Alabama High School Students Hoist Homophobic Banner During Nationally Televised Football Game


An Alabama state title high school football team between Daphne and Spanish Fort was televised on ESPN over the weekend, as was a banner hoisted up by Spanish Fort students to mock the other team's colors:

"Purple? Man, that's gay."

Another banner mocked the fact that Daphne is a "girl's name".

Baldwin County Schools Spokesman Terry Wilhite told local news station WPMI:

"It was a gimmick to get national attention, and they were successful at that. What they wont be successful at is doing it again. After the game, the students were spoken to. And then back when school resumed the students were again spoken to by the principal and he, believe me, will carry out a disciplinary action."


  1. Butch says

    One of the kids from the school somehow found his (her? the posts are anonymous)way onto Outsports to try to defend the school. The explanations offered are pathetic.

  2. james says

    Well, Spanish Fort is an illegal immigrant name, so there! And red — that’s a SATAN color, so there! You Spanish Fort people are just a bunch of evil, demon-possessed illegals! I’m surprised Pat Robertson hasn’t commented on you yet.

    (This is all snark and satire.)

  3. mike8787 says

    I’m sure there will be heavy ramifications for these kids in the state that fought back so hard against racial equality that their voter redistricting plans must still be checked by Congress, having made such great efforts to disenfranchise minorities…

  4. ratbastard says

    What does the fact girl[s] were holding up the sign and going along with it have to do with anything? Girls are supposed to be better than boys? Les prone to obnoxious behavior? This is a joke, right? If anything, girls are even more obnoxious than boys.

  5. TampaZeke says

    …or LSU game!

    And these kids will swear up and down that “GAY” doesn’t mean “homosexual” and that the fact that they printed GAY in PINK was just a coincidence!

  6. Jim says

    I live in Mobile. I had sit for Federal jury duty earlier this week. It was a case of a sexual nature. When we were asked if anyone believed that homosexuality was a choice almost half the group stood; everyone else on my row, the whole row in front of me, and at least those sitting directly behind me because I could feel the quickness of them getting to their feet. On the next question ( . . . did anyone, because of religious or moral beliefs, feel that two adults of the same sex should not have a relationship?) even more of them stood. And as horrified as I was to be sitting surrounded by these people who were proud in their hatred and bigotry, I was even more horrified when the jury was chosen; more than half of the jury was made of people who stood for those two questions. And now this.

  7. Francis says

    It’s actually borderline hilarious to me, in the sense that these students are so immature and basically stupid enough to not realize that not only is the banner unoriginal and unfunny, but that most people would find offense to it and it would harm the school’s reputation. And the defenders of this school just reinforce what so many people think of the state of Alabama and it’s citizens. Which in itself is unfair because not all Alabama citizens are this ignorant. But come on. We saw this as said above, with LSU and the hey homeauxs shirt and as well with the Alabama fan who teabagged the passed out LSU fan after a football game. This is truly part of the culture in this state and most areas in this region. I guess I’m jaded to the ignorance we constantly see from the South.

    With all of this being said, there are LGBT kids/adults in Alabama and that is why this is an issue. I would write the state off but we can’t do that. We cannot leave Alabama gays in the cold. It’s hard enough living as gay in the state so we do need to do our part to take a stand for them.

  8. Jackson says

    I live in Daphne. It’s a nice town for the most part. The kids were wrong to do that. I’m not surprised at their behavior, though. Kids are stupid. Kids in my home state moreso than many. I do think something that hasn’t been brought up in this discussion is worth mentioning. Why did ESPN air their poster? ABC/Disney (which owns ESPN) has a long history of being pro-LGBT at this point. ESPN is fanatical about which posters are allowed to be seen on their College Gameday show. They tape delay to filter out language easily enough. It’s not like they don’t have people watching for offensive behavior. It would seem obvious that they should be more careful about what is shown on their programming. Have I missed the apology from them for airing that?

  9. Francis says

    Banner wasn’t really aired by ESPN. It was put it but then ESPN panned away from it like after 4 seconds. I don’t blame ESPN, which in my eyes has for the most part shown itself to be very much gay-accepting, for the actions of idiots in Alabama.

  10. KT says

    While I think what these kids did was ignorant, let’s not pretend this is behavior limited to the South. I could totally see kids at my High School Alma Mater doing the same thing – and I went to high school in central NJ. Unfortunatley, most of the kids (and their parents too) probably do not actually understand why the banner is offensive.

  11. Francis says

    I agree, KT, but I actually don’t think most kids countrywide would do something like this. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t kids in every state that wouldn’t and parents that think it’s funny, but this is too blatantly offensive and basically too stupid to dismiss for a lot of people.

    I do agree, though, that I have seen enough people defending this act to realize that there are a lot of people who just don’t realize/care about the offensive of this. Sad.

  12. Rick says

    It may be Alabama, but you people are kidding yourselves if you don’t acknowledge that “That’s so gay” is universally used by the younger generation all over the country to connote anything that is not cool. I can assure you that “That’s gay” did not originate in the South, any more than most pop culture trends do, but rather on the East and West coasts.

    And THIS is the generation that all of you have been touting as the one that will be truly different, having been properly educated and having shed the homophobia of their parents and, especially, their grandparents (After all, that’s what the opinion polls say, right?

    This just underscores what a total failue the gay movement has been in terms of actually changing the culture (which is all that really matters in the end) as opposed to changing attitudes about “rights”.

    Acknowledging that a group of people should not be denied basic rights does not mean that they are socially accepted……and I am afraid that some of you are mistaking the former for the latter.

    As I have said before, the only REAL solution to homophobia is for the male culture to be changed fundamentally, which will entail doing away with the notion that women belong at the center of men’s social universes…….will entail straight men freeing themselves from dependence on women sexually, socially, emotionally, and otherwise…..and will entail gay men deciding to actually be men and give up the culture of effeminacy that is a product of oppression.

    Until that happens, you are all going to be severely disappointed in how little actually changes over the coming years and decades, regardless of how many laws might be passed.

  13. Rick says

    “I would write the state off but we can’t do that.”

    Don’t you live in Richmond, Virginia, Francis? Since when is Richmond some kind of bastion of enlightenment and progressiveness?

    Did I miss something? (I don’t think I did.)

  14. DAN says

    @JASON: complaining about a homophobic banner by taking a swipe at developmentally challenged people and then saying we should hit women. Priceless.

    Once again Jason, please turn in your gay card as you are an embarassemnt to gay people everywhere!

  15. Rick says

    “complaining about a homophobic banner by taking a swipe at developmentally challenged people and then saying we should hit women”

    If you don’t think there is anything wrong with hitting a man under certain circumstances, then why would you think there is anything wrong with hitting a woman? “Sexist” double standard? Or does a double standard only constitute “sexism” when the double standard does NOT accrue to the benefit of females?

  16. sosadaboutewan says

    Jason you object, quite rightly, to the homophobic behaviour of these students but happily you use the word ‘retard’ and boast about wanting to hit the women holding the banner (not the men, eh? Afraid they’ll hit you back?)

    FYI using the word ‘retard’ to put-down those students is as bad as using the word ‘gay’to put-down homosexual students, dud!

    Get help for your anger issues about women before some poor girl suffers for your wilful immaturity.

  17. Mary says

    These students need to be punished, yes. Or at least reprimanded. I’m glad the principal took action. But they also need to learn a little more about the gay community so they can develop some empathy. I’m guessing that they are probably just being kids trying to get attention rather than genuine homophobes. Why doesn’t someone invite them to read Towleroad on a regular basis.

    .,,,,,,and yes, I’m serious.

  18. Derrick from Philly says


    You’ll be talking that same sh.t until they haul your azz off to the old folks’ home.

    And as far as being “socially accepted”–you know good and well you don’t have to be socially acceptable to straight guys just to suck their dicks. You and I remember those days, child.

    You remember back in the day when you were wearing all that mascara, fishnet stockings, and had on your red wig. And I had on my skin tight Daisy Dukes, and my platinum blonde Afro.

    But we’re too old for that stuff now. You have to face it, gurl, you’re old.

    Take my advice: go out and get you a couple of toys (big thick black ones to remind you of the old days)… and stop talking all this sh.t about straight guys accepting you socially. They don’t want your fifty-four year old azz now. I had to face it, and so must you, dearie.

    You got old, and now you’re trying to hide your past by talking all that masculinity crap every time you put your dentures in so you can speak.

    You’ll just have to be satisfied with remembering the good old days, Miss Rickie….

    Toot toot, hey, beep beep
    Toot toot, hey, beep beep
    Bad girls…talkin’ ’bout the bad girls
    See them out on the streets at night….

  19. Lee says

    Look they are going to be punished and it was like they were yelling anti gay slurs like fag or dyke will it was stupid and immature we need to focus on the important stuff and let the school deal with them which it seams they are doing.

  20. Francis says

    Yes, Rick, I live in Richmond. And like I said, I would write off backwards states but we can’t do that, and that includes Virginia. Although Richmond is not as backwards as most of the rest of the state nor Alabama.

    I actually agree with Mary to a certain extent. What these kids need most is to be educated as to why what they did was wrong so they can understand the offensiveness of their banner. But given the trolls on this site, I don’t think towleroad is the place to do it.

  21. Ike says

    I’m reminded of this quote, from The Cement Garden: “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots, because it’s okay to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading.”

  22. andrew says

    “Purple? Man, that’s gay”. That doesn’t reach the level of what I call homophobia. “HOIST HOMOPHOBIC BANNER” Give me a f*ckin break. Its teenage behavior at a football game. Too many of you are looking for hurt and insult where none exists. Get the chips off you shoulders and act like adults.

  23. MaddM@ says

    It is a homophobic banner. It’s not exactly what I was expecting and not as bad as I was expecting but seriously it’s 2012, the south lost, read a book and get some culture outside of the nascar… route/track or whatever the hell it is. People’s pride in their ignorance will destroy this country.

  24. says

    We need to not be so accepting of using gay as a pejorative. The saying “thats so gay” directly insults gay children who overhear it. We should all do our part to correct people when they use that phrase. Luckily, it’s become farrr less acceptable to use it, and most educated people don’t say it.

  25. andrew says

    Many of the people who post on this site are experts in making mountains out of mole hills. Just the other day, I told a straight co-worker of mine, who knows that I am gay, who had a bright pink shirt on with light blue pants that it was the gayest outfit I had ever seen. It was a joke. We both laughed. Some of you would have started WW III over it.

  26. Kyle says

    Thats because you’re a minority male with a machismo attitude based on your cultural upbringing. you view being fem and gay or any similar fem traits as bad because of your ghetoo upbringing. face it, if it werent for your love of diick, you’d probably be a violent homophobe, much like your relatives who raised you. Truth hurts

  27. says

    Only reason you made that joke was to fit in with a hetero. Apologist like you will take every opportunity to bash, belittle and make jokes about gays and being gay toward heteros to make yourself seem less gay, more hip, and as a result be more accepted. It’s an insecurity complex you have which also stemms from internalized homophobia. It’s clear to the rest of us, but sadly, until you recognize it, you’ll continue looking desperate to heteros, a sell out to gays, and trying too hard to everyone.

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