Homophobia Has Consequences
Longtime NFL coach Jon Gruden resigned from his position as Las Vegas Raiders head coach Monday after homophobic, racist and misogynist statements from Gruden were unearthed by The New York Times.
Gruden’s comments came in the form of emails between himself and former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen between 2011-18 that were discovered during the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team. In the emails, Gruden calls NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “faggot” and “clueless anti-football pussy. Goodell’s younger brother is gay and Goodell has stated that he used to protect him from bullies when they were kids.
Emails also show Gruden calling former NFL draftee Michael Sam, the first out gay man ever chosen in the NFL draft, a “queer” and criticizing Goodell for supposedly pressuring the then-St. Louis Rams to draft Sam. The emails also include passages where Gruden makes fun of Caitlyn Jenner for her trans identity after she won an ESPY award.
“I have resigned as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Gruden said in a statement Monday evening. “I love the Raiders and do not want to be a distraction. Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff and fans of Raider Nation. I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.”
Gruden’s homophobic remarks drew extra attention as Carl Nassib, the first out gay active player in NFL history, plays for the team from which Gruden resigned. Gruden offered praise for Nassib when he came out earlier this year, saying, “I learned a long time ago what makes a man different is what makes him great.”
North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson is facing calls for his resignation after a video depicting him referring to LGBTQ and trans identities as “filth” circulated social media last week.
The video shows Robinson unleashing a homophobic tirade while speaking to the congregation at Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove, North Carolina in June 2021. “There’s no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth,” he said.
According to Right Wing Watch, he went further during an appearance at Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ in August, saying the trans rights movement is “full of the Antichrist spirit.”
“Here’s something else I’m not supposed to say: ain’t but two genders. You can go to the doctor and get cut up, you can go down to the dress shop and get made up, you can go down there and get drugged up, but at the end of the day, you are just a drugged-up, dressed-up, made-up, cut-up man or woman,” Robinson said. “If there’s a movement in this country that is demonic and that is full of the spirit of Antichrist, it is the transgender movement.”
The Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina, multiple state Democrats and The White House responded to Robinson’s comments with calls for his resignation. State Senator and 2022 U.S. Senate hopeful Jeff Jackson called Robinson’s comments “completely unacceptable” while The White House characterized them as “repugnant and offensive.”
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s issued a statement condemning Robinson’s comments as “abhorrent” but didn’t respond to questions about whether he believes Robinson should resign. The state Republican party and top GOP lawmakers in the state declined to comment when asked by the Associated Press.
Robinson’s remarks are the latest in a years-long line of anti-LGBTQ speech dating back to at least 2016. Robinson said “homosexuality is still an abominable sin and I will not join in ‘celebrating gay pride’ nor will I fly their sacrilegious flag on my page,” in a statement following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016.
Bi Superman Ruffles Dean Cain’s Cape
DC Comics’ announcement that current Superman Jon Kent, son of Clark Kent, will come out as bisexual in an upcoming issue sparked praise in recent days. But one man who once donned the cape isn’t reveling in the news.
Actor and conservative talking head Dean Cain, who portrayed the Kryptonian superhero on TV in “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” expressed displeasure with the move during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning.
“They say it’s a bold new direction, I say they’re bandwagoning,” Cain said. “Robin just came out as bi (Note: Robin’s sexuality hasn’t been identified beyond being LGBTQ) who’s really shocked by that one? The new Captain America is gay. My daughter in ‘Supergirl,’ where I play the father, was gay. So I don’t think it’s bold or brave or some crazy new direction. If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would be bold or brave.”
While it would’ve been monumental if increased LGBTQ visibility in comic books started “20 years ago,” that doesn’t mean that doing so in 2021 holds less significance. Cain also shared his idea for how Superman could be “bold and brave.”
“Brave would be having him fight for the rights of gay people in Iran where they’ll throw you off a building for the offense of being gay,” Cain said. He also suggested the character focus on fighting “the injustices that created the refugees whose deportation he’s protesting” or “for the rights of women to attend school and work and live and boys not to be raped by men under the new warm and fuzzy Taliban.”
“There’s real evil in this world today, real corruption and government overreach,” Cain added. “It’d be great to tackle those issues.” Notably absent from Cain’s critique and storyline offerings were domestic threats LGBTQ face from lawmakers supported by Fox News and its audience. Cain himself spoke at noted anti-LGBTQ organization the Family Research Council’s Voter Values Summit in 2018 despite saying he was an LGBTQ ally.