Super snub for HIV+ gay ex-NFL lineman?
NEW YORK – Former Giants lineman Roy Simmons and celebrity lawyer Gloria Allured want an investigation into whether Simmons was denied access to the Super Bowl media center because he is gay and HIV positive.
Simmons requested a credential for the [media] center Feb. 2, three days before the Super Bowl. He also asked for two tickets for the game, which the Pittsburgh Steelers won 21-10 over the Seattle Seahawks, and a party.
He said he was told there were no more credentials available. But Allred, whose clients have included Scott Peterson’s former mistress, Amber Frey, said the NFL indicated that it would give others passes after Simmons asked for one.
Simmons said he never asked for credentials in the past and wanted access to the media center this year to talk about the importance of HIV testing.
Simmons, who played for the Giants from 1979-81 and Redskins in 1983, disclosed that he is gay in 1992. He was the first former NFL player to come out as HIV positive 10 years later. He now works as a supervisor at a halfway house in Long Island.
This would be no surprise to me, given the testimonials of ex-players like Esera Tuaolo about the intense atmosphere of homophobia that exists in the macho-man locker rooms of the No Fags League. At least in Men Love Babes (Major League Baseball) the homophobia is usually reserved for 3rd-tier nitwits like John Rocker:
“Imagine having to take the [Number] 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.” [Wow, punks, queers, ex-cons, single moms… that’s like a grand slam of hate speech!]
“I wouldn’t want to be on that team. It wouldn’t be a good idea,” Fortson said. “As athletes, we still have a grade-school mentality where we pick on people a little bit. It’s not going to work with us. I don’t think it’s very acceptable behavior for men as far as I’m concerned.”
Packers Hall of Fame Defensive End Reggie White:
“When you look at the black race, black people are very gifted in what we call worship and celebration. A lot of us like to dance, and if you go to black churches, you see people jumping up and down, because they really get into it.
“White people were blessed with the gift of structure and organization. You guys do a good job of building businesses and things of that nature and you know how to tap into money pretty much better than a lot of people do around the world.
“Hispanics are gifted in family structure. You can see a Hispanic person and they can put 20 or 30 people in one home. They were gifted in the family structure.
“When you look at the Asians, the Asian is very gifted in creation, creativity and inventions. If you go to Japan or any Asian country, they can turn a television into a watch. They’re very creative.
“And you look at the Indians, they have been very gifted in the spirituality. … [Europeans] couldn’t enslave the Indians because the Indians knew the territory, and the Indians knew how to sneak up on people.“
“As America has permitted homosexuality [like it needs permission?] to establish itself as an alternate lifestyle, it is also reeling from the frightening spread of sexually transmitted disease. Sin begets its own consequence, both on individuals and nations. … we allow rampant sin including homosexuality and lying, and to me lying is just as bad as homosexuality, we’ve allowed this sin to run rampant in our nation … I’m offended that homosexuals will say that homosexuals deserve rights. Any man in America deserves rights, but homosexuals are trying to compare their plight with the plight of black men or black people. In the process of history, homosexuals have never been castrated, millions of them never died. Homosexuality is a decision. It’s not a race.” [Wow. Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red, & Lavender… it’s six points! A rainbow touchdown of bigotry!]
San Francisco (!) running back, Garrison Hearst, short and sweet:
“I don’t want no faggots on my team. I don’t want no faggots in the locker room.”
And even the San Francisco (!) management and the staff give a wink-wink nudge-nudge to homophobia and racism in their player training videos:
Reynolds opens the film sitting behind the mayor’s desk, then goes to Chinatown, where a 49ers team consultant uses racial slurs about the Chinese community. Next comes a topless, [lipstick, naturally] lesbian wedding filmed at a strip club and officiated by Reynolds, again impersonating the mayor.
“I know the courts say we can’t do this,” Reynolds says before the happy couple engages in heavy petting. “We make our own rules here in San Francisco.”
Reynolds then goes to SBC Park, where acting as “mayor” he throws out the opening pitch, then takes a bribe from the catcher, who thanks him for supporting “hookers and booze.”
“You do something controversial, you say something controversial, it will have an impact on this team. So remember, be mindful of your actions,” Reynolds says, wearing only a towel before joining three topless blondes for a group hug in a strip club’s dressing room. [Uh oh.
I gotta run home quick. I think I left the irony on.]
The No Fags League wouldn’t even let you make a customized jersey with the name “GAY” on it at their NFL online shop… which must’ve been a real shock to New England’s Randall Gay. (For that matter, they wouldn’t let you have “TONGUE” either, which must’ve bothered Jets safety Reggie Tongue.)
So forgive me if I’m a little bit skeptical of the NFL’s take on all of this:
The NFL said in a statement that people throughout the league are inundated with last-minute requests for Super Bowl game tickets, party invitations and press credentials. An NFL spokesman said some requests are handled by the league and others go through the public relations staff at the media center.
“It is impossible for all of these requests to be met, and there were many people, apart from Mr. Simmons, who were disappointed,” the statement said.
It said that “far from being hostile to Mr. Simmons, the last word back to him from our office was to contact us after the Super Bowl about the possibility of speaking to our rookies at their annual June symposium.”
My dream is that someday, a star quarterback leads his team to Super Bowl victory and when the bobble-headed sports reporter asks, “So now that you’ve won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do now?”, the hunky, dreamy, all-American athlete turns and says, “Screw DisneyWorld, I’m going to be the grand marshall of the Pride parade down Castro street!”
Seriously, an out and proud actively-playing superstar world champion quarterback would do more to advance the cause of gay rights than a thousand protest marches.