The NFL could make Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s anti-gay hate tweet a teachable moment, but, nah, they’re moving on, predictably.
And the lesson that is instead being reinforced is, Jackson demeaning an online troll who offered a dumb take on Jackson’s ongoing contract negotiations with the slur that the man “never did shit but eat dick” is just African American vernacular, so, it’s all good.
“Nothing he said was ‘anti-gay.’ His use here is in the way of AAVE, not as a slur against anyone’s sexuality,” an AFP commenter, Nicci, wrote in response to our column, “Lamar Jackson goes anti-gay, is mad about being called out on it: This is not OK.”
There was a similar comment on our YouTube stream from Abdi Hassan.
“Lamar Jackson, he did not use about anti-gay. In the hip-hop world, that means shut the F up. Stop,” was the comment there.
“Nothing Lamar said was anti-gay,” an AFP commenter using the handle Judah rising wrote on our blog. “I bet this troll’s sexual preference never crossed Lamar’s mind. But for you weak minded mouth breathing soy boys and gals out there this is an opportunity to be a victim.”
I have to admit to not having been familiar with the term “soy boy” until coming across this comment, so I used the googler and came across a definition in the Urban Dictionary, which tells us that a “soy boy” is “an effeminate male whose feelings get hurt far too often, usually resulting in some kinda of pitiful retort or changing of the subject.”
So, basically, “soy boy” itself is an anti-gay slur.
“It appears that ANY comments made by a Black man of celebrity status are manipulated!” a reader self-identifying as Sick & Tired wrote on our blog. “What’s the issue?! Do persons that call Blacks derogatory names, I’m sure you know of some, receive such backlashes?! NO! Stop it! If they are good enough to satisfy your sports, music, entertainment needs, why can’t they also utilize their ‘freedom of speech?!’ The words Lamar used are stated without the insinuation of sexual orientation. This world is upside down and getting worse. And yes, I am a Black Woman.”
Where we are with this, then, is, Jackson is somehow being denied his right to “freedom of speech,” despite there being no sanction from the NFL or the Ravens, but because some people are pointing out that he used a hateful anti-gay language to put down a rando on Twitter, he’s the victim here.
And the rando’s sexual preference “never crossed Lamar’s mind,” but that actually makes it worse, because what that would mean is, Jackson thinks “eating dick” is a generic putdown for a male, that an LGBTQ+ person living to their sexual orientation is somehow lesser.
If the hip-hop world thinks it’s appropriate to use anti-gay hate speech to tell people to “shut the F” up, if it’s African American Vernacular English to use this language, it’s time to update the vernacular.
It’s not OK to harbor those awful feelings, and it’s infinitely more problematic to express them publicly, and in this manner.
That Jackson has people defending him on this is precisely why this needs to be addressed.
The only thing we’ve heard from anyone in an official capacity on this is the weak defense from Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who tried to dismiss the Jackson tweet as a heat of the moment thing, that what he wrote was “out of character” for him, and that Jackson had allowed himself to be baited into writing what he wrote.
This seems to be all we’re going to get on this from the NFL, which is telling us here that it fully endorses its players using anti-gay hate speech to respond to people on social media.
They know people will still watch, just like we still watch despite the league still doing a piss-poor job of having Blacks in management and head-coaching positions, still doing nothing more than paying lip service to its decades of mistreatment of women in front offices and on the sidelines, still pretending that actually playing the game of football isn’t at all life-threateningly dangerous to those involved.
The NFL prefers to keep clear of anything resembling a reckoning, the focus of the billionaire white guys who protect the shield being on keeping the dollars rolling in.
Anyway, again, Ravens, pay the man, but maybe let him know that what he said wasn’t OK.