Jamele Hill defends homophobic remarks
On ESPN.com yesterday, columnist Jemele Hill said she accepts and respects David Tyree for being so active and vocal in his belief that gay people should be treated as second-class citizens.
The column is a sorry excuse for the quality we’ve come to expect from ESPN. Not just because as a black woman she should know better than to defend bigotry, and not just because she used her platform to tell her readers that anyone who stands up for hateful beliefs should be respected. Sure, those two things are pretty bad. But the shameful part of Hill’s piece is that, in her quest to lift up this bigoted man, she used even more faulty logic and poorly realized arguments than Tyree did in his original anti-equality video.
I won’t rehash the details of her column here; You can read them at ESPN.com. Suffice it to say, she says we should all respect people like David Tyree, and I guess Fred Phelps too, because he so fervently sticks to his beliefs that God hates gay people. Heck, I’m sure her office is covered with posters of Jefferson Davis for sticking by what he believes despite a war erupting around him!
Hill asserts that Tyree has the right to say whatever he wants. First Amendment! First Amendment! The thing is, no one disagrees with that. I haven’t heard anyone say he should be arrested for his comments. I haven’t heard anyone say he’s overstepped the law. No one has argued Tyree doesn’t have the First Amendment right to say he thinks gay people should be treated as second-class citizens, and even GLAAD would defend his right to say it.