Football (American) | Gay Slurs | Hawaii | News

Hawaii Coach Asks Media Not to Cover His 'Faggot' Slur, Apologizes

Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin repeatedly used an anti-gay slur at a media preview on Thursday and then attempted to persuade the media to not report on it, the Idaho Statesman reports:

Mcmackin "Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin said Thursday at the WAC media football preview that Notre Dame did 'this little faggot dance' at a banquet the night before last year’s Hawaii Bowl. McMackin used the term 'faggot' three times while explaining why Notre Dame was so fired up to play Hawaii in the game, which the Fighting Irish won 49-21. McMackin responded to the Notre Dame clapping tradition by having his players do the ha’a, an intense Polynesian dance and chant the Warriors do before games. McMackin said Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis got up at the banquet and told the crowd, 'We do something special at Notre Dame.' 'And they get up and they do this little cheer, like this,' McMackin said Thursday, doing a rhythmic clap. 'You know, this little faggot dance.' Once McMackin saw Notre Dame’s team demonstration, he gave his players the signal — the shaka — to do their ha’a."

McMackin apparently pleaded with the press not to report on the slur: "I want to officially, officially apologize...Please don’t write that statement I said as far as Notre Dame. The reason is, I don’t care about Notre Dame. But I’m not a — I don’t want to come out and have every homosexual ticked off at me. You know what I mean. Because I don’t have any problem with homosexuals. But I apologize for saying that and I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t run that word. If you said dance, that’s OK. But don’t use the bad term that I chose, please. Thank you."

The paper adds:

"Once it was clear that McMackin’s comments would be reported, he made another statement to the media. 'I would sincerely like to apologize for the inappropriate verbage, words that I used,' he said. '… I’m really ticked off at myself for saying that. I don’t have any prejudices and it really makes me mad that I even said that and I’m disappointed in myself. … What I was trying to do was be funny and it’s not funny and even more it isn’t funny to me. I was trying to make a joke and it was a bad choice of words and I really — I really, really — feel bad about it and I wanted to apologize. I’m going to apologize to my team. I’m going to apologize to the people in Hawaii.' A Notre Dame spokesman said the school likely would not comment."

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Comments

  1. He got carried away. His scrambling to retract and repair show me we're getting somewhere. I hope people can accept his apology and move on...

    Posted by: Chan | Jul 30, 2009 4:46:08 PM


  2. I call BULLSHIT.

    If the media wasn't there...

    Posted by: qjersey | Jul 30, 2009 4:55:35 PM


  3. Wow - that's alot of seemingly sincere contrition from a college football coach. Guess you have to be a little sensitive when you look so much like gay Vito from the Sopranos...

    Posted by: Kipp | Jul 30, 2009 4:57:40 PM


  4. You know if you use a word like faggot and fully understand that some people will get mad or hurt if you say it, you are bigoted to a degree. There isn't any way around it, clearly you are not committed to bigotry or hatred so why not just say that you have some prejudice? Say that you are working on it, say that it isn't who you are and you have an open mind.

    Apologies don't mean anything if they are not 100% free of deceit.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jul 30, 2009 5:03:10 PM


  5. You stay classy, Coach McMakin.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jul 30, 2009 5:07:35 PM


  6. Apology accepted but the media should report it as it is.. first report that he used the f-word and then report that he later apologized for using such a derogatory word or as they like to call it nowadays, "poorly chosen word". We demand the media to report the truth so there should be no exceptions.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Jul 30, 2009 5:08:40 PM


  7. Folks I am gay --- I slip and say things are "gay" and I have said "did you see that little faggot dance" about other things myself actually.

    Being holier than thou about such things is not the way to go.

    The way to go is to accept his apology and have a discussion with him.

    I am sure his employer will at this point.

    Straight Supremacy is always going to be with us as long as religions teach hatred toward gay people ... and people will continue to use the word gay and faggot because honestly they are not as bad as the N word and how it was used.

    Sorry ... true.

    Posted by: Willie | Jul 30, 2009 5:23:59 PM


  8. If he would have said the "N" word, he would most likely be out of a job at this moment regardless of apology, and the backlash would be immense. However, since he only used the "F" word to degrade homosexuals, it's okay...since he said 'sorry'. Talk about double standard.

    Posted by: Tay | Jul 30, 2009 5:27:47 PM


  9. I suggest that everyone contact the President's office at david.mcclain@hawaii.edu and
    mcclain@hawaii.edu.

    Imagine the pain that gay football players are forced through each day on his team and on his field. Imagine the amount of abuse and ridicule he allows to take place within his team -- the amount he himself perpetuates. If someone is willing to say something like this to the media, then you know that they use things like this in everyone day conversation to 'make jokes'. Please contact the President and tell him that this behavior will not be tolerated. M.R.C. Greenwood becomes the new President on the 1st of August. Please contact both of their offices, even though you won't be able to get to President Greenwood until then.

    Posted by: Curtis Atkisson | Jul 30, 2009 5:33:08 PM


  10. I guess I can forgive him....isn't that the point???? He made a mistake and then apologize right away....right?


    Now...can we move to health care reform???

    Posted by: Bosie | Jul 30, 2009 5:35:45 PM


  11. There is no such word as "verbage." It's "verbiage." How gay.

    Posted by: hill_w | Jul 30, 2009 5:35:55 PM


  12. I'd like to push the big red "FAIL" button.

    He doesn't make an convincing plea.

    Posted by: @Daniel_Baylis | Jul 30, 2009 5:36:17 PM


  13. "... and people will continue to use the word gay and faggot because honestly they are not as bad as the N word and how it was used."

    I dunno, they still seem pretty bad when they're being screamed at me while I'm getting harrassed by a bunch of homophobes.

    Posted by: Wes | Jul 30, 2009 5:36:50 PM


  14. It sounds like it just slipped out... just like words slip out of everyone every now and then. Nobody reading this site has ever let the wrong word slip out? Really? Never?
    It seems like this coach may really be sorry. He's not denying anything. It's not like he flung it as a hate word, ya know, like some blogging faggot we all know of did recently.

    He made a mistake. Again: Anyone here ever fuck up? How many readers have fucked up and then tried to deny it or turn it around to make it sound like it wasn't their fault. That it was justified? Never apologized?

    I say forgive him. It came out, and regardless of his reason, he apologized without being forced to.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Jul 30, 2009 5:38:32 PM


  15. Yeah, he screwed up. And yeah, he probably says things like that when the media isn't around. But I think his apology was one of the better ones. It wasn't "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" which implies that we're overly sensitive, and there's nothing inherently wrong with his comments. Even better was the fact that he thought Notre Dame wasn't the party that deserved the apology. He was very forthright about what was wrong with his comments, and that's kind of rare in these cases. I say cut him some slack; he's already shown he thought twice about it after said it. My guess is next time he'll think twice before he does.

    Posted by: CJS | Jul 30, 2009 5:46:48 PM


  16. If Coach McMackin has no problem with gays, and if this was just a poor choice of vulgarity, why did he has the U of Hawaii to change the team name to "Warriors" from "Rainbow Warriors" when he took over? The Rainbow Warrior is a sacred figure in native Hawaiian tradition, with no gay connotation, but I guess that was still too close for his comfort.

    Posted by: Clay | Jul 30, 2009 5:49:16 PM


  17. While I appreciate the immediate apology, think of the ridicule his players must suffer. Please find the text of the e-mail I sent to the President, followed by the text that I sent to the Coach. I would hope that everyone could take the time to copy and paste this text into an e-mail. The Coach's address is: mcmackin@hawaii.edu.

    Dear President,

    I am deeply disappointed at the recent of contact of the head football coach Greg McMackin. The words that he used are derogatory in any context and should be punished to the greatest extent possible. Imagine the pain that each and every one of his gay football players feels every day at the hands of Coach McMackin. Imagine the taunting that is tolerated, the abuse and ridicule that is allowed -- or even perpetuated, as shown recently -- by Coach McMackin. Derogatory comments are derogatory in any context, and they are never 'joke' material. If a person is willing to say this to a crowded room full of media, imagine the conduct of this coach behind doors. I know that your tenure effectively ends on Saturday, but this matter is of such extreme importance that it should be dealt with harshly and swiftly. I will also be notifying President Greenwood of my concerns. I look forward to a swift response to the disgusting behavior of Coach McMackin.

    Curtis Atkisson

    Coach McMackin,

    I am deeply disappointed and disgusted in your recent conduct. Using derogatory comments such as that should never be allowed -- let alone encouraged. Comments such as that are never 'joke' material, and it is offensive to think that they could ever be construed as such. I can only imagine that some willing to use language such as this in a room full of people -- not to mention the media -- is more than happy to use it in normal conversation with players and on the practice field. Imagine the pain and sufferring that you cause to each of your gay football players when you utilize language like this. Please consider the impact you have on their lives when you consider using words like this. Excellent athletes have committed suicide in the past due to the abuse sufferred at the hands of, and tolerated by, their coach. Please do not allow a situation like that to arise at Hawai'i. I would hope you can rise to your station. Please find the text of the e-mail that I sent to President McClain below. I will also be sending this to President Greenwood at the beginning of next week.

    (From above)

    I hope for the swiftest of responses and the strongest of apologies that consists of demonstrable actions, not just words. Please enjoy the rest of your day.

    Curtis Atkisson

    The subject line was 'Your recent conduct'.

    Please take 25 seconds out of your day to communicate how behavior such as this must not be tolerated!

    Posted by: Curtis Atkisson | Jul 30, 2009 5:49:24 PM


  18. He apologized immediately, made no excuses, and it was a real apology, not a "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" non-apology. So yea, I'm cool with that. I think he's learned from his mistake.

    Posted by: Dan E | Jul 30, 2009 5:49:29 PM


  19. It just slipped out... THREE TIMES.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Jul 30, 2009 5:52:46 PM


  20. Curtis: Should we write letters such as you suggest every time somebody fucks up? Seriously? I hear things just as bad in gay bars. I hear faggots being racists and ageist all the time. Without apologies. Words flung with the intent to hurt. Nasty queens who use words, againt their own, because they can fling them from across the room and then run.
    The coach got too excited and MADE A FUCKING MISTAKE... realized it and promptly apologized. He sounds like a man who may actually care. He might even have standards that he holds himself to.
    On the other hand... I suppose the Tom Cruise method will be next. Why don't you suggest the coach be SUED. Maybe if he were executed you'd be happy?
    I am being extreme? Maybe. I certainly think you're being extreme.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Jul 30, 2009 5:59:16 PM


  21. Well I kind of love this. Because it means that -- even though these people are homophobic, they are starting to learn slowly that it is not ok to say anti-gay slurs in public. Even if they are only holding back for their own sakes and not out of compassion, and even though they will grumble about political correctness and be mad, the fact is that it is becoming NOT OK. I give a lot of credit to the blogosphere for creating little shitstorms when necessary. It reminds me of when I was younger and people would complain, "Ya can't even say jigaboo in public anymore!" No, asshole, no, you can't.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Jul 30, 2009 6:03:11 PM


  22. I kinda forgive him. At least he recognized immediately that he screwed up. The apology was profuse and emphatic.
    Is he homophobic? Well, what football coach isn't? But at least they are learning they can't say it in public without getting in trouble.

    Posted by: Dan | Jul 30, 2009 6:08:37 PM


  23. Careful now, JIMMYD, your internalized homophobia is showing. tsk tsk.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Jul 30, 2009 6:08:46 PM


  24. It's great that he caught himself, in a sense. But it's awful that it happened in the first place. Why would such a word even come out of his mouth...three times? **Probably because he is used to using it.** And, the truth is, if he used the "n" word (even one time, much less three), he'd get fired; if he's not fired for this incident, why not?

    Curtis A. - I like your letter(s). Completely appropriate and well-written.

    Posted by: David | Jul 30, 2009 6:09:32 PM


  25. It beats the usual..."I'm sorry if YOU were offended" line, which basically translates to "you're a moron for being upset, and I'm sorry that you're a moron"

    At least this was a little more straight-forward. Basic apology accepted.

    Posted by: Gregus | Jul 30, 2009 6:12:10 PM


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