Saturday, May 5, 2007

We Only Hate the Ones We Know

John Amaechi should not be known merely as the first gay NBA player. He should be known as the first egotistically delusional gay NBA player!

"I underestimated America. I braced myself for the wrath of a nation under God," Amaechi said at the Log Cabin Republicans' annual convention. "I imagined that it would be a firestorm, that it would be some insane number of letters demanding my deportation or my death."

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that in order for your run of the mill homophobia to turn into homicidal homophobia, the homophobe in question has to feel threatened. He has to feel like he's being attacked, or in the case of a celebrity or athlete, he has to feel insecure in his manhood for having been a fan or admirer, as if that very act makes him all icky and gay. For that to happen he has to, you know, have heard of you. Not to take anything away from your genuine courage and admirable candor, John, but the first reaction of even the most intolerant Americans wasn't "kill Amaechi!" It was "who's Amaechi?" As a former NBA journeyman no one had heard of until you came out, you simply don't rate with the Billy-Bob Queer-Bashers of the world. Sorry.

Amaechi goes on to note that none of his former teammates have contacted him since he came out of the closet:

"Probably 30 of my former [NBA] teammates have my e-mail and my telephone contacts and probably 16 or so of those I was in regular touch with and there are probably 10 people who I have [on instant messenger]. And zero -- nobody -- who's active in the NBA has been in touch with me since the day I came out, despite the fact that most of them knew I was gay in the first place," Amaechi said.

Why could that be?

"[Professional athletes] are our gladiators, our heroes. On the other hand, there's not many of you would trust them with your children, with your car keys or to do your accounting," he said. "Let's face it, for the most part, the stereotype is that they -- we -- are dumb as rocks. So, I don't know if they are a terribly good group to be looked at as kind of indicative of societal change or as leaders in that respect."

Oh, because in addition to being first gay NBA player and the first egotistically delusional gay NBA player, John Amaechi is, well, kind of a jerk too.