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High school suspends quarterback for touching his center. #NoHomo

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In suspending freshman quarterback Garrett Moore, West Salem High School took an absurd position about boys accidentally touching other boys in football.

Maybe the NFL should start fining quarterbacks for taking the snap directly from the center. That'd show 'em!
Maybe the NFL should start fining quarterbacks for taking the snap directly from the center. That'd show 'em!
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While this story has been making the rounds on the Web for about 10 days, I figured it bears some repeating here.

Garrett Moore, the third-string quarterback for the West Salem (Ore.) High School freshman football team, was suspended from school for three days earlier this month for allegedly touching the center of the team inappropriately.

The Statesman Journal has a full account:

He said the center instructed him to take the snap farther forward in his stance than he had with other centers.

"He wanted me to go way up there and it felt very uncomfortable," Moore said. "I was, like, moving my hands and I touched him and he started laughing. I guess I tickled him. I wouldn't mean to. That's kind of weird."

He says the center moved to the defensive line after a few plays and the regular center came back. The group ran a play and the player who had previously played center walked toward him after the play.

"He acted like he was giving me a hug and he kneed me in my crotch," Moore said. "He said that he did that because I spat on his shoe, even though he was five feet in front of me."

At the core of this whole incident, of course, is some serious homophobia. This isn't about two players hitting each other or getting into a fight. No, this is far worse: A boy may have accidentally touched another boy's genitals (through pants, of course).

For years football has walked a fine line for many men, on the one hand celebrating the close physical contact of men wearing incredibly tight pants, and on the other hand trying to plaster the sport with a big #NOHOMO sticker.

The rest of Moore's account certainly points a finger at more "gay-at-arm's-length" messages here:

"He calls my mom, makes it sound like I'm a complete pervert and she comes to get me."

Because one boy touching another boy is perverted. That, at least, is the message the school sent to every student,