The art of PC in sportswriting; Avery taken to task

Political Correct? Sometimes we need to be – PC

By Terrance Gavan

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Amazing! Because Sean Avery has come out in favor of gay marriage rights he is now being outed, by a number of gay rights groups. As far as I know peeps. Sean is still straight. And no there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. To quote a Seinfeld episode. Just another irony in this captivating story. By the way? Terrance Gavan? Str8.

I was lauding New York Rangers’ forward Sean Avery’s quickstep in support of gay marriage the other day.

The guy’s still crazy as a loon, but I thought it was nice that he was at least voicing an opinion that marched with the common thread of decency and equal rights guaranteed by the American and Canadian constitutions.

Truthfully, I didn’t think it was that big a deal. Free country right?

Well. How wrong was I?

Avery’s innocent and totally personal remarks came under the intense and less than laudable scrutiny of NHL player agent Ted Reynolds.

Usual Suspects columnist Bruce Dowbiggin reported on Reynold’s ruckus in a Globe and Mail post last weekend.

“The media tempest over player agent Todd Reynolds’s same-sex marriage (SSM) opinions illustrates that hockey is as secular as the nation that worships the sport,” writes Dowbiggin. “And that opinions on some hot-button opinions create uncomfortable questions for media about the limits of free speech in Canada.

“Under the banner of his firm Uptown Hockey, Reynolds took issue with the decision of New York Ranger Sean Avery to publicly back SSM.”

Reynolds said in a tweet last Monday: “Very sad to read Sean Avery’s misguided support of same-gender ‘marriage’. Legal or not, it will always be wrong” In further tweets, Reynolds said he was not against gays but giving the legal definition of marriage to same-sex couples. “I believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. This is my personal viewpoint. I do not hate anyone.”

Ah, the last refuge of bigotry comes with the abject denial. Or as Willy Shakespeare once opined: “Methinks the loopy guy protests too much.”

Now it does not end there for the Reynolds family. Proving that the apple falls indefatigably close to the tree Ted’s dad, Dan Reynolds carried water the rest of the way to the huddle. “[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Dan] then waded into the deep end, with a possible comparison between gay marriage and bestiality,” writes Dowbiggin. Geez. That’s a cluster grenade there fellers. Holy cow!

Washington-based blogger Greg Wyshynski (Puckdaddy) posted, “When @uptownhockey isn’t repping NHL players it’s bashing gays and marriage equality.” The criticism went viral across social media, almost all of it damning for Reynolds.

Dowbiggin took heat on Q on Monday this week for his own a mangled reference to a “gay lifestyle” – whatever that is – and free speech rights for the Christian right, proving that sometimes the messenger does indeed require shooting.

Reynolds received a nod from Damian Goddard of Rogers Sportsnet, a Christian who said, “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.”

For that inspired tweet? Goddard got the boot from Rogers this week. Unceremoniously fired.

Dowbiggin opines – between the lines – that Canadian laws on hate speech favors the Avery’s and junk piles the Reynolds Christian ethic.

Which is why Dowbiggin took such a lambasting from gay rights people after his appearance onCBC’s Q this past Monday.

Why am I going here?

Well because, I ran into my own dilemma with Political Correctness (PC) while editing video for the countyvoice.ca website this weekend.

I put together a video collage of the Legion elementary school track meet on Saturday shortly after the meet. It included a collage of my photos laid down over top of Bob Marley’s “Jammin.”

Because I like Bob Marley. And his music. I asked my editing software to make a “smart movie” and it did. It stitched together all the photos and scrambled them.

Then I looked once more at the video package.

I put it up and emailed Stephen Patrick and asked facetiously if the use of Bob Marley might be putting the wrong spin on Canadian track and field. To wit: the many Jamaican athletes that have for years bulwarked the sprint events on Canada’s stage.

I looked at the video again, and I felt a twinge in the gut. I knew what it was immediately.

I included this fact in the email to Publisher Stephen Patrick and jokingly begged Patrick not to agree with my gut feeling. That Marley in the background was supporting a stereotype. That “Jammin” might be treading that fine line of PC.

But in truth I wasn’t even waiting for Stephen’s cogent reply. Which did come, and confirmed my gut feeling.

So the video came down and went back up; With my friend Randy Bachman’s Takin’ Care of Business on top of the collage.

I love Randy but he’s no Bob.

But then again, I can now watch the video without those PC pangs.

I’m waitin’ for the day when I can play Bob Marley with reckless abandon.

But for now, seven decades behind Jackie Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodge?

We must bow to those twinges of conscience, and respect the fact that all choices have consequences.

Me old da’ always said “Go wit yer gut!”

Good advice. From dad… and Patrick.

Jammin’ still good.

But for this video?

Bachman was better.

Get gav@pardontheeruption.com and twitter.com/terrancegavan. Watch those tweets peeps!

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