Avery

A few belated thoughts on Sean Avery and gay marriage:

1. Greg Wyshynski on Avery’s Human Rights Campaign endorsement:

First off, his is not the dissenting opinion nationally. The latest polls show a majority of Americans in favor of same-sex marriage, and that momentum has been building for the last year.

True, though as far as I know, no poll exists for NHL fans, or NHL players, who may or may not be less tolerant of gays but who occupy a culture obsessed with “manhood,” weakness, and testosterone, a culture where, to many Rangers fans, the Devils suck but the Islanders swallow. I may be wrong, but I doubt the majority of sympathetic NHL players, if not fans, would tend to support gay marriage openly. (More shallowly, we know baseball players tend to be Republicans. Joe Beimel sums it up well.)

(Also: is it me, or is this chart vaguely suggestive?)

2. This won’t exactly kill the “former Vogue intern” meme.

3. Why does no one challenge the ridiculous “I’m just expressing my opinion” defense— someone can still object to the content of your opinion, even if he/she would never question your right to express the opinion; expression does not automatically translate to “no one can criticize what’s being expressed”– or for that matter why religious dogma has the monopoly on words like “morality” and “right and wrong.” Was “morality” always synonymous with Christianity, in the most narrow way? (And can we also ban the word “homophobia” as too touchy-feely-pseudopsychology? Did we ever refer to, say, racial covenants in urban neighborhoods as “Negrophobia”? How did words like “hatred” and “racism” become worse as accusations than as actual behaviors?)

4. On a related note, and similarly to the way a black president turned out to be less unthinkable than a non-Christian president (or, per James Loewen in LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, a president with a beard or mustache, post-Theodore Roosevelt), a hockey player who supports gay marriage turned out to be less unthinkable than a hockey player who refuses to endorse the marriage myth for gays or straights. In the words of Emma Goldman:

[Marriage] is like that other paternal arrangement —capitalism. It robs man of his birthright, stunts his growth, poisons his body, keeps him in ignorance, in poverty and dependence, and then institutes charities that thrive on the last vestige of man’s self-respect.

Who is the Emma Goldman of the sports world, defying hypocritical wedded bliss, empty patriotism, and the worship of Mammon? Apparently, we have none, not even a douche like Avery. (Well, none other than a black Muslim shooting guard exiled in Japan.)

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