harvard. Other big MMA turkeys this year have been Matt Mitrione and Peggy Morgan.
Who should be added to the list as an honorary mention? Leave your nominees below.
More from Outsports:
- The effective role of straight allies is as the supporters, not stars, of our movement
- Things we give thanks for in 2013 gay sports
- Florida State defensive back brags about gay bashing in college essay
- Podcast: Was a gay NFL player ready to come out this year?
- Donovan McNabb denies he spread gay rumors about teammate
- Report: Gay NFL player was ready to come out and then it fell apart