02.09.07

Jazz’ Miller Regrets Brokeback Ban, Promises To Uphold “Certain Standards”

Posted in Basketball, Cinema at 11:19 am by

In the midst of the John Amaechi saga, there was a curious item in yesterday’s Salt Lake Tribune in which Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller (above) expressed regret over his decision to ban “Brokeback Mountain” from his cinema chain…without really explaining why.

“Not because I got beaten up over it, but because it was a knee-jerk reaction,” Miller said. “You have to choose your spots to draw your lines and I didn’t choose a very good one.”

Miller’s ban of the blockbuster movie made national news and made him the center of a national debate. He said he has developed a more open view after meeting with members of the gay and lesbian community at the University of Utah in April.

“It was good for me in a couple of ways,” he said. “I learned a lot about them with some open and honest dialogue. It didn’t change my way of thinking or theirs, but we all realized after talking with each other we have a better understanding of each other.

“I’m still outspoken on issues, but I know I have to look at people’s feelings and lives. I’d like to say I’m more understanding now. To say I’m tolerant would be less accurate, but I am more understanding.”

Miller admitted he was unsure how he’d handle the situation if a current Jazz player came out as gay.

“I have to think from the standpoint that everyone has the same rights as anybody else has, I believe that,” he said. “Here, in this market, we do have a responsibility to uphold certain standards, although I know these guys aren’t angels. I’d have to consider it and think about it some more. I don’t know if I can answer that right now.”

In the event Miller is stuck for halftime entertainment at the Energy Slut Center, he might want to enlist the family-friendly services of viral sensation Donnie Davies.

4 Responses to “Jazz’ Miller Regrets Brokeback Ban, Promises To Uphold “Certain Standards””

  1. josh says:

    When an NBA Owner says he is unsure how he would handle a player of his being Gay, Stern can’t possibly say that his league doesn’t have a problem. Miller’s kind of answer should have no place in the league, however sadly common such an answer might be. If a member of any major corporation said they werent sure how they’d handle an employee they learned were gay, they would be very likely be fired/boycotted/etc

    Will any member of the mainstream media (besides RebuildingYear!) interview Stern on these topics? Will a star player say he won’t play for Utah as long as its owner has that attitude. I liked Lebron’s comment about players needing to keep it real in the locker-room (easier said then done, of course) but I’d love to have a star player make a forceful statement on this. Where’s Nash? he had the balls to say something about Iraq.

  2. Brendan says:

    Josh,

    I think Grant Hill made the most forceful statement– “The fact that John has done this, maybe it will give others the comfort or confidence to come out as well, whether they are playing or retiring,” Hill said. That so many members of the media are calling this a non-story or taking shots at Amaechi for waiting til after his career to come out–whether its Mike Francesa or LZ Gunderson (whoever the hell he is)–shows this is a real problem. The logic that coming out during your career shows more courage or that what would make this a story is fan & teammate reactions to an out player (taunts or ostracism) completely misses the point. Unfortunately the only player who could come out and still have a job is a true superstar. Someone of middling (at best) NBA abilities like Meech would never have a job if they were known to be gay–and it would be tough to prove discrimination unless shav randolph was the GM and pr guy for a franchise. Can you prove that Meech as a player is more useful than say Jaron Collins or thirty other 6’10″ dudes? As for star players standing up to assholes like Miller, you’d have to guess it’s the fear of inuendo and lost endorsements around supporting gays that leaves them silent. Meaning, obviously the problem is much larger than the NBA.

  3. WeWanttheFunk says:

    Re: Nash’s Uncomfortable Silence

    No kidding. A team owner’s sexual politics are at least as important as the debt financed slaughter of a million or so people.
    Grow a sack, Steve Nash.

  4. josh says:

    i didnt mean to compare the two — Nash just seems like a pretty enlightened guy who speaks his mind. It’d be great if he or Etan Thomas got vocal on this.

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