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Monday, December 19, 2011

More Gay Media Fail, More Flyers Annoyance

Okay, I don't want to keep picking on writers for gay media outlets when they delve into the world of sports. (Of course, I'm talking about the mainstream outlets and not sites like Outsports or Wide Rights.) Whether it's just that this particular writer isn't that familiar with sports, or is trying to dumb down the article to try and appeal to an audience that isn't sports-friendly or sports-knowledgable, I don't know. But this article from the Philadelphia Gay News about Flyers' scout Patrick Burke, brother of Brendan Burke, regarding Patrick's advocacy on behalf of LGBT issues, has a flaw. The beginning of the article refers to Patrick Burke as "a recruiter for the Philadelphia Flyers," as does the headline. Ummmm, no. He's a scout, not a recruiter. Colleges recruit athletes. Professional teams don't.

(Well, I suppose the process of signing high-priced free agents is a form of recruitment, but that is handled by front-office personnel much higher up the food chain.)

Meanwhile, the article mentions the Wayne Simmonds incident...

Flyers player Wayne Simmonds was criticized for allegedly using a slur during a game that was caught on camera, although, because there was no sound on the video, he did not face a fine or other repercussions, as some other professional sports players have.

Burke noted that he has never spoken with Simmonds — or most other Flyers players, as he is based in Boston and his role as a scout keeps him on the road most of the season.

He said he could not comment on the specific incident because of legalities but did say that the NHL’s follow-up is an important, yet often overlooked, addition to the story.

“The NHL released a statement in the aftermath where they announced that going forward the league would treat gay slurs in the same way they do racist comments. They took a firm stance that gay slurs are not acceptable,” Burke said. “That got lost in everything else that was going on, but I think it was a very important statement and one that other leagues are now starting to follow up with. But I think the NHL is well ahead of some other leagues in encouraging diversity and a safe atmosphere for gay athletes.”
I don't think the league's follow-up has been overlooked. I think the entire story has been overlooked.

The fact that Simmonds, a day after his post-game comments about things being said in the heat of the moment, etc., made a 180-degree turn and completely denied using the slur is still, nearly three months later, ruining my interest in and enjoyment of Flyers hockey. The man lied. Flat-out lied. As I previously wrote, anyone who looks at the video of the entire fight sequence from the Flyers' broadcast of that game, and not just the small, soundless clip that was posted online, will be able to hear the slur, and see that he said it not just once (during the replayed soundless moment), but at least one additional time. I still have the replay of the game saved to my DVR. I still hope to find a way to get it to my computer. I still may resort to buying a DVD recorder solely to record that video.

And the fact that, with the Winter Classic and the corresponding events at Citizens Bank Park less than two weeks away, my Flyers fandom is so challenged by this liar and his enablers is borderline unforgivable.

Patrick Burke says he hasn't spoken to Wayne Simmonds because Burke is on the road so much. He might want to try using a newfangled device called a telephone.

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