There once was a time I thought there was nothing worse than when Mike Francesa pretends to talk about hockey. Just the other day, I cringed when he called Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist “Mr. Lundqvist,” because it appeared he couldn’t remember the man’s first name. But alas, I’ve found something else Francesa has no business talking about — and yet he has over the last two days, in as nauseating a fashion as possible.
And it has little to do with sports.
For two days, Francesa has taken phone calls from people across the nation about the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax. Among the callers, some have suggested — and perhaps rightfully so — that the reason Te’o purported to have a girlfriend online was his way of easily hiding the fact the Notre Dame star is gay.
This may very well be the case. It might not be. But it’s been Francesa’s reaction — his demonstration of an utter ignorance of LGBT issues — that is most alarming.
Francesa is a man who scolds anyone who isn’t an authority to speak on a topic. He constantly asks callers: “Were you there?” or “Who’s your source?”
And yet, for some reason, he thinks he’s well-qualified enough to talk about — of all things — LGBT issues?
Let’s take a look at a few things.
First, he keeps saying “homosexuals” where he should be saying people who are “gay.” Calling someone a “homosexual” is derogatory — and he uses the word like he does “caller,” “player” or “update.”
He also says no one in football would tolerate a gay teammate in the locker room — and yet, he conveniently forgets that Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe — two bona fide NFL players — have both been outspoken proponents of same-gender marriage. And there have been many other players who have backed the two and their outspoken nature.
He also doesn’t have a clue when it says that it’s impossible a man like Te’o would need to “hide” being gay with an online relationship when he could, as an All-American at Notre Dame, “get hundreds of women if he wanted to.”
Really Mike? Do you think it’s that simple?
And do you think it’s right that a college football star would need to “get women” because he can get women just to cover up that he might be gay?
I wonder if Francesa really realizes what he’s saying here.
In essence — the guy’s good looking and popular enough to get the women he wants — so why wouldn’t he just do that to “cover things up?”
The logic isn’t just flawed — it’s incredibly stupid.
Everyone has a right to opinions. Lord knows I’m never one to hold back.
But for the love of holy bloomer, Francesa, shut up — or learn what the hell you’re talking about before you comment on such matters are if you’re an LGBT expert.
That’s not all, either.
Francesa says he isn’t sure pro athletes are ready to handle having gay journalists in the locker room.
Is he really serious?
Is Mike the only person in all of New York who wasn’t aware that at least one prominent New York sports reporter — it is, after all, ESPN Radio employee Jared Max — came out on the air a few years ago?
And it’s not like Max hasn’t been in a locker room before — or after — his announcement.
Sometimes, it just blows my mind what Francesa will say. But the utter hypocrisy of the man is downright alarming, when you consider he’s the ultimate guru to tell someone to shut up when said person isn’t an expert on a topic.
And yet, ignorantly — and clearly without giving much aforethought — the guy comes across like he’s an LGBT expert. Yup — Te’o wouldn’t need to fake a relationship if he were really gay. All he’d have to do is choose from among the hundreds of women at Notre Dame who are ready to knock boots with him because he’s a football star.
Forget about the idea the kid might actually be gay — and worried. That doesn’t matter one bit.
According to Francesa, it would be perfectly OK for Te’o — or anyone else who might be gay — to just find a woman to hide the reality.
This is absolutely insane — and part of the reason why so many are afraid, shamed of simply being gay, let along being “out.”
The big danger here is that the LGBT community has made excellent strides in the world of sports and sports radio. And despite Francesa’s assertions it would be “problematic” in a locker room if an athlete came out, I believe that’s not the case.
The problem is when a noted sports-talk host says it will be a problem, scores of ignoramuses will buy into it — and when an athlete finally does come out while still playing — the phone lines will light up with these fools who will find a problem with it.
Because Mike said so.
The best solution here?
Francesa should shut his damn mouth and do some homework.
And for once — just once — follow his own advice and not speak about that which he doesn’t know.
I won’t be waiting with my breath held for him to do this.
After all, he IS THE Mike Francesa.
Who knows better than he does about, well, everything?