08.18.09

The Association’s Gay Ballers : Weirdly Resistant To The Charms Of Brendan Haywood

Posted in Basketball, Blogged Down, Hate Fuck Radio at 3:44 pm by

(sorry, Stephon. I missed the boat on this one)

Yesterday, a few paragraphs from Brendan Haywood’s critique of Stephon Marbury’s recent U-Stream meltdown were excerpted in this space, though it seems Haywood left the most sensational commentary for a webcast on Hardcore Sports Radio.

As you’ve no doubt read elsewhere, Haywood compared Marbury’s U-Stream appearance to “gay porn” and insisted “there™s no way any other professional athletes would wanna get dressed around this guy, because you gotta think something is a little, he™s swinging from both sides of the fence.  Not like Mickey Mantle, presumably.

Scratching one’s skull at Starbury’s exhibitionism is one thing ;  outing the NBA’s Self-Proclaimed No. 1 Point Guard and condoning homophobia in the locker room is antother matter entirely.  Yahoo Sports’ Kelly Dwyer decries Haywood’s paranoia, calling the Wizards F, “pathetic…it’s as sad and pointless as Marbury’s ego-driven trip down Dementia Ave.”

Because Stephon isn’t leaning against the wall, grabbing some valuable appendage, sporting huge hunks of bling that would make Zsa Zsa Gabor blush ” the typical look for just about any NBA baller in any club over the last 15 years ” Haywood is freaked out. And because he’s never had to think about this sort of thing, weird = gay. Different = gay. Shirtless = gay. Stephon = gay.

Brendan, guess what? You’ve likely had a gay teammate, at some level, dressing around you since you started playing basketball. More than likely. Even more assured is the absolute fact that you’ve had a gay member of the media in the locker room after the game while you dress.

Somehow they’ve managed not to hit on you. Somehow they’ve managed to act … well, like you would in a situation like that. You think a gay man dressing near you is some sort of threat? Why? Do you flip out and start dry humping women at the beach when they pass by you in string bikinis? Do you think that typical levels of restraint and tact and human dignity fly out the window just because a person’s orientation is different than yours?

Not to diminish the seriousness of Dwyer’s point, but I do think it would be kind of funny if someone had so little self-control they tried dry humping women at the beach. But enough about Scott Skiles,  let’s hope Haywood issues what Chris Morris might call “a frank and full retratction of what he’s said”.

6 Responses to “The Association’s Gay Ballers : Weirdly Resistant To The Charms Of Brendan Haywood”

  1. Jimbo says:

    “there’s no way any other professional athletes would wanna get dressed around this guy” is a homophobic statement? Really?

    I suppose it’d be heterophobic if a woman to feel uncomfortable undressing in front of a group of men, perhaps men that she works with and knows won’t try to dry hump her right then and there?

  2. GC says:

    ““there’s no way any other professional athletes would wanna get dressed around this guy” is a homophobic statement? Really?

    there a number of problems with it. For one, Haywood presumes to speak on behalf of all professional athletes. There’s a sizeable percentage that are unafraid of disrobing in close proximity to another dude, gay or straight. There’s also (as Dwyer correctly surmises) the distinct possibility that Haywood has already shared a shower with one or more gay men, yet he’s somehow managed not to be sexually assaulted (as far as we know).

    There’s all sorts of legit reasons why a woman wouldn’t want to undress in the scenario you’ve described above. However, Haywood’s toiled in a work environment most of his adult iife where being naked around other dudes is part of the gig. If he’s a modest sort and/or a member of Dr. Tobias Fünke’s Never Nudes, fair enough. I apologize for calling Brendan a homophobe.

  3. Jimbo says:

    I’m sorry I still gotta call BS on a lot of the points Dwyer brings up and you defend him on.

    To begin with, my question had to do with his statement possibly being homophobic. His ‘speaking on behalf of all professional athletes’ has NOTHING to do with whether or not his statement was or was not homophobic in nature. Most polls of athletes, conducted by the media in recent years (particularly after the Mike Piazza scandal and former NBA player coming out) reveal most athletes to still feel somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of a gay teammate in their locker room. This is not earth-shattering news, and Haywood is on point in generalizing to get his point across here.

    Secondly, Dwyer brings up the absurd point that Haywood has likely had, at some point, a gay teammate. More than likely, in fact. Really Dwyer? While the gay population has steadily grown (or come out of the closet in recent decades), it still hoovers around 4-7% of the population in the most recent studies. Figure the teams he’s played on have been made up of about 12-14 people since middle school, and you’re telling me there’s a more than likely chance he’s had a gay teammate? I’d go the other route and say there’s a more than likely chance he HASN’T had a gay teammate.

    Also interesting is Dwyer’s line that “Even more assured is the absolute fact that you’ve had a gay member of the media in the locker room after the game while you dress”. Is Dwyer outing himself here? Most beat writers I know of tend to be married and even if they were in fact gay, they are not sharing in the intimacy of other locker room occurrences that a teammate would partake in.

    The comment that Haywood has “already shared a shower with one or more gay men, yet he’s somehow managed not to be sexually assaulted” is an equally bogus argument in knocking Haywood here. A person does not need to be sexually assaulted (or the threat of it occurring) to be made to feel uncomfortable while in a state of undress. In fact, I’m sure the thought of being sexually assaulted never crossed Haywood’s mind when he thought about having to undress in front of a a potentially gay (Marbury) teammate. He probably felt more uncomfortable with the idea that the gay teammate might be looking at him and taking mental pictures for later moments.

    This is likely the reason why a woman would also feel uncomfortable undressing in front of a group of guys, guys she knew wouldn’t assault her even. I’m glad that you’ve picked up on these “legit reasons” why a woman would get that vibe in said situation, as Haywood might as well.

    To label him or his comments as homophobic is lazy and irresponsible.

    That being said I normally enjoy the blog so keep up the otherwise good work.

  4. GC says:

    “While the gay population has steadily grown (or come out of the closet in recent decades), it still hoovers around 4-7% of the population in the most recent studies. Figure the teams he’s played on have been made up of about 12-14 people since middle school, and you’re telling me there’s a more than likely chance he’s had a gay teammate? I’d go the other route and say there’s a more than likely chance he HASN’T had a gay teammate.”

    According to the findings of Dr. Redd Foxx in the award-winning motion picture “Norman, Is That You”, one out of 6 males is a practicing Wayland Flowers fan.

    “I’m sure the thought of being sexually assaulted never crossed Haywood’s mind when he thought about having to undress in front of a a potentially gay (Marbury) teammate. He probably felt more uncomfortable with the idea that the gay teammate might be looking at him and taking mental pictures for later moments”

    That still sounds like the height of paranoia to me. For the sake of argument, let’s presume Stephon Marbury’s into dudes. Is he really gonna be so starved for action that he’ll need “mental pictures” of Brendan Haywood to console himself with? Is there such a shortage of attractive gay men that homosexual ballers will have no choice but to leer at their co-workers? How has the Association managed this long without a sexual harassment suit from someone who didn’t have Isiah Thomas getting all hot and bothered?

    There’s no history to indicate the NBA’s homosexual ranks can’t be trusted to be professional and respectful around their colleagues (unlike, for instance, Isiah Thomas).

    Still, I take your point. If Haywood is afraid of being objectified by men (rather than raped), that doesn’t mean he’s homophobic. He’s just….uh, afraid of homosexuals.

  5. Jimbo says:

    “That still sounds like the height of paranoia to me. For the sake of argument, let’s presume Stephon Marbury’s into dudes. Is he really gonna be so starved for action that he’ll need “mental pictures” of Brendan Haywood to console himself with?”

    NBA athletes are men in their physical primes. Would it really be a stretch of the imagination to believe that a gay man would be checking out a well conditioned man at his physical peak while he is in a state of undress? It’s one thing for straight guys to be paranoid about gay guys looking at them while at a party (might be creepy depending on how intent their staring is, but nothing to get restless about). It is another thing all together to feel uncomfortable by a gay man looking at you or even being around you while you shower/undress.

    Imagine you’re getting undressed with some females at their peak. I don’t care how often you’re getting it from your wife/girlfriend, chances are you’ll be looking and taking mental pictures of that young lady getting all naked in front of you. You (and your wifey) would like to thing otherwise, but men have a high sex drive can not help this part of their nature. We are programmed that way.

    “If Haywood is afraid of being objectified by men (rather than raped), that doesn’t mean he’s homophobic. He’s just….uh, afraid of homosexuals.”

    He’s not a homophobe…..he’s just afraid of homosexuals. Which is exactly what homophobia is defined as. So in this sense, women who are afraid of being objectified by men are afraid of heterosexual men? Not really. It has more to do with feeling comfortable in a vulnerable state.

    Listen, if you really don’t think he’s homophobic, then you can say so without implying that yes, he really is homophobic.

  6. GC says:

    “Would it really be a stretch of the imagination to believe that a gay man would be checking out a well conditioned man at his physical peak while he is in a state of undress?”

    Nope. Not a stretch at all. But I’m sure there’s all kinds of “checking out” taking place in NBA locker rooms, even among straights. If we’re gonna live together in a sane, civilized world, it seems a tad more mature and (ahem) less fearful to just acknowledge that and get over it. If Brendan Haywood can take umbrage at gay colleagues taking mental snapshots of his finely honed physique, Jerome James must be the most safe and secure baller in the Association.

    “Imagine you’re getting undressed with some females at their peak. I don’t care how often you’re getting it from your wife/girlfriend, chances are you’ll be looking and taking mental pictures of that young lady getting all naked in front of you.”

    Not necessarily. The hypothetical guy you refer to might prefer cock. Or perhaps he’s in a line of work where being around other naked persons is such a matter of biz-as-usual, he’s either desensitized or (hopefully) professional enough to do his job without making anyone else uncomfortable. Amongst the handful of professional athletes who’ve come out of the closet, we’ve yet to read one story from a teammate or club official accusing them of having stared at a teammate’s schlong a little too long or made any sort of inappropriate gesture.

    “He’s not a homophobe…..he’s just afraid of homosexuals. Which is exactly what homophobia is defined as. So in this sense, women who are afraid of being objectified by men are afraid of heterosexual men? Not really. It has more to do with feeling comfortable in a vulnerable state.”

    If a woman was exclusively phobic about being objectified by heterosexual males (and expressed no similar concerns about women), yeah, i think could justifiably say she had a problem — if not a prejudice — against heterosexual males. I’ve yet to hear Haywood complain about disrobing in the presence of female sportswriters (though I should stress I don’t know exactly how many he encounters).

    “Listen, if you really don’t think he’s homophobic, then you can say so without implying that yes, he really is homophobic.”

    Of course. Except in this case, I have no desire to do so. But just to clarify, I believe it is Mr. Haywood who is implying he is homophobic. Clearly, we’re gonna disagree on this one.

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