Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stupid, unfounded Homophobia: Kentucky Basketball Fans Outraged Over Photo of Players' Embrace

From The Official Queen of Shade:

If a photo says a thousand words, apparently this seemingly innocent photo of two University of Louisville basketball players embracing has produced thousands of words spewing gay panic.

Hundreds of irate readers have contacted the Louisville Courier-Journal after the publication of the image. It shows Cardinals players Jerry Smith hugging Juan Palacios in the first half of their game against the University of Louisville after a big, emotional play. One reader accused the legendary conservative newspaper of "pushing the homosexual agenda."

Louisville Courier-Journal public editor Pam Platt explains. "Some of the comments registered by angry, offended and/or baffled readers: 'Awful,' 'an embarrassment,' 'horrible decision,' 'poor judgment,' 'distasteful,' 'a mystery' and 'shame on you.' " Then, she nails it: "What is it about two athletes sharing a moment of physical and emotional closeness in the middle of a big game, in the middle of a basketball court, that puts some people off so much?"

Sports fans should be used to witnessing these moments and photos of athletes bonding and it's just beyond the pale that so many (presumably very! straight!) readers would read gay subtext into an innocent sports photo. Platt makes an interesting argument that content is a Rorschach test and people bring "their own ideas and baggage to what they see and read—or what they don't see and don't read into words and images." Or, perhaps, what they would like to see.


Anonymous said...

I don't thing it looks like the are kissing, it looks like Smith is shouting in Juan's ear.

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