David Tyree re-enacts the catch

Making its way through the conservative Catholic echo chamber today is this story about the New York Giants, ESPN and poor-poor downtrodden David Tyree. The dichotomy of argument is stunningly obvious in that supporters of marriage equality seem to be focused on constitutional rights and what is really best for children. In contrast, people who oppose marriage equality seem dedicated to a battle of semantics. According to the blog that is the source of this bit of cognitive dissonance:

If you’re a supporter of traditional marriage suppoprter <sic> you have no
right to work anywhere, at least according to ESPN and the Human Rights

Calling people who champion marriage discrimination “supporters of traditional marriage” is an appeal to people with the critical thinking skills of the average cocker spaniel. These are people who want to ban same-sex marriage and who have no coherent argument to support their position. They cannot point to Massachusetts, or any other equality state, and construct a sober analysis based on actual experience that would bolster their point of view. Their beliefs are shaped by religion.

Secondly, the public statements of public figures are fair game for criticism. Suppose, for example, that Mr. Tyree had said that all Jews are destined for Hell because they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Mr. Tyree might very well believe that to be the case but if he said so in a public forum he would ignite a firestorm of well deserved opprobrium. In polite society we don’t spout religious beliefs to support intolerance of, and for, a minority group. The blog continues by grazing on “poor us” land:

ESPN columnist Dan Graziano said that while he doesn’t believe
“wrongheaded views should necessarily prevent a person from seeking and
holding a job in his chosen field” he says that he doesn’t think “this
is the right time” for the New York Giants to hire a traditional
marriage supporter for a position that has absolutely nothing to do with
the marriage issue.

Here is what Dan Graziano actually wrote:

In 2011, Tyree said he’d trade his miracle “helmet catch,” which led to
the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII, in exchange for a law outlawing gay
marriage. And he’s publicly professed his belief that “there is no
scientific data to support the claim of being born gay.” Tyree has
explained his views by citing his religious beliefs, which is an excuse a
lot of people use and is, in my opinion, a crummy reason for treating
fellow human beings poorly. You believe what you want to believe, but
once you start using it as a weapon with which to mistreat other people,
you have lost me.

Moreover, as Graziano further explained, the timing could not be worse. The drafting of Michael Sam has made gay rights a sensitive issue within the NFL and has spread to other organized professional sports including Major League Baseball which honored a former gay player during the All-Star Game. Sam will not be the only gay NFLer, just the first one to be out. Moreover, he certainly won’t be the only supporter of marriage equality. Why should all of those people have to suffer the ignorance of David Tyree and his ilk?

The point here is simple. People are free to believe as they choose. When those spoken beliefs are detrimental to others then common sense suggests keeping your mouth shut. Tyree should have eliminated himself from coaching consideration by his abject stupidity.

National Organization for Marriage and Family Research council like to complain about the stifling of religious views in the public square. What they are looking for is license to be a boor without being subject to criticism. That’s not how things work except, perhaps, in a theocracy where all conduct is defined by religion.

By the way, suppose Mr. Tyree let loose with some good-old-fashioned Evangelical Christian criticism of Catholicism? Blowhard Bill Donohue would be on the case in an instant. Intolerance of Catholics is just beneath the surface but has been subdued due to the “enemy of my enemy …” strategy to oppose LGBT rights including marriage, ENDA and local anti-discrimination ordinances. These same people are “suiting up” for every contest that pits religion against civil rights due to sexual orientation or sexual identity. They find common ground in discrimination.

So let’s call these people what they really are; Bigots. The hell with semantics.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.