As society evolves and we continue down the path of open-mindedness and equality, we are daily reminded that our language sorely lags behind us. And
as our language lags behind, we conveniently ignore the double standard that exists with derogatory slurs that we all hear and recognize.
I'll use professional sporting leagues as an example.
Racial slurs are no longer tolerated in any environment, in any context. It is now socially accepted that this sort of expression is not tolerated.
However, we lack parity with specific slurs. Homophobic slurs are some that seem to either go ignored or accepted by many. I watch sports. I watch
a lot of sports. And it is not that uncommon to hear a player refer to another player in a homophobic slur. These are not done in post-game
interviews. These are said in the heat of the moment. And because it is said in the heat of the moment, it seems to go ignored. If someone used a
slur based on someone's skin color, whether it was in the heat of the moment or not, it would be a huge deal. And in professional sports, as
technology continues to evolve, so does the viewing experience for the fans. I can sit at home and usually hear quite clearly what the players are
saying on the field or the ice.
Recently an NFL player was suspended for a derogatory slur via twitter. It was a homophobic slur and it resulted in a 2 game suspension I believe.
First of all, that is a step. But the only reason a penalty was handed down was because of the method it was used and the publicity it received.
Secondly, the suspension seemed to be somewhat light. Had it been another term, I am confident that the suspension may have been a little heavier.
For the homophobic slur, 2 games. Look at this link...
Australian tennis player banned
for racial abuse
This guy got 6 months for using a racial slur.
And beyond sporting leagues, it is in our language that we see in adults, teenagers and our children. A major pet peave of mine is the expression,
"that's gay". I have a 16 year old sister that I hear say it all of the time. And I chastise her every time she says it. Every one of her
friends say it. And every one of their friends say it. And the friends of the friends of their friends say it. And guess what? Society continues
to accept it.
Whether the slur is based on our race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or religion.. it's time we open our eyes and curb this cycle of ignorance
perpetuated by so many.
But we as an individual can only do so much when our "role models" do so little.
I point the finger at so many sporting leagues here because as I see it, that is where it is prevalent. Ignorance is ignorance. Hatred is hatred.
Parity among derogatory slurs. If not now, then when?
If nothing else, you be the change yourself.