Seattle Seahawks Refuse to Denounce Player’s Anti-Gay Remarks

Last week Seattle Seahawks defensive end Christopher Clemons tweeted his displeasure that an NFL player might come out of the closet, calling it "a selfish act" that will "separate a lockerroom and divide a team".

ClemonsWrote Clemons:

Who on Gods earth is this person saying he's coming out of the closet in the NFL? … If you didn't do it when you were in high school or college then why wait til your in the NFL? Whoever he is he didn't just start … I'm not one to judge anyone because that's there personal preference. … it doesn't matter how good they are. That will immediately separate a lockerroom and divide a team … I'm not against anyone but I think it's a selfish act. They just trying to make themselves bigger than the team.

The Seahawks have been silent about Clemons' remarks, so Dominic Holden at Slog contacted them "about a dozen times" and finally heard back:

"We're not going to comment," said Seahawks spokeswoman Suzanne Lavender. "You know, it's just his personal view."

Adds Holden:

"We haven't gotten that many fan comments so we are not going to make public comment," Lavender explained. But she refused to provide a phone number or an e-mail for the fans to comment. So apparently this is how it works: The team gauges whether it needs to make a statement based on how many fans comment, but—pysch—there's no way for fans to comment.

After Holden provided a link to the contact page info for the team management, they took it down!

So he has kindly provided one at their site. We'll see how this develops.

Comments

  1. SFshawn says

    “I’m not one to judge…”
    I’m sure when the first black guy got on the football field not so long ago or the military they said the same thing and some probably still do considering stupid idiots like this guy have their ‘opinions’.
    Got to love the irony.
    Homophobia and Homohatred at it’s best!

  2. Chris Frye says

    Well here’s a comment for you. If you bothered to read Clemon’s tweets in an unbiased way, you would realize that they were not “anti-gay”. His point is clearly that if you wanted to declare your sexual orientation to the world, you could have done so prior to being in the NFL. Waiting until you are you’re on the big stage seems at least disingenuous if not self-aggrandizing.

  3. scollingsworth says

    Contact the mayor’s office of Seattle. Let them know that this team, that represents their city, needs to say something before it effects tourism. (206) 684-4000

  4. NotA says

    All non-approved personal opinions were to be instantly condemned. This, it was explained, constituted the true essence of real freedom.

    — 1984
    George Orwell

  5. NotA says

    Just to establish the bleedingly obvious, that’s not a literal 1984 quote. It is, however, one of the major themes.

  6. AJ says

    I don’t find what he said offensive at all. Just his opinion. He’s entitled to it. He is talking about how that person is going to get a ton of attention just for coming out and distract from other players on the team. I kinda agree.

  7. Francis says

    No-one cares what you think, AJ. You’re a homophobe apologist. Self-hating little man.

    Anyway, Seattle’s actions fall in line with what we saw with the Browns and Tank Carder and then with some of the 49ers players intentionally distancing themselves from making an It Gets Better video. Unfortunately, the NFL still has it’s problems on this issue, even with the work that’s been doing to progress things to a certain point, there is still negativity, hostility and outright ignoring LGBT football fans with NFL organizations and NFL leaders themselves.

    All we can continue to do is be very loud, as we know our allies in the NFL will be. We must continue to make it clear we won’t be forgotten or discarded. Our money is just as valuable as straight money and we should think long and hard about supporting an institution that doesn’t seem interested in supporting us. Support individual players but not the league/teams until they get their act together.

  8. says

    Although the player who comes out will drag attention away from the team as a whole, I think that Clemons doesn’t realize what it must have been like for the gay player. Perhaps the player felt the need to be closeted for his entire life, but now wants to be open and honest. If the world wasn’t so homophobic, then a coming out in American Football wouldn’t attract so much attention, and this wouldn’t even be an issue…

  9. Chuck Mielke says

    While Mr. Clemons is free to voice his opinion, his written comments also reveal something of his thoughts. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to think he’s against anyone. On the other hand, it’s clear that he thinks any NFL player coming out would be bad “for the team.” Last I heard, the NFL was more than one team, yeah? Perhaps he suspects one of his fellow Seahawk teammates? If he feels the locker room would be divided, it seems he would see himself on the “right” side protecting the team; that suggests a minor level of homophobia — the notion of gay as threatening and wrong. Mr. Clemons clearly has not thought about his statements: he can’t believe that gay is threatening and wrong and still claim not to be “against anyone.” It may be, however, a simple case of his believing that he knows no gay people; he may change his tune when he learns how wrong he is about that.

  10. PAUL B. says

    I guess if I respected someone’s opinion, I would care what they have to say. But…please, this bozo uses his head like a punching bag and I’m supposed to care what he has to say about anything? Who knows how many brain cells he started with, let alone how many he actually has left up there? Three I would guess…on a good day.

  11. Bryan says

    While Mr. Clemons comment is arguably stupid – it’s poorly reasoned, based on unproved assumptions, and comes to no supportable conclusion – I don’t see anything inherently bigoted or anti-gay about it.

    Rather than conduct the usual homophobia witch hunt, why not simply demolish his argument based on its many, painfully obvious flaws? In particular, his use of arguments similar to those used against civil rights for African Americans is obvious, germane, and amusing. It’s unclear if he’s a bigot, but painfully apparent that he’s a hypocrite.

  12. yeahyoutoo says

    This wasn’t anti-gay. It was just stupid. I think people throw the anti-gay thing around a bit too freely for certain people. I think I know why…but it’s not worth discussing in detail here.

  13. Jacques says

    I’m with the camp that says he shouldn’t be condemned for stating his opinion, however wrong it might be. It’s a stretch to say his comment is homophobic. We hear much worse every day. By attacking him we only give ammunition to those who love to portray themselves as the victims.

  14. Jojo says

    Clemons had a point, why make an event out of this? I dont go around work talking about how I like fat women, skinny, blonde, short, tall whatever. Dont compare this to race, GAY is not a race.

  15. Jordan says

    In defense to Mr. Clemons none of his comments were anti-gay.Where the problem truly lies is within the NfL itself. He is absolutely right that the coming out of a player would divide a lockeroom only because the media would overreact to the situation. If the Nfl would would actually do something about gay awareness then it would be easier for a player to come out and make it less of a distraction for the rest of the league and media.

  16. RyanInWyo says

    Of course it’s homophobic. To call a person “selfish” for the mere act of being honest about his/her sexuality is homophobic. The reason it’s homophobic? No straight person is called “selfish” for being honest about his/her sexuality. It’s only selfish, apparently, when gay people do it.

    What part of that does the “he’s not being homophobic” crowd here not understand?

  17. RyanInWyo says

    Hi Jojo. Welcome to the site. Now, are you trying to tell us that straight guys in locker rooms don’t talk about women and what kind of women they like? Because if that’s what you’re trying to tell us, I don’t think you’ve even been in a locker room. Or you’ve never been around any straight guys…

  18. Francis says

    Well, it’s clear some of these posters are actually just trolls. And Jacques, his opinion is wrong hence what he said should be condemned.

    Is what he said homophobic? Maybe he isn’t a homophobe but his entire reasoning for his opinion is. Same with Rob Gronkowski and the “keep your distance and keep it away” comment he made. These are men who are hypocrites; they hold people who aren’t straight to a standard that they don’t hold themselves and other heterosexuals to. That’s homophobia and it’s a societal issue that has to be tackled because it’s one of the primary reason homophobia is still so pervasive even as we make so much progress.

  19. Jake says

    While I disagree with his opinion, he has a right to express it, especially on his personal time. I am definitely not so offended by it as to stomp my feet about it or seek retribution against him for a mere opinion. It would be one thing if he were harassing a bisexual or gay player or employee, but there is no evidence he has or will done such a thing. Mere verbal expression of his opinion is not enough to seek action against him. Let him be.

  20. Tony says

    What a bunch of cry babies. What he said wasn’t “homophobic” at all, it just wasn’t supportive. Apparently some gays are so sensitive and thin-skinned that they think ANY reaction that isn’t blatantly supportive is automatically “homophobic.” I hope the Seahawks don’t dignify any of these snot nosed reactions with a response because in reality he said nothing wrong.

  21. Jason says

    Sure, he has a right to express his opinion and we have a right to express our disgust. No one is talking about arresting him for saying it, so just stop with the “he has a right to expression” defense. RyanInWyo: Ditto on everything you said. You’re a smart dude.:)

  22. Chris says

    Holocaust Denial and “white power” is also an opinion. But that doesn’t mean that it should be respected or tolerated.

  23. Chris says

    @Jojo Of course “Gay” isn’t a race you dumbass. No one is saying that it is. However being Gay isn’t a fetish or a sexual preference, it’s a lifestyle. It defines who you are, the life that you will live, and the trials and tribulations that you will and will not/may or may not, face. Like blonde women or skinny women doesn’t do any of those things. You’re comparing apples to oranges and in the process only proving what idiots you and your kind are.

  24. bicuriousus says

    I’m so sorry, but I don’t find what he said to be so egregious. I don’t fully agree with him on all he said, but he has some valid points. For one, why in this day and age would someone not have already come out in high school or college?

    Gosh some gays are just so darn sensitive. Does everyone who doesn’t fully subscribe to your beliefs need to get their wrist slapped?

  25. Book says

    Why not come out now that he’s in the NFL? Maybe he loves someone and wants to live openly with him now. Not when he was in high school, not when he was in college, but now. It’s not selfish, it’s freeing. It’s selfish to want a teammate to hurt in private instead of supporting him when he wants to come out.

  26. RyanInWyo says

    bicuriousus: Maybe some day when you finally decide to stop being “curious” and come out and people give you a hard time for not coming out sooner – that is, on their schedule instead of on your own – you will get the answer to your own question of “why in this day and age would someone not have already come out in high school or college?”

  27. Red says

    The Seahawks are a terrible organization that deserve a horrible human being such as Clemons.

  28. Ryan says

    This story really brought out the trolls. I’m guessing some anti-gay site linked to it, seeking self-hating type comments.

  29. timothyjames says

    All of these people need to go see the new Jackie Robinson movie coming out. Could you imagine a white baseball player on the Dodgers posting a comment like Clemons did? At least when they make a movie about this in 20 years they will have the villains names and words to hang them by. Seahawks all I am saying is history and your grandchildren are watching. And to Ms. Lavender “God Bless” and hope God doesn’t yell at you too much when you meet him. Gotta love the Fundamentalist Christians with their roots going back to burning crosses, yes that is how that started they thought God was on their side. The Klan is still around they just have a new name, “God Bless.”

  30. robroy says

    What he said rings strikingly similar to what my older relatives said about blacks before they ‘evolved.’. Who am I kidding half of them didn’t evolve, they died. Still the same line of reasoning as liking blacks as long as they didn’t act it. And since the average NFL career begins at 22 and ends around 26 it stands to reason that this is the point most people fully accept or act on their sexuality. Its not like they could sneak a twin into the athletic dorm unnoticed or hit the gay bars in a small college town. So 22-26 is when alot of people accept & act on their orientation.

    Also his use of the word preference ticked me off.

  31. William says

    Clemons is from Georgia, went to college at Georgia. Chris Culliver (from the 49ers) went to college at South Carolina. That is where this comes from. It always comes back to lack of education and in the South these players are coddled through school and never have to learn anything. They are painfully ignorant and arrogant, a bad combination.

  32. AJ says

    I think this whole thing has already been blown up beyond what is reasonable regardless of what side anyone is one, should you find yourself to be on either “side.” Clemons makes a very true and honest point that a player’s coming out o the closet would cause some division and a distraction, what he fails to realize is that somebody needs to blaze the trail. As for the people saying clemons is a homophobe, i simply believe that your trying to make is rather objective opinion into one that is biased by his apparent belief in god. By the way, not all believers are the ones you here about in the news.

  33. millerbeach says

    Ah, another episode of the bunny caught in the headlights. A bit off topic, but I just love the way corporate America has taken to hiring these little “bunnies” to clean up after an idiotic statement or event. Just say something cutsie into the the camera, smile, twirl your hair, and unbutton a few of those buttons on that blouse. There. Everything is all better now! Gee, isn’t this swell? So many women have struggled and fought for women’s liberation, and this is the result? A bunch of dumb bunnies with a REALLY short shelf-life? Yeah, Suzzie or Jacki, or whatever the hell your name is, as long as it ends in an “i”. Daddy still thinks you’re cute, too.

  34. says

    What a bunch of cry babies. What he said wasn’t “homophobic” at all, it just wasn’t supportive. Apparently some gays are so sensitive and thin-skinned that they think ANY reaction that isn’t blatantly supportive is automatically “homophobic.” I hope the Seahawks don’t dignify any of these snot nosed reactions with a response because in reality he said nothing wrong.

    Posted by: Tony | Apr 2, 2013 8:43:35 PM

    EXACTLY…THANK YOU TONY!

  35. LCR Jay says

    Please do NOT apologize Clemons. Stand by your words and let whoever insists on being mad at this silliness STAY mad.

  36. LCR Jay says

    I also think it’s ridiculous how every time a person of color makes even the slightest gesture about gays that isn’t a total valentines, some immediately rush in with ridiculous parallels and analogies about racial bigotry in a sad attempt to put the person “in their place”.

  37. Rich says

    Clemons overlooks the NFL’s apparent screening out of openly gay players in recruitment. Therefore, the first openly gay player will have to be someone who was closeted when recruited.
    The alternative, that the league hire openly gay players as an affirmative action measure, seems like a much worse choice.

  38. JP says

    I am sure the criticism is fair. I understand how the remarks can be interpreted as anti-gay, but I am not convinced that was the intent. Particularly in Football, players hate distractions. They want to stay focused on football and winning during the season. This is particularly true of a contending team like Seattle. When a player finally comes out, there will be a media circus surrounding that event that will take the focus of the team away from winning.

  39. DannyEastVillage says

    No, Jojo, I bet you DON’T go around talking about what kind of women you like: you’re too busy trolling on gay-oriented blogs and other websites.

  40. FourteenSierra says

    so – when did Clemons say anything ‘anti-gay’? He said something about folks being anti-team…

  41. Jack M says

    Anybody can come out whenever they want. Nobody else gets to pick the time, because it’s none of their business.

    Maybe the Seahawks didn’t get many comments from their fans because they don’t have that many fans in the first place?

  42. V-8 says

    funny, he does not think one should make an event out of coming out, as it might disrupt the team… I wonder how much his commenting, which has now become an event, has already disrupted the team?

    pot, meet kettle…

  43. Derrick from Philly says

    @”Could you imagine a white baseball player on the Dodgers posting a comment like Clemons did”

    Please google John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves, Timothy. He said what he felt. I didn’t like that he didn’t like Blacks or Gays, but that’s life, aint it?

  44. Chitown Kev says

    Why Derrick, that’s a good idea…

    “ …I’d retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

    John Rocker
    December 23, 1999
    Sports Illustrated

  45. Francis says

    It’s OK for players to openly say they don’t like gay players or think it’s selfish for them to come out, but it is NOT alright for gay players to actually say they are gay openly.

    That’s the sports world for you. And some of you self-haters/heterosexual trolls eat it all up.

  46. Kory says

    To say he has a point is ridiculous.

    1. Coming out is a personal process. Whether due to issues with faith, family, personal discovery, etc, not everyone is ready to come out during their youth. There are so many factors. Let everyone come out in their own time. It’s not your business, stay out of it.

    2. It is selfish to say to gay players, “You didn’t come out of the closet at a time which was convenient to the rest of us, so please stay in until your career is over. (Cuz as big, tough, football players we just can’t handle any ‘distractions’. (Pfft, and they call US divas?)) While our wives and children get special treatment and seating, your ‘friend’ should really not get any special attention or access at our events.”

    3. It is not self-aggrandizing to come out. It is self-empowering. It is a courageous act that will someday get us to the point where NFL players never have to worry about players coming out because no one will care anymore. Are you trying to tell me you don’t already have stars on a team, guys that demand/attract more attention? Ironically, by his statement alone Clemons has brought attention to himself as well as a ‘distraction’ to the lockerroom.

    This isn’t about you, sweetie, calm down. …or is it?

  47. jamal49 says

    So, did I miss the point? Did this guy say something THAT offensive? He’s making a point, maybe not as elegant that we would like, but from his point of view and the mentality of “team”, he probably actually does see it as a “selfish” act if a gay player comes out because it will, I guess, distract from the “team mission”.

    It’s a jock thing, not necessarily a bigoted thing, and I don’t think with every stupid or uninformed comment that comes down the pike we need to jerk our knees up.

    I mean, he’s wrong but, hell! He’s a jock and maybe he’s trying in his own way to come to grips with something he’s probably not really had to think about deeply and this was his off-the-cuff, top-of-his head reaction to the possibility that a close teammate might come out as gay.

    A lot of people are trying to “get with the program” as it were, so let’s at least be a little lenient.

  48. says

    this is a non conversation, gays are not equal, you don’t get to skip to the enlightened place of “why is this even an issue?” or “They can’t keep it to themselves?” without working for it. This is the work. People are allowed to think whatever they want about gay people, and they will be condemned for it the second their stupid thought are realized outside their head.

    Once everyone knows about gay people and understands that insulting them is akin to insulting anyone, then we get to tell gays to be “respectful” and “quiet”.

  49. says

    @Chris frye, I just read the entirety of his tweets. He ALSO made the point you picked up on, but he ALSO insinuated that a gay player is trying to fame-whore their way in through their “personal preference”.

    But yeah, his remarks are not that anything and I don’t think he needs to be punished. His coach should tweet that none of his players feelings matter while he is the coach and that they will deal with a gay player the way they deal with everyone.

  50. Shaunie says

    … I don’t understand why he should be, or is trying to be, put in a situation to be condemned. You don’t have to agree with what he said, but it’s kind of…

    I have no intentions to offend, but…

    You would have to be really, really sensitive to take offense to this. Again; You don’t have to agree, it just makes little sense to complain and expect him to be treated a certain way over his opinion (which is pretty rational). I think I understand what he was saying… Which was pretty much: Why wait until the NFL to “come out”? I know some people don’t discuss their sexual orientation often and I’m not saying that person would have to flaunt or constantly remind people they’re gay or bisexual, but to wait until you’ve made it or something’s gone wrong (both scenarios usually involving retirement or some kind of controversy) that does seem really… Arrogant or attention-seeking.

    Clemons, or whatever his name is, didn’t say it would be unacceptable or terrible to have an “out” player or anything, his main point was that it could be dividing and taken the wrong way (see attention-seeking) to “come out” on the team at some high point or something versus already being “out” or known as gay/bisexual and it not being a huge deal… Or, at the very least, this massive distraction.

    This is only my opinion, you don’t have to like it, but I’m entitled to it.

  51. Shaunie says

    I also think it’s ridiculous how every time a person of color makes even the slightest gesture about gays that isn’t a total valentines, some immediately rush in with ridiculous parallels and analogies about racial bigotry in a sad attempt to put the person “in their place”.

    Posted by: LCR Jay | Apr 3, 2013 3:25:43 AM

    ———————

    I agree, that is very aggravating. It was even more frustrating reading similar comments on the Illegal Alien LGBT post… I’m not saying (specifically white) LGBT people haven’t gone through similar treatment as blacks and other POCs, however, the fact that so many seem to want to pull the “How could a race that’s dealt with oppression, this and that” card to excuse their own prejudice or ignorance is baffling.

    There are trifling people on both ends.

    I don’t get upset and pull the race card when non-black gays and bisexuals mention not liking blacks or being attracted to us, nor when some of them use racial slurs, but let ONE black person say something that’s considered negative or mistaken as/is homophobic and all hell will break loose – Not toward that ONE person, though. I’m not condoning the prejudice and if I hear or witness it, I WILL correct that person, but things are so one-sided. Strangely, I rarely see this when it comes to Asians or Mestizo Hispanics and Latinos.

  52. Chitown Kev says

    Some of y’all queens are trippin’.

    You non-trolling white queens are racist.

    And few of you know anything about sports.

    Clemons may or may not be right…it all depends on who the out player is.

    If the out player is, say, Aaron Rodgers (as some have suggested), or a Terrell Owens type of star then the impact on the locker room will be minimal simply because he has proved himself on the field.

    If the out player is mediocre or a bench warmer than that player would primarily be known for being gay, would draw attention to himself for reasons having nothing related to what takes place on the field and…well, yeah, people would be resentful about that.

    The best bet here is that the player that comes out needs to be a known quality to everyone as opposed to a nobody.

  53. Jason says

    The guy was not speaking on behalf of the Seahawks and not being bigoted in any way. He was stating the opinion that an NFL player coming out would cause distraction on the squad and would harm the team’s chemistry.

    Disagree if you like. But demanding the Seahawks denounce one of their best defensive linemen? In a year were many sports pundits are saying they could make a Super Bowl run? That’s just naïve.

    Overly sensitive, PC police, jackasses are ruining the world.

  54. Jerry6 says

    As Shackspear (sp?) said: “Me thinks that thou doest protest too much!”. Translation: The speaker maybe covering up: 1. He is a certified Bigot. OR 2. He is Gay himself and is afraid someone might find out.