HOBART, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Alastair Clarkson, Senior Coach of the Kangaroos is seen during the round 21 AFL match between North Melbourne Kangaroos and Melbourne Demons at Blundstone Arena, on August 06, 2023, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images) | Steve Bell/Getty Images

It might be time for North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson to be shown the door.

Outsports has for years stood against this kind of career-ending “canceling.” People, including many men in male sports, have made mistakes. Outsports has worked with many of them to understand and correct those mistakes.

Yet Clarkson, as well as the rest of his colleagues and other people across sports coaching, must understand this kind of homophobia is unacceptable.

You cannot call opponents, including members of the media, a gay slur.

In men’s sports, these have a particular sting.

Thus enter North Melbourne coach Clarkson, who reportedly chose to use a particularly graphic gay slur against an opponent. He has already been investigated for other problematic comments.

This has been reportedly corroborated by various people.

Clarkson is clearly a tone-deaf idiot.

This kind of language, particularly for people like Clarkson, who is apparently 55 years old, may seem like nothing. Yet for today’s athletes, it is most clearly something.

A mistake. A poor choice of words. Outsports has for years sought to give people a second chance. We have routinely opposed coaches or others losing their ability to provide for their family because of a mistake.

And if they do continue to use gay slurs, they should lose your spot on the sideline.

Clarkson has, apparently, used slurs various times over the years.

And even in this instance, he defended it. His defense of his own use of slurs is clear as day:

“I was deeply disturbed seeing our captain Jy Simpkin forced from the field as a result of a heavy collision just before quarter time,” Clarkson told 9News. “This was an exchange that was emotional in defence of our captain, but unnecessary and the language I used was inappropriate.

If he had called an opponent the N-word, he would already be unemployed.

The question North Melbourne has to ask itself and its fans: How many times can someone use a gay slur and just keep going on like nothing happened?

At the very least, Clarkson has to be suspended. For multiple games. Anything less from the AFL demonstrates an acceptance of gay slurs.

Should he lose his job? Given the previous issues? That is up to the AFL and its fans to decide.

And if he is unemployed tomorrow, it’s his own fault.