Story from Nov. 15, 2007
In the latest example that the collective "gay community" has completely lost its sense of humor, Lakers coach Phil Jackson is being called on the carpet for an hysterical comment he made after his team got beaten by the San Antonio Spurs, 107-92. The Spurs had hit 13 three-pointers, and Jackson was asked if the Spurs' penetration was leading to their open outside shots.
Jackson replied: "We call this a Brokeback Mountain game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts."
I don't know about the kickouts part, but it's funny, right? Something you'd hear just about any gay guy say, yeah? Substitute Brokeback for American Pie 3 and it's the same joke? Not so fast, says some of the gay powers-that-be.
"Phil Jackson's been coaching long enough that he should be able to talk about the Lakers' performance without resorting to cheap gay jokes," GLAAD President Neil Giuliano said in a statement.
Knowing GLAAD and other gay activists would start lining up to take shots at Jackson, the Lakers and the NBA, the Association quickly slapped Jackson on the wrist. "The remarks are in poor taste, and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future," league spokesman Brian McIntyre said.
Why is it in poor taste? Because some gay people have lost their sense of humor? I can assure them that many of us have not. The joke wasn't cheap or in poor taste, it was hysterical! I laughed out loud when I first read it. When I read the Jackson quote to Jim Buzinski, the other half of Outsports, he laughed too and said it wasn't offensive.
The worst part about what will now become a saga isn't Jackson's joke, it's the reaction some gays are putting out there to it. What that reaction is generating is negative feelings from straight people who have heard jokes about their sex lives for their entire adult life and are wondering why some gay people, who say they want "equality," are getting their panties in a bunch:
From a blog called, "The Finish Line": If gay people want equal rights and all the things it entails, all the things that I am in full favor of them having, and if they are trying to convince the world that gay people are exactly the same as straight people, maybe they should learn to take a joke like a straight person.
From the blog "From First 2 Third": I would have made the same comment had my team let Cal State Fullerton alum Bruce Bowen hit six 3-pointers against them. How does that guy outscore Kobe Bryant?"
Too many gay people seem to want to have it both ways. They wanted Brokeback Mountain recognized by straight people as a mainstream film whose audience wasn't just defined by its sexual orientation. They want to be treated just like straight people. And that's exactly what Jackson did; he treated the one-time Best Picture front-runner as any other subject. Sexual double entendres are cleverly thrown around sports, and in particular the locker room (where Jackson was interviewed) all the time. This wasn't a "gay" joke, it was a "sex" joke. That a man of Jackson's caliber, who's won more NBA titles than everyone but the great Red Auerbach, would use that isn't insulting or offensive, it's rewarding and reflective of the hard work GLAAD and others have done to bring gay people to an equal playing field. He could have just as easily said there was as much penetration as a "Ron Jeremy movie," but he used a gay movie instead. That's progress.
I suppose next we'll get gay people releasing angry statements because people in sports use terms like, "he got his ass handed to him," or, "did you see him blow his coverage?" And let's not even get into the idea of "hitting his tight end in the hole."
This wasn't Jeremy Shockey saying he wouldn't play on a team with a gay person. This wasn't Tim Hardaway saying he hates gays. This was one of the most decorated coaches in the history of professional sports making a funny, witty, joke. And I'm glad he did.
The reaction reminds me of a story I learned when I was a kid about a young boy who kept yelling "wolf" . . . .
It was a great comment by Jackson. Witty, poignant, descriptive, and gay-inclusive. Hopefully more gays will stop over-reacting to funny comments like this, because I don't want to see the fall-out when Bill Belichick starts talking about going all "Starbooty" on the Steelers.
At least Jackson has a sense of humor and handled his apology in kind. As he said Wednesday night before the Lakers game against the Rockets: "If I've offended any horses, Texans, cowboys or gays, I apologize."