Monday, February 10, 2014

Seriously. Someone stop Jarred Cosart.

In last week's Astros Boxes podcast, Tim and I discussed players and social media (and Jarred Cosart specifically, for dropping the R word on a blogger from Climbing Tal's Hill) with Alyson Footer and our good friend Terri (AGirlInTheSouth).

Now Cosart is at it again. He has since deleted the offending tweet (indicating that he knew he screwed up), but here it is courtesy of Paul Boyé's screen capture, should you like to read it.

Now, can someone give Cosart a Twitter timeout? 


Anonymous said...

Get a grip guy ... the creep he's describing is hardly worth the uproar, nor is his enabler, his father. This has nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with political correctness ... it's not good for the young man's image but that's his business not the Twitter world's. Focus on baseball.

cptnbreakdance said...

Meh,He's not wrong. Words are just words. That word doesn't mean what people in the GLTB community want it to mean anymore. Go listen to Louis C.K's thoughts on the other "F" word. It pretty much sums up my feelings about all of this.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Who honestly cares what a baseball player says on Twitter? The people that get upset about things like this are just looking for a reason to be offended. Words are just words, and they only have the power that people give them.

Nostradamus said...

The comments above make the Baby Jesus cry.

To answer the last commenter directly, I care. All things considered, I'd generally prefer that Astros players not use gay slurs in their public discourse. Maybe I'm just an outlier though.

cptnbreakdance said...

The real issue here is that I'm sure Jarred Cosart doesn't think of that word as a gay slur (which for the record, neither to I). The meaning of the word has changed, and when people our age direct it at someone or a group of people, 99.99% of the time it has nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

It's meaning has become pretty much interchangeable with the word D-Bag(which someone on Twitter used to describe Cosart btw). If the GLADD community (or anyone else for that matter) wants to get outraged, they should stop being so faggy(aka D-baggy)about it.

Nostradamus said...

Cptn: I appreciate you defining the real issue for me here: If the Cptn doesn't think of the F-word as a gay slur, no one should. That explanation is totally hetero (which I think now means "good"?).

However, if I thought it would change your opinion, I might suggest that there is a freight-train-size difference between the root of those two insults you mentioned: one describes members of a stigmatized minority group with high levels of teenage suicide, the other describes an inanimate feminine hygene product.

I'll go back to campaigning for GLADD now.

cptnbreakdance said...

All snark aside,

I know that this is a sensitive subject for most, but my point was the word in question is exactly that, a word.

I guarantee you that Jarred Cosart had no intention of inferring that Justin Bieber is gay. If he did, he would more than likely have used the word gay.

The use of that word in my age group is now mostly used to describe someone who's actions and basic way of thinking are so against the norm that they are considered down right egregious and deplorable. Much like the use of the word D-bag.

Up until the 1960's and 70's the word queer just meant strange or peculiar , but since homosexuality at the time was viewed as both strange and peculiar, the word was adopted by the gay community as a slur to them specifically, making it taboo.

A word's meaning tends to change over time, and by the area you live in. This "F" word in particular has SO MANY DIFFERENT meanings worldwide (my favorite is the British "faggot" a pork meatball), that I find it downright laughable that anyone can be offended by it.

As far as teenage suicide goes, teenagers are generally awful to one another in any context, and singling out one of the many words kids use to insult one another as the end-all be-all for higher suicide rates is a pretty weak argument, and don't get me started on the correlation (correlation mind you, not causation) between homosexuality in american youth and mental disorders such as clinical depression, suicidal thoughts/tendencies, and general anxiety.

And I'm not trying to split hairs here, but in almost all other contexts, the word fag, or faggot, is more often than not used to describe an inanimate object; including, but not limited to: my aforementioned pork meatball, A moderately sized bundle of sticks, or a loose cigarette.

I know we can never be at a 100% consensus as to what is right and what is wrong (and i think that name calling in general is wrong), but when it really comes down to it, who cares if you are offended by something a professional athlete says?

At least we can all agree on one thing though, Justin Bieber is just terrible.

radROCK said...

the offensive nature of the word is derived from history. the history of how those it describes have been treated. it's not in the power of Jarred or you or anyone else to define the legacy of the word.

i grew up using "gay" as a generic negative qualifier. but as i grew older and made gay friends/learned friends i had were gay, i phased this usage out of my vocabulary. i did this because i came to understand the legacy of oppression the gay community has faced. i didnt want to a part of that oppression, even in the relatively minor way of describing a car repair bill, an unwanted responsibility, or one of 111 games last year.

so it comes down to do you want to ignore history in favor of your go-to social insult, or do you want to make a small change in how you live your life in order to be part of a larger movement towards social equality.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that people have to make a conscious decision to be offended. If you get offended by reading words on a page, you need to toughen up. The victim mentality is ridiculous.

Mila said...

Homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism are linked to higher rates mental illness because our society spends so much time demeaning LGBTQ people and treating us like shit. It isn't because we're this way, it's because of the way people treat us.

You'd be anxious and depressed too if your own family threatened to disown you for something you can't help.

cptnbreakdance said...

Agreed, and I will reiterate that I don't like calling people names in general.

But again, the legacy of that word cannot be pigeonholed into one defacto history lesson of its use in gay society.

The other meanings of that word are not antiquated relics of a far-gone history, they are used in the present, so to try and give an ambiguous a word such as "fag" is one meaning, and as a rule, be offended by that meaning, is pretty ignorant in and of itself.

cptnbreakdance said...

Mila, that's why I made the distinction between correlation and causation. One does not mean the other. The points you bring up are the causation to the correlation I spoke of previously, and I agree with you completely.

Nostradamus said...

The comments in this thread are representative of two camps of people on this issue:

Camp 1 recognizes that the use of gay slurs in fact offends and hurts people, but argues that it shouldn't. Thus, people in Camp 1 make technical arguments about the multiple meanings of a word, the truism that "words are just words," or the so-called "victim mentality" ruining America. In short, Camp 1 people are so convinced that people "shouldn't" be hurt that they don't care that they actually are.

Camp 2 also recognizes that gay slurs offend and hurt, and then asks why anyone would choose to be in Camp 1.

cptnbreakdance said...

While Camp 1 recognizes Camp 2's stance and respects its opinion, we don't necessarily care about camp 2's opinion of camp 1, and think they should stop grouping and subjugating everything into right or wrong, black and white issues. We will however, respect your right to a differing opinion.


Ted said...

Very well put, radROCK.

Cptnbreakdance, I don't think Jarred was talking about sticks, so I'm not sure why you keep bringing that up. If you are so totally blind to cultural context (ie that the term is hurtful to many millions of people, even those who aren't gay) then your "argument" could bring in evidence from whatever corner of the universe you choose, adding nother.

cptnbreakdance said...

No he wasn't, and he wasn't talking about gay people either. That what happens when people use a word with completely ambiguous meanings. Which was my point.

If you are so blind as to assume that anytime someone uses that word, it is directed specifically at gay people, then your "counter-argument" is pretty short-sided.

Let people be offended. If what they are offended about wasn't directed at them in the first place, then that's on them.

The real issue here is finding a way we can insult Just Bieber that describes just how shitty he is, without offending everyone and their grandmother in process.

Anonymous said...

cptnbreakdance I tend to agree with you that in context Jarred meant the F word as a synonym for "S&*thead" or any number of other alternatives. I'm sure Bieber (and presumably, Beliebers by association) were the target, not the gay community, as you've argued.

But regardless of intent don't you see the problem with that? In his mind, the F word (and R word as mentioned above) are stored right alongside all of his other favorite insults. That screams of 1) a lack of awareness about how those words are both insulting and hurtful to a lot of people and 2) an inability to differentiate between a "joke" and something more incendiary.

Also, if I'm the Astros I'm not sure I want one of my employees badmouthing anyone in a way that feels cheap or below the belt. Jarred's "apology" tweets at least included some context as to why he thinks JB isn't a good person. If he was going to say anything, he should have just said that.

Anonymous said...

There are some great points made here, but you're all still gay.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to freedom of Speech? He should be able to say anything about what he believe in like Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

wmartin said...

I think the bigger issue here is that Cosart should have known that what he was saying was politically incorrect and known he was going to face public backlash for the comment regardless of if he meant it in a homosexual context or not. I'm all for freedom of speech but at the same time I think somebody on Cosart's platform needs to watch what they say. He's not only representing himself, he's representing the Astros organization and he should put a little more thought into what puts into the public mega-sphere that is Twitter. He's a 23 year-old kid and he made a mistake just like every 23 year-old kid ever has done. What worries me is that he didn't learn from the first time a similar situation happened.