GAYS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS Dec 12, 2012 13:15:09 GMT -5
Post by bluepride on Dec 12, 2012 13:15:09 GMT -5
Former NY Rangers agitator Sean Avery the unlikely leader in the fight for gay rights in sports
Sean Avery figures there is one matter that hasn’t been addressed at the NHL labor negotiations: gay slurs by players.
“He’s the worst,” Avery said of Gary Bettman, on this issue. “My belief is the responsibility lies with the leagues, the way they discipline players, the position they take and use it in every-day incidents. One guy’ll get slapped with a fine, the next day nothing will happen. There needs to be consistency.”
Avery can attest firsthand to the erratic standards employed by the NHL. In 2010, James Wisniewski was suspended for his use of a lewd, anti-gay gesture toward Avery. But a year later, Bettman did not punish Wayne Simmonds after Avery reported to the league that Simmonds had dropped the homophobic “F” bomb.
“They said there wasn’t sufficient evidence, but it’s on YouTube as clear as day,” Avery said.
Avery has been an unexpected advocate for gay rights in recent years, a board member of Athlete Ally, a group of straight athletes devoted to eradicating homophobia in sports. While the former Ranger player was once suspended himself for using derogatory language toward a woman, nobody can now question his dedication to this issue. Avery has lent his backing to the musical, “Bare,” playing at New World Stages, which features the story of a gay jock in a bullying society. Avery even traveled to Albany to lobby Republican state officials on gay marriage rights.
“Maybe it’s because when I was such a bully when I had my uniform on, that when I took it off I felt the need to stand up against the bully,” Avery said.
Read article: Former NY Rangers agitator Sean Avery the unlikely leader in the fight for gay rights in sports