Andrew Baggarly didn’t clarify whether the slur was used by radio hosts in Queen City or a fan calling into a show, but the phrase “local radio morons” seems more like the way one would describe someone who was entrenched in the position — so I’m going to assume we’re talking about hosts, here. Not like it matters.
Why would someone say anything like this, and how could it be considered acceptable in 2012?
First, start with the team that has come into town and made life a lot more difficult than the Cincinnati Reds and their fans probably figured after taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five National League Divisional Series. When fans are frustrated, they tend to lash out in immature or even hurtful ways. The idea that a pregame speech, and the suddenly iconic photo below, could be enough to topple a Cincinnati squad that hasn’t experienced postseason success since sweeping the Oakland A’s in the 1990 World Series has to be a source of bitterness in Southwest Ohio.
Also, the Giants reside in San Francisco. This city is by far my favorite place I’ve ever lived, but to some in other areas of the United States it’s a city that represents hedonism and excessive liberalism. Translation: there are a ton of gay people here.
I’m familiar with sports fans who display their jackassery by using homophobic language against San Francisco teams, but in my experience these idiots normally reside in a schoolyard, not a radio booth. The schoolyards where I played basketball and ate junk food certainly featured this kind of language.
It might surprise you, but I grew up as a fan of the San Francisco 49ers.
(Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.)
In my hometown of Eureka, a slight majority rooted for the extremely successful 49ers when I was a kid, but almost as many called the Los Angeles Raiders their team. Several times these morons/idiots who happened to be Raiders fans let me know that everyone on the 49ers is gay, that Joe Montana and Jerry Rice are lovers, etc. Every once in a while I’d try to explain to these fools that (1) there’s nothing wrong with being gay, (2) not everyone in San Francisco is gay, and (3) nobody on the 49ers actually comes from or even lives in San Francisco proper. Good luck with that, 12-year-old me. I should’ve known well enough to walk away, but it still bothered me.
It bothers me to this day. People who deride male camaraderie are short-sighted; those who use slurs based on sexuality not only make themselves look stupid — they make it that much harder for tolerance to win the day.
When people insult others, it’s usually because they’re trying to compensate for some flaw(s) within themselves. The Reds fans (I’m guessing the morons Baggarly referred to are fans of the Reds, although they could just be trying to drum up interest for their show) who referred to Pence’s speech and eye contact as “homo” may have done so because they were feeling depressed.
Because the Giants are a team united, and Reds fans weren’t exactly lining up around Great American Ballpark to support their team this morning.