I feel the need to blog about the UpTown Sports versus Sean Avery twitter fiasco that is out there. I will try to keep it brief and concise but unfortunately it may be hard. I am not gay but some of my dearest friends are. And civil rights - particularly the denial of them - really makes me emotional.
It's Not About What He Said
Todd Renoylds of Uptown Sports has the right to an opinion - even a bigoted one (we'll get to that later). The issue is not that he spoke his mind. It's that he spoke it from his company's official twitter account instead of a personal account. By tweeting his personal views on gay marriage on a business account - and not apologizing or removing it but instead defending it - he made it his company's stance on gay marriage. It is now a belief that Uptown Sports has made part of it's company's vision and corporate guidelines - at least the public should see it that way. Techinically now they should not hire or work with anyone who believes in gay marriage, as it goes against company policy. To me - and a lot of other sports fans out there judging by online responses - any athlete who stays with a company that makes Anti-Gay marriage views part of their corporate beliefs, is now also saying that they too share that opinion or belief. It's a pretty significant blunder by Uptown Sports. One that reflects 100% on their clients.
Damian Goddard - same difference.
By tweeting his support and his 'God Bless you' on a twitter account with a picture of him at the SportsNet Connected desk and a reference to the company in his bio, he made his employer part of his bigoted opinion and his regilious views. Rogers SportsNet quickly issued a tweet saying Goddard's bigotry does not reflect the views of the company however if he still sits behind that desk tomorrow Sportsnet is saying: We don't agree with him but we don't care that he is a bigot - and the general public thinks he is a bigot - we'll pay him to represent us anyway. THAT would be very bad business/PR. And seriously Rogers Sportsnet, there are a million sports journalists who are better than him. He would not be missed.
Speaking Out About Intolerance is Not Intolerant
There is a significant backlash to Todd Renoylds and Uptown Sports' anti-gay marriage stance. Sure there are some supporters, but the majority of people have called his comment hateful and bigoted. What angers me is the people who then call the act of speaking out against intolerance intolerant. DB posted in the comments over at Puck Daddy the following insight: I find it ironic that the people who call out most for "tolerance" are the most INTOLERANT when someone else has a different opinion and belief!
Todd Renyolds is saying is that an entire group of people do not deserve the same legal rights as he does. That's not just an opinion that is bigotry and it needs to be spoken out against. Speaking out against Todd Renoylds' intolerance is NOT being intolerant.
Dear DB (and other intolerant, intolerance flag wavers) it's as simple as this: The fact is the basic ideology of what Todd Renoylds tweeted about gay marriage is the EXACT same thing as if he tweeted that black people should not be allowed to marry or people with a full of head of hair (aka people different from him) should be allowed to marry.
Renoylds is NOT speaking out against intolerance - he is being intolerant. Gay people having the right to marry doesn't take away from my right as a straight women - or his right as a bald, social media moron - to get married. Giving a group of people the right to sit at the front of the bus does NOT take away another groups right to sit at the front of the bus. Get it?
We're all Bigots, Technically
The dictionary definition of bigotry is the following: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
The dictionary definition of a bigot is: a person who is intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.
Since the word intolerant is pooping up a lot, the dictionary definition of it: not tolerating or respecting beliefs, opinions, usages, manners, etc., different from one's own, as in political or religious matters; bigoted.
Todd Renyolds does not believe a gays should be allowed to marry and is intolerant to the idea. That makes him a bigot. I am intolerant to the idea that gays are not given the right to marry. Maybe that makes me a bigot too. But as I'm concerned if you are the kind of bigot that doesn't believe that one group of humans has the right to take away or diminish the rights of another group of humans you are the right kind of bigot. Todd Renoylds is not the right kind of bigot.
A Man + a Women Does Not = Sanctity
Tood Renyolds defended his original tweet with this one: But I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I Do not hate anyone.
Let's pretend that the 52% divorce rate in North America isn't reason enough to laugh at his tweet. Let's add a sports twist to this - Tiger Woods. He married a woman - and cheated on her with over 12 women. Does Todd Renyolds truly believe that Tiger did less damage to the "sanctity of marriage" than Doogie Howser would if he married his male partner David Burtka? Please Uptown Sports explain to me how letting Ellen Degeneres marry Portia De Rossi is destroying the sanctity of marriage more than Martin Brodeur leaving his wife for her brother's wife. (Seriously). Danny Briere got divorced but I guess Todd Renoylds thinks because he married a woman it makes the divorce less painful or less tarnishing on the "sanctity' of the institution? Hardly.
Furthermore the word "sanctity" implies there is some sort of holy or religious involvement in a marriage and there no longer legally has to be. Marriages certificates are issued by the STATE you get married in (or the province) not the church you get married in. Also, you don't need a clergyman's signature, a judge will do just fine. The only way Todd Renyolds can claim to believe or want to perserve the "sanctity" is if he tweets he doesn't think gay people should be allowed to get married in a church. Then he could claim to believe in the "sanctity" of the church wedding.
But to tweet they simply can't get married means Todd Renoylds thinks gay people shouldn't be allowed civil rights. You might as well put a pilowcase over your head, Mr. Renoylds - a rainbow one, but a pillowcase just the same.