Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Hero of the Week: January 25, Brendon Ayanbadejo

25 Jan
Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week

When a celebrity stands up for an issue, its nice to see them stick with it and not just enjoy a flash of press. Brendon Ayanbadejo, linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, clearly has the courage of his convictions. A long-time proponent of marriage equality and LGBT civil rights, he weathered a storm last year when a local politician demanded that his team’s owners put him in check.

Ayanbadejo stood firm on the side of equality, and with the help of Minneapolis punter Chris Kluwe brought even more attention to the issue. His strong voice contributed to the success of marriage equality in Maryland at the ballot box.

Hometown success is not enough for Ayanbadejo, however. He continues to raise his voice for equality and stands in solidarity with the LGBT community; now he suddenly has a much larger platform. The Ravens are headed to the Super Bowl, and he wants to use that exposure to make the case for marriage equality nationally. Wanting to make the most of this opportunity, Ayanbadejo reached out to two other equality supporters — hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and activist Brian Ellner.

Is there anything I can do for marriage equality or anti-bullying over the next couple of weeks to harness this Super Bowl media?

What a great goal! While millions are turning their attention to this sporting event, he can convey a message of social justice. As a straight, biracial athlete, his power and voice are enormous, and he won’t squander them. Thank you, Brendon Ayanbadejo.

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Capitalism: Conspicuous Consumption and Absurd Greed…

8 Feb

Timothy Hutton: Whore of the Year

Thank you to my friend Zoe Nicholson for sharing this story. I’m very happy to say that I was enjoying the company of good and caring people at a Chinese New Year party during the Money Bowl, oops, I mean Super Bowl. In this time of extraordinary unemployment and an exponentially increasing homeless population, how nice to see the promotion of capitalism and absurd conspicuous consumption.  In this 30 second advertisement we see the exploitation of the Tibetan people to get bargain basement discounts–does this resonate of an Absolutely Fabulous parody?  The difference of course is that AbFab is exposing and making fun of consumerism, whereas this Super Bowl ad is promoting the exploitation of  Tibet for coupons–YUCK! Shame on Timothy Hutton–you total whore.

Going Gay to Win the Super Bowl? Offensive Reporting Moment of the Week

5 Feb

When I first saw this story I had to look twice to make sure I really understood what was going on. A reporter interviewing one of the Pittsburgh Steelers as a prelude to the Super Bowl asked if the player would “hook up” with Denzel Washington if it would guarantee a victory on Sunday. From the rest of the reporter’s line of questioning, including asking the player to describe genitalia, it’s clear that she’s a bit unhinged. It’s the homophobia inherent in the Denzel question, however, that really catches my attention.

Dave Kopay: First Out Retired NFL Player

The implication in the question is clear: being gay is so icky that it would be a serious price to pay in order to win the big game. Would honor, glory, and wealth be sufficient reward for such an awful fate? The fact that any reporter would even ask the question, much less have the interview published, speaks volumes about our national double-standards. Would anyone have asked if he’d be willing to hook up with Halle Berry to win? I think not.

It’s disappointing to see that OutSports.com treats it like a whimsical question without unpacking the inherent bias in the question. We are not at a point in our national conversation where this kind of loaded question can be laughed off.  DallasVoice.com has a great piece on homophobia in the NFL. It’s clear that the culture of professional sports lags behind even the tepid progress occasionally seen elsewhere in the country. So far, only three retired NFL players have come out, starting with Dave Kopay in 1975.

We need to demand journalistic standards in reporting and tell publishers and other media outlets not to release biased, homophobic rubbish.

(h/t JustOut, including a wonderful side piece about the activism of three out high school athletes)

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