LZ Granderson is a sports writer for ESPN’s Page 2. He wrote a long article filled with misdirection, emotional manipulation and speculation about Brady Quinn and how he wants a longer investigation into an alleged incident involving the word “faggot” outside of a bar in Columbus on New Year’s eve.
To start the article, Granderson talks about a scary situation from the NBA’s All-Star weekend where he was gay bashed and physically assaulted.
As I walked by the group of men — on my way to the Playboy party, no less — one of them called me a faggot. Then another joined in. They followed me for a while, continuing to hurl names at me. I tried to ignore it but eventually the “Detroit” came out of me and I turned around and said some things I probably shouldn’t have. Next thing I know I’m surrounded and wondering if I’m going to see the dawn and if not for a pair of New Orleans policemen who saw trouble brewing and yelled at the group to break it up, I might not have.
Now, I know that situation sounds scary. I would be terrified in that situation too. There is no reason why anyone should have to put up with the kind of bigotry described in that paragraph. But look at how it reads. Granderson blatantly calls out the word he was called and yet refers to the things he said as “things I probably shouldn’t have.” Now, I have no reason not to believe Granderson’s story, but the fact is that it is a one-sided account which leaves out any details of the things that might have been hateful that spewed out of Granderson’s mouth. What were those “things” he probably shouldn’t have said?
Now, I wouldn’t have a problem with this story normally because columnists write their one-sided opinions all the time. It is their job as a columnist to do so. They are looking to make you think about the stuff that they are saying and usually they want you to agree with them. The problem I have is that Granderson goes on to use this story to talk about why he thinks the Brady Quinn situation should be investigated further.
I will remind you that the Brady Quinn situation involved some people in a shared parking lot between a restaurant and a gay bar. According to the reports from that, a man called 9-1-1 saying that Brady Quinn was part of a group that was yelling gay slurs at him and other people.
The story of Quinn and his alleged night of gay bashing is filled with sketchy details at best.
- The incident happened on New Years and the story didn’t come out until February 13th.
- Some guy named Harris calls 9-1-1 to report the incident, but Quinn was fighting with a dude named Thompson.
- When the cops showed Quinn was cooperative.
- Thompson was arrested for refusing police orders.
- Harris was contacted later and said that Quinn “wasn’t as involved as” others.
- Harris also told the press later of Quinn, “He was standing back and letting his friends do most of it.”
And those are all the details on the case. That is what was uncovered by the press, and the police. Don’t you think if there was something more substantial there that it might have come out?
But apparently this amount of information isn’t good enough for LZ Granderson on ESPN’s Page 2. He goes on to talk about Brady Quinn and Mathew Shepard in the same paragraph. Let’s take this down a notch, please. We have a guy who might or might not have said anything at all in a verbal altercation (Quinn) in a parking lot and that is being contrasted with the most brutal hate-fueled gay bashing murder in the history of the United States. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think that is a tad bit unfair.
And don’t think for a second that I am some knuckle-dragging, anti-gay, blogger with the opposite agenda of Granderson. I do support gay rights and think that bigotry should be handled appropriately. Speaking of which, Granderson also talks about Tim Hardaway’s incident from last year where Hardaway ranted about not liking gay people on the radio. Does Granderson forget that Tim Hardaway was excused from all NBA activities that he had been invited to take part in? Does Granderson forget that Tim Hardaway was also fired from his job with the CBA’s Indiana Alley Cats.
This isn’t to say that this nation is where it needs to be in terms of acceptance of gay people, but I think Tim Hardaway is a good example of the kinds of reactions that we should expect to see when someone proves themselves to be a bigot.
And maybe Brady Quinn has a problem with bigotry too. I don’t know. I wasn’t at the scene of this alleged incident. I can’t see inside Brady Quinn’s heart to know how he feels. What I do know is that he issued a flat denial of the incident. I know that there is a sketchy account on 9-1-1. I know that the other party involved in the alleged fight was the one who got arrested. I know that Quinn cooperated and was not arrested. I know that it took a long time for this article to come out, which usually means someone was digging for something bigger and didn’t find anything.
What we are left with is a legitimate agenda being pushed forward in a dishonest manner at the expense of an athlete with no prior record of wrong-doing. That seems almost as unfair as being attacked in the street for no apparent reason. I don’t even have a problem with Granderson wanting further investigation into Quinn’s activities, but does he have to use evidence like the attack he received over the weekend and Mathew Shepard as evidence to do it? It seems highly overstated to me when we are talking about a he-said he-said incident on one of the drunkest nights of the year and little, to no substantial evidence to prove one way or another what happened that night.