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.”