1. Derrick from Philly says

    Shaq has an inferiority complex. He doesn’t think that gay guys are attracted to him, and that bothers a lot of straight guys…you know, the ones that just don’t have that “something extra”.

    Cheer up, Shaq, every big jock can’t be a Michael Strayhan,

  2. Statouder says

    Funny comment about the inferiority complx of straight guys who dont arouse gay dudes. I remember when 20 years ago, one guy was SO disappointed – it was after 5 beers – that I wasn’t going after him. Especially because I had banged 4 of his friends over the past year: and he kind of knew about it and was jealous! That was so funny!

  3. Andalusian Dog says

    I can understand why this ad is mildly offensive and how it underscores how idiotic the fear “straight” men have of the potential expression of love/eros between himself and another man, or of being perceived as “effeminate” (fist kiss, instead of fist bump). Personally it is more troubling for a major cable network to capitalize on these fears. Such moves by companies reinforce wrong-headed social perceptions of masculinity and femininity, ultimately legitimizing and regulating how people should act based on their gender identity and combining this with sexual orientation to prescribe correct and incorrect ways to express one’s gender identity based on whom one prefers to have sex with.

    All that being said, I wouldn’t necessarily call this ad “homophobic.” There has to be a better word. By calling it homophobic, we are assuming that the characters in the ad are either expressing fear of or hatred toward gay people or gay sex. To me, it seems that they were critiquing, and registering their disapproval of, the “subversion” gender “norms,” i.e., two dudes shouldn’t engage in fist kissing. By calling this ad homophobic, ee are assuming that the characters here have taken the mental leap of yoking the American masculine gender norm to the social expression of being gay, and perhaps to sex acts between men.

    However (and here I’m halfway speculating, and halfway making a joke), I am not convinced that after a few beers and advances by a masculine pal/teammate, in which the prospect of a sex act is not expressed in terms of something phonetically wilty (and thus interpreted as effeminate) like a “fist kiss,” with all its threatening s’s — but maybe something more like “y’e’er been curious ’bout messin’ around with another dude?” — that Shaq, either the character in the ad or the former basketball star in real life — would not take him up on his offer.

    The point is that this seems more like a fear of effeminacy and less a fear about a potential act of man-on-man love. It’s not about the gay sex act, it’s about how the proposition for it is expressed.

    We should consider carefully which words we use to describe the array of neurotic fears that people have when it comes to gender norms and non-heterosexual sexual identity, not as a way to apologize for the sheer idiocy of these fears and their being played upon by multi-billion dollar corporations like ESPN, but as a way to identify more precisely how such social problems affect our community.

  4. Jane says

    I suspect that this ad was actually intended to satirize and exploit the nonsense that surrounded the Obamas’ “fist bump;” particularly in light of the fact that a Fox news anchor recently referred to what the Obamas did as “fisting.” Though, of course that doesn’t mean that the other points that have been made aren’t true as well.

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