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The NFL's Limited Vocabulary

ShirtsThe NFL shirt controversy brewing over at Outsports seems to me simply a reflection of the culture at large. It seems the NFL store won't allow you to print a jersey with the words "lesbian" or "gay" on it (even though Randall Gay is a defensive back for the Patriots) but they will allow you to print words like "Nazi", "Hitler", or "Terrorist".

In an age when TV networks will allow uncountable acts of homicide in prime time yet blur out a cartoon character's ass, it doesn't surprise me one bit that these are the words the NFL has chosen to flag as offensive. As someone commented last week on this site, the Simpsons episode that featured gay marriage had a parental advisory in front of it. The episode that immediately followed it featured Bart reading pornography and bore no such warning. "Apparently gay marriage is more likely to unravel society's moral fabric than porno in the hands of a kid" said the reader.

The disparity between America's comfort with sex and its comfort with violence is utterly twisted. I don't see it changing anytime soon, and certainly not from within a sports organization without a single acknowledged gay athlete in its ranks.

ADDENDUM: The 1,121 words you CAN'T put on an NFL jersey.

Gay is a Naughty Word [Outsports]

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  1. what about FAG(s) & DYKE(s)? QUEER? PILLOWBITER? FUDGEPACKER? (or should it be FUDGE on a Green Bay Packers jersey?)

    Posted by: on the isle of gay (manhattan, NYC) | Mar 1, 2005 4:33:46 PM

  2. I guess the NFL knows their audience.

    Posted by: HoyaBoy | Mar 1, 2005 5:08:56 PM

  3. I don't really care as long as I can get an "Oilers" jersey... I think that pretty much sums it up.

    Posted by: M@ | Mar 1, 2005 9:14:02 PM

  4. Does this mean that EX-GAY (or EXGAY, EX-QUEER, EXQUEER, etc.) is allowed?

    Posted by: Christopher | Mar 2, 2005 12:56:22 AM

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