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White Sox Player Gordon Beckham Apologizes For 'Gay' Joke

GordonBeckham White Sox player Gordon Beckham and Kansas City Royals' Chris Getz are good friends.

So when the teams faced off last Monday, Beckham wanted to leave Getz a message in the diamond's dirt, and wrote, without thinking of the implications, "Getz Is Gay." Now he's sorry.

“Chris is one of my best friends. It was a joke. I didn’t know anybody could see [the dirt]. I didn’t mean anything, you know?" Beckham told the Sun-Times.

He later tracked down the reporter again to reiterate his contrition: "I just want you to know that that’s not me. I don’t use slurs. I have a lot of gay friends. I didn’t mean it as anything ­— you know, like gay as in ... happy! Or, you know, an alliteration — ‘Getz is gay.'"

As Beckham deals with the personal backlash, White Sox general manager Ken Williams made clear that he's "disappointed" in the 24-year old player's behavior.

“I’m disappointed. I know Gordon, the man, and I can’t think less of him because I do know him. And I know he and Getz are friends," said Williams. “But I’m just disappointed... There just needs to be a greater awareness of when you’re in the public eye. Something between two friends meant as a joke? Well, you’re representing not just yourself, but your team, your sport, your family."

Williams continued, "The organization didn’t do it. He did it. He should apologize for making us less than what we stand for.’’

The baseball bigwig also pointed out that Beckham should have known better, because Kobe Bryant was just fined $100,000 for calling a referee a "fag," and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was criticized for using the same slur in 2006.

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Comments

  1. Oh, I see the Gay Nazis are out again, tracking down every use of the word "gay" as an adjective and (eventually) demanding apologies. Insinuating there will be a "backlash".

    We gay men have to stop using the words queer and queen, too. They are hate words. In fact, we have dozens of hate words we can jettison if this is a two-way street.

    Posted by: will | Jul 9, 2011 3:17:20 PM


  2. I don't think this is really that big of a deal, but I think the lesson is that you have to act mature when you're in the public eye. I believe he didn't mean anything negative by it, and I believe he probably does have gay friends, but he should have known better. I think it was just immaturity rather than homophobia.

    Posted by: Matthew | Jul 9, 2011 3:31:48 PM


  3. Not getting this one at all. He didn't even use the F word, just the G word. And he wasn't using the G word as in lame, he was using it as intended, as in he likes to sleep with men. It wasn't funny, it was pretty high school, but I can't see how anyone could take offence at this. His explanation afterwards was bizarre, though.

    Posted by: Brian | Jul 9, 2011 3:36:06 PM


  4. Will,

    Wow are you really that clueless? The context of how a word is used is the issue here. You just don't get it do you?

    Posted by: Really! | Jul 9, 2011 3:39:35 PM


  5. Yeah, I agree with Brian. He said that his friend was gay. Big deal. That's like someone saying Samuel L. Jackson is black.

    Posted by: MLH | Jul 9, 2011 3:42:02 PM


  6. He's a liar. When he made his remark he did not mean to imply the guy was "happy". Does he honestly think anyone is going to buy his lame backtracking explanation.

    Posted by: Paul | Jul 9, 2011 3:48:29 PM


  7. REALLY!: You are so gay.

    It's obvious that this ballplayer had no ill-will or mean-spiritness with the remark (and nothing directed at actual gay men). I was out with a (gay) friend a couple days ago and he said my choice of shorts and shirt were "so retarded". Is this a slam against the mentally-challenged?

    I just think we are over-doing the publicizing of the "so gay" thing. At the very least we can wait until there is some mean-spirited intent.

    Posted by: will | Jul 9, 2011 3:49:10 PM


  8. the thing with all of these 'slips of the tongue' going on is that it is mostly by younger people who have grown up during this entire equality battle; i also see it as a lack of maturity as one other commenter said; but the issue Beckham has to really learn is that he IS in the public eye and people are watching closer than before AND he represents not just a public team but has become a role model;

    my nephew has used 'gay' in front of my in the past and his mother looses it, but i don't see it as derogatory as much as meaning anything more than 'weird' because he is usually commenting on something that is just that;

    i mean, you can only be so PC...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jul 9, 2011 3:49:34 PM


  9. @will
    Seriously ass wipe. Using the word retarded IS a slam against mentally challenged people. It's completely offensive. Just STFU already and stop embarrassing yourself.

    Posted by: Aaron | Jul 9, 2011 3:56:19 PM


  10. @MLH
    "Yeah, I agree with Brian. He said that his friend was gay. Big deal. That's like someone saying Samuel L. Jackson is black."

    Except Samuel L. Jackson IS black and his friend is NOT gay, therefore, the context is either to embarrass his friend or put him down, which implies that if you are gay you are somehow less than a real man and therefore can be used to belittle other men by saying they are like you, gay.

    This was obviously meant to ridicule the friend and people who are public figures and role models need to be diplomatic when in public because their words and actions influence people.

    Posted by: truthteller | Jul 9, 2011 4:08:00 PM


  11. If you take Gordon at his word that he didn't mean anything by taking the time to write it in the dirt, then why did he do it? I can see no "positive" reason to do it. Was Chris Getz supposed to say "oh, thank you" after reading it? At least Gordon initialed it.

    Posted by: Martin Pal | Jul 9, 2011 4:19:26 PM


  12. It's not appropriate. He needs education in diversity and equality. Maybe he's not homophobic, but he made a homophobic slur. He needs to understand why that's not OK- he olbviously has no understanding of that.

    Posted by: Devin Gray | Jul 9, 2011 4:20:06 PM


  13. I SEE EVERYONE IS SAYING IT OK HE SAID THIS...NOW IF HE WERE A BLACK RAPPER/ATHLETE/COMMON PERSON/BAGGER....WE WOULD HAVE OVER 60 MESSAGES CALLING FOR HIS DAMN HEAD! YOU GUYS SUCK....AND PLAY BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE TO MUCH!

    Posted by: Shannon | Jul 9, 2011 4:33:31 PM


  14. It's not a tremendous situation, and Gordon does seem upset and contrite, the reaction from the White Sox has been positive. But, here is the problem with this situation and all of these incidents of athletes using gay slurs. All of these incidents show that there is still a mental connection of gay to negativity. Gay=bad. And THAT is why it's a big deal and that is why people need to be called out on it.

    Things are improving for our community. But if we want to see further improvement, we need to make it known that we won't stand for homophobia, whether intentional nor not, whether it's passive or blatant. These incidents are putting the message out there loud and clear---it's not OK to "gay" as a means to offend. And as that message is being heard, things will continue to improve for us. It's all about educating the public on why it's unacceptable to use "gay" in this fashion, and taking down the gay=negative connection.

    Posted by: Francis | Jul 9, 2011 4:35:16 PM


  15. Shannon

    No need for capital letters BUT this is Towleroad or Queerty or JMG. White gay blogs that work to fit their demographic.

    You can't change that because it is what it is.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jul 9, 2011 5:02:44 PM


  16. Note how all these homophobic people end up issuing an apologetic statement with the words "I have gay friends". It's as if having gay friends - whether it's true or not - immunizes them from charges of homophobia.

    LOL. I've lost count of how many times I've seen "I've got gay friends" in an apology. I think they just make it up. Note how none of them actually want to concede to being gay themselves.

    Posted by: adam | Jul 9, 2011 6:18:18 PM


  17. It's so clear when you read ALL of these responses to these incidents that these people JUST DON'T GET IT. They have no clue what the problem is.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 9, 2011 7:41:04 PM


  18. i think he meant it as a playful jibe at his friend. he probably does have gay friends, colleagues, etc and is not homophobic but did use the word in a negative, joking context. the wrongness is he did it during a game (if i read the info correctly) so it was in public.

    i also agree with the statement that we ourselves would be better off if we didnt use words ...gay, fag, queer, queen, dyke, lesbo... in a negative sense either even when referring to each other in a jokingly, playful manner.

    which means any 'jokingly' negative term would have to be deleted ... so not sure what the answer is because i see it as a judgement call as to the manner of useage.... pick your battles and think before you say anything whether in public or private.. character is character not only when being seen by others...

    Posted by: chris | Jul 9, 2011 11:34:49 PM


  19. I am guessing that Will is not actually gay, and instead is a disingenuous astroturfer, possibly even seeking to attempt damage control for personal reasons.

    It seems quite obvious to me that "gay" in "Getz is gay" was intended as an insult, and something negative. No brainer.

    Posted by: not impressed | Jul 9, 2011 11:57:14 PM


  20. You always have to consider the source. In the 1950's, I quit high school because I had "those-kinds-of-tendencies", and it was taboo to just know someone who was queer,or actually be a homosexual. Back then that is what we were were called "queers!". Today, so many gay organizations call themselves queer. Believe me, I do not like the word because I think of the way it was when that word hurt me and others. However times change. The problem is simply over reacting to every drop of a hairpin. It's like a black person who used the "N" word. I am sure there are many blacks who are still offended, no matter who uses them, just as I am with the word "queer". It's the 21st century... maybe it's time to create a better word to describe us... like natural!

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Jul 10, 2011 7:06:04 AM


  21. Another overpaid juvenile knucklehead has to learn the hard way.

    But not so long ago, his coach would have shrugged it off. Now he expresses disappointment, and the knucklehead runs after reporters to apologize and invent excuses. That's progress, in a way.

    Posted by: wimsy | Jul 10, 2011 12:13:57 PM


  22. Beckham said he has lots of gay friends. If that's true, they need to tell him how it made them feel to see him use "gay" to insult his friend.

    Even a joking insult is an insult and it shows us what they really think of us gay people.

    Posted by: Hephaestion | Jul 10, 2011 5:12:12 PM


  23. Has anyone thought about what if Gordon Beckham left a message, "without thinking of the implications", in the diamond dirt to his friend that stated: "Getz is a Jew" ?

    Obviously, if Getz was Jewish that would seem an obvious and an odd thing to bring up out of context and for no good reason. On the other hand, if Getz was not Jewish then that message would seem to infer a negative stereotype some ignorant people might associate with Jewish people without actually spelling out what that stereotype is.

    No, there is nothing benign about bigotry -- overt, covert, intentional or implied; as humor or as rhetoric -- all it does is demean and belittle, and it continues to perpetuate anti-social behavior as acceptable public discourse.

    Time to end it, and set a higher standard of acceptable behavior.


    Posted by: Rainfish | Jul 11, 2011 8:17:29 AM


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