Monthly Archives: September 2017

NHL Athlete Offers The Worst Non-Apology For A Slur In Sports History

This article originally appeared on Outsports

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf answered questions from the media Saturday night, talking publicly for the first time about his use of a homophobic slur multiple timesduring Game 4 Thursday night.

Getzlaf did not apologize to anyone for his use of the slur, said it wasn?t a slur, and while tossing around the word ?responsibility? a couple times, clearly is not taking any.

?There were obviously some words said, not necessarily directed at anyone in particular, it was just kind of a comment. I?ve got to be a little more responsible with the words I choose. As a father, as somebody who takes a lot of pride in this game, it?s tough to see somebody refer to it as what TSN did. I didn?t mean it in that manner in any way, and for that to go that route was very disappointing for me. I accepted responsibility and I accepted it fine. We talked to the league and I understand it?s my responsibility to not use vulgar language, period, whether it?s a swear word or what it is. ?

?I hope I didn?t offend anybody outside the circle that we trust.?

Wow. In all our years of hearing non-apologies by athletes for their homophobic actions, this is the worst I can remember. He blames TSN for saying it?s a homophobic slur, passes it off as just another comment, passes off the offense people took from it and doesn?t apologize.

For all of that, the NHL said ?No problem, Ryan, you go ahead and play. We don?t suspend team captains for gay slurs.?
How people take responsibility for what they do can go a long way. Contrition, empathy, an apology, the words ?I?m sorry? ? All of these go a long way toward putting this in the past.

Getzlaf offered none of it. He?s not sorry. The only thing he sees having done wrong is being caught. And he isn?t going to give this another second of thought.

His response reinforces the need for a suspension that the league refuses to levy. There is no redemption here for Getzlaf, given his attitude. Even Andrew Shaw was contrite when he realized he had gotten caught.
Getzlaf doesn?t give a shit, so get the hell out of his locker room.

So what lessons did Getzlaf, the Ducks and other NHL players and teams have learned from this? According to Getzlaf?s comments:

1. Don?t get caught. The language is fine, but as long as no one hears it and no one can read your lips, no problem.

2. If you do get caught, no need to apologize. Just blame other people and throw around the word ?responsibility? a couple times. You?ll be fine.

3. As long as you didn?t mean it that way, you can just blame the media for labeling the gay slur a gay slur, and you?re off the hook.

4. Make sure you say you won?t say it again, but don?t really worry about it. Just make sure no cameras are around when you do.

5. Be nice on the call from the NHL and tell them you didn?t realize what you said was a slur. They won?t suspend you.

After all the work the NHL has done to demonstrate an LGBT-inclusive environment in the league, it just took a huge step backward and told the rest of the league it?s actually not serious about stopping the use of homophobic slurs on or off the ice.

Sorry folks, there?s no other way around this one.

For more from OutSports, check out these stories:

Gay English footballer has had no issue being out

Out gay Nationals staffer Steve Reed has died

Greg Clarke is wrong about gay acceptance in soccer

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With All Eyes On Trump, Texas May Soon Pass Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Laws

As the Texas legislative session comes to its final days, far-right religious zealots are benefiting from a national media focused like a laser beam on the widening crisis surrounding the Trump presidency.

Anti-LGBTQ Republican legislators in Texas ? who have the full backing of GOP Governor Greg Abbott ? are also now using a stealth strategy, adding discriminatory amendments to must-pass legislation pertaining to agencies regulating nurses, lawyers and pharmacists rather than pushing broad-based ?religious liberty? bills that garner a lot of attention. (Many of those kinds of bills ? an ?avalanche? of them this year, which I wrote about back in March ? were successfully beaten back by Democrats or look like they?re in trouble, including a trans ?bathroom? bill.)

The results of this under-the-radar approach, by the end of this session on May 29 (though there?s always the chance of an extension with a special session), may be laws which will allow medical professionals to deny care to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people and emergency contraception for rape survivors, while allowing pharmacists to deny birth control to women and hormone therapy to trans people. 

One sweeping bill that has received a fair amount of national media attention, HB 3859, would allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT, or even those who are Jewish, Muslim or atheist. It passed the Texas House and is now moving through the Senate, causing a great deal of concern because similar bills have been passed in other states, including in South Dakota this year. 

Getting less attention, however, are the insidious attempts to write discrimination into must-pass bills that have already been debated. An amendment added at the last minute to a nursing care bill, HB 2950, for example, would bar the Texas Board of Nursing from punishing discriminatory actions if they are committed in the service of a nurse?s ?religious beliefs.? According to the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), a watchdog and activist group, a nurse could ?cite his religious beliefs as a reason to refuse to care for a gay patient on the grounds that he believes homosexuality is a sin? or is against his faith. ?A nurse who believes that men are the head of the household,? the group also notes, ?could breach client confidentiality to disclose a woman?s medical condition to her husband against her wishes.?

One sweeping bill would allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT.

Under an amendment added to HB 2561, a pharmacy services regulatory bill, pharmacists could opt-out of the practices that are standard among pharmacists across the country, based on personal religious convictions. A pharmacist could decide not to fill a prescription for hormone therapy for a transgender customer, claiming doing so goes against his or her religious beliefs about gender. Or, in another example TFN offers, a ?pharmacist could use religion as a justification to refuse to serve African-American customers because she believes the Bible mandates the segregation of the races.?

And two bills that would regulate legal services, SB 302 and SB 303, now have amendments which allow for religious refusal by state-licensed attorneys. If these bills become law with these amendments an attorney could deny his or her duty to inform a client about his or her rights in a divorce proceeding, for example, even trying to talk the client out of getting a divorce, all based on the attorney?s religious objection to divorce. 

A pharmacist could decide not to fill a prescription for hormone therapy for a transgender customer, claiming doing so goes against his or her religious beliefs about gender.

It?s not difficult to imagine the far-reaching implications of these amendments and bills for LGBTQ people and many others if they become law. Yet, with so little attention on them, especially outside of Texas, a lot can happen under the radar very quickly. We?ve seen this many times before when draconian anti-LGBTQ laws were passed. With little media attention, Mississippi, in 2014, and Arkansas, in 2015, passed profoundly anti-LGBTQ laws, while equally heinous laws in Arizona, in 2014, and in Indiana in 2015, received a great deal of national attention and were softened or thwarted completely.

So, even in the the face of the tremendous danger of Donald Trump and his reckless presidency ? and the rightful focus on it by the national media ? we must sound the alarm, as loudly as we can, about what?s happening in Texas in the last days of the current legislative session. 

 Follow Michelangelo Signorile on Twitter:  

 

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With All Eyes On Trump, Texas May Soon Pass Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Laws

As the Texas legislative session comes to its final days, far-right religious zealots are benefiting from a national media focused like a laser beam on the widening crisis surrounding the Trump presidency.

Anti-LGBTQ Republican legislators in Texas ? who have the full backing of GOP Governor Greg Abbott ? are also now using a stealth strategy, adding discriminatory amendments to must-pass legislation pertaining to agencies regulating nurses, lawyers and pharmacists rather than pushing broad-based ?religious liberty? bills that garner a lot of attention. (Many of those kinds of bills ? an ?avalanche? of them this year, which I wrote about back in March ? were successfully beaten back by Democrats or look like they?re in trouble, including a trans ?bathroom? bill.)

The results of this under-the-radar approach, by the end of this session on May 29 (though there?s always the chance of an extension with a special session), may be laws which will allow medical professionals to deny care to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people and emergency contraception for rape survivors, while allowing pharmacists to deny birth control to women and hormone therapy to trans people. 

One sweeping bill that has received a fair amount of national media attention, HB 3859, would allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT, or even those who are Jewish, Muslim or atheist. It passed the Texas House and is now moving through the Senate, causing a great deal of concern because similar bills have been passed in other states, including in South Dakota this year. 

Getting less attention, however, are the insidious attempts to write discrimination into must-pass bills that have already been debated. An amendment added at the last minute to a nursing care bill, HB 2950, for example, would bar the Texas Board of Nursing from punishing discriminatory actions if they are committed in the service of a nurse?s ?religious beliefs.? According to the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), a watchdog and activist group, a nurse could ?cite his religious beliefs as a reason to refuse to care for a gay patient on the grounds that he believes homosexuality is a sin? or is against his faith. ?A nurse who believes that men are the head of the household,? the group also notes, ?could breach client confidentiality to disclose a woman?s medical condition to her husband against her wishes.?

One sweeping bill would allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT.

Under an amendment added to HB 2561, pharmacists could opt-out of the practices that are standard among pharmacists across the country, based on personal religious convictions. A pharmacist could decide not to fill a prescription for hormone therapy for a transgender customer, claiming doing so goes against his or her religious beliefs about gender. Or, in another example TFN offers, a ?pharmacist could use religion as a justification to refuse to serve African-American customers because she believes the Bible mandates the segregation of the races.?

And two bills that would regulate legal services, SB 302 and SB 303, now have amendments which allow for religious refusal by state-licensed attorneys. If these bills become law with these amendments, an attorney could deny his or her duty to inform a client about his or her rights in a divorce proceeding, for example, even trying to talk the client out of getting a divorce, all based on the attorney?s religious objection to divorce. 

A pharmacist could decide not to fill a prescription for hormone therapy for a transgender customer, claiming doing so goes against his or her religious beliefs about gender.

It?s not difficult to imagine the far-reaching implications of these amendments and bills for LGBTQ people and many others if they become law. Yet, with so little attention on them, especially outside of Texas, a lot can happen under the radar very quickly. We?ve seen this many times before when draconian anti-LGBTQ laws were passed. With little media attention, Mississippi, in 2014, and Arkansas, in 2015, passed profoundly anti-LGBTQ laws, while equally heinous laws in Arizona, in 2014, and in Indiana in 2015, received a great deal of national attention and were thwarted.

So, even in the the face of the tremendous danger of Donald Trump and his reckless presidency ? and the rightful focus on it by the national media ? we must sound the alarm, as loudly as we can, about what?s happening in Texas in the last days of the current legislative session. 

 

 

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