Former Chicago Bears QB Jim Miller came under fire from Deadspin. Here’s the original Deadspin article attacking Miller, from which the author did later admit he should have written differently. Today, the former Bears QB Jim Miller is an analyst for Comcast SportsNet during football season. Therefore, he should know better and be more politically correct in what he said.
Then again Deadspin has been known to blow things out of proportion in order to generate media hype from time to time. Are they doing it here? Before we get to assess what ex Bears QB Jim Miller did and did not say, let’s review what’s on the record. From Deadspin author Barry Petchesky:
Miller doesn’t like gays; but he’s at least smart enough not to couch it that way.
“There are some religions that are just not going to accept a gay individual in the locker room,” Miller told “The McNeil and Spiegel Show” on WSCR-AM 670. “So now, are you as an organization going to bring that element into your locker room and think everything is going to be OK?
“Last time I checked, whether it’s Christianity or Muslims or other religions that are out there, they’re just not going to accept it. They’re just not. It’s just not realistic for Mike Florio or any progressive or liberal to think that everything is going to be OK in the locker room, and we should all just wise up and accept it.”
Asked his stance on whether gays should be accepted, Miller said, “I could care less. You can play football or you can’t. I’m just giving you my point of view that certain factions of a locker room will not accept it. … That’s the reality of the situation.”
This is third-hand dogmatism. Miller won’t say he wouldn’t accept a gay teammate. He won’t even say other guys won’t accept a gay teammate. But instead it’s those other guys’ religions (be it “Christianity or Muslims”) that’s the only thing standing in the way of an openly gay NFL player being feted—as if this isn’t a discrimination gay non-athletes face every day.
Yes, Deadspin is wrong for conveying Miller as a bible-thumper. Many NFL players come from poor rural communities where the church is the biggest building around for miles, or poor urban areas where the church is the safest places place to be. So you can understand why they might be drawn to religion, even those that bash gays. Miller is saying that the position is here, and could be an obstacle in NFL locker rooms. He’s not endorsing it.
This is being discussed because of recent speculation over the sexuality of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. “far from it, farrrrrrrrr from it” And earlier this week Colorado tight end Nick Kasa admitted that during the NFL combine a team asked him if he “liked girls”. Because of Kasa’s comments, the NFL is looking to investigate whether or not there is any truth to Kasa’s claims about questions he was asked during the combine. And now, Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is reporting that he was also indirectly asked about his sexuality. h/t Down and Distance
This comes off the heels of a recently retired NFL veteran being out after a fight with his boyfriend over soy sauce led to legal charges.
Miller’s comments state that he’s leaving that fight for “liberals and progressives” to figure out. And although he’s not in favor of segregation, bigotry and homophobia, he’s apathetic towards it- not an ideal position to have. Remember, the famous “First they came…” statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller. Read the whole piece here
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB)