Sunday, February 18, 2007

Revisiting Spocko

As you may have heard, the NBA banned Tim Hardaway from further participation in its all-star weekend festivities in Las Vegas after his tirade against gay people in response to John Amaeche's book. The NBA, quite sensibly, didn't want to be associated with such expressions of hate. Although Hardaway subsequently apologized for his comments, it seems pretty clear from how vehemently he expressed himself ("First of all, I wouldn't want him on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, I would, you know, really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room...You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.") that he was misinterpreted. (To his credit, Hardaway didn't claim in his apology that he was misquoted or misunderstood.)

I bring this up because this brings us back to the battle between Spocko and KSFO/Disney. Tim Hardaway is quite obviously entitled to express his views. The NBA, which finds those views antithetical to the idea of international and cultural inclusiveness which it tries to project, is under to obligation to provide a forum for Hardaway to express those views or to provide him economic support as he expresses those views and is entitled to distance itself from him and his views. The NBA is in the same position as the sponsors Spocko contacted about advertising on KSFO/Disney. It seemed to him that they may not have been aware of the content of the programs they were advertising on, of the expressions of bigotry and hate expressed by Lee Rogers, Melanie Morgan, "Captain Vic," and Brian Sussman, so he let them know what they were paying to put on the air, who and what it is that their products would be associated with in the Bay Area.

As it turns out, a number of companies, including Allstate Insurance, In-n-Out Burgers, and Borders Books*, agreed with Spocko; they didn't want to pay for dissemination of hate and didn't want to be associated with those hatemongers.

No rational person would cast Hardaway in the role of victim for what happened last week. I don't get the impression that even he would do so. Sadly the folks at KSFO/Disney are made of lesser stuff and refuse to accept responsibility for their own actions, believing themselves to be the victims of a great liberal conspiracy to silence them. Wankers.

*And CSAAA, Aetna Insurance, Bank of America, Mastercard, and others.


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