I was driving to Louisville Tuesday and heard Jim Miller address the issue of gay players in the NFL with Danny McNeil and Matt Spiegel on WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago. The former Bears quarterback talked frankly about how religious players would have a hard time accepting a gay teammate in the locker room.
Miller, who can be heard on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio, said:
There are some religions that are just not going to accept a gay individual in the locker room. So now, are you as an organization going to bring that element into your locker room and think everything is going to be OK?
Last time I checked, whether it’s Christianity or Muslims or other religions that are out there, they’re just not going to accept it. They’re just not. It’s just not realistic for Mike Florio or any progressive or liberal to think that everything is going to be OK in the locker room and we should all just wise up and accept it.
Deadspin just focused on the above comment from Miller. Yesterday’s post written by Barry Petchesky had this headline: “Who’s The Latest Person To Say Dumb Things About Gay Players In The NFL?”
This is third-hand dogmatism. Miller won’t say he wouldn’t accept a gay teammate. He won’t even say other guys won’t accept a gay teammate. But instead it’s those other guys’ religions (be it “Christianity or Muslims”) that’s the only thing standing in the way of an openly gay NFL player being feted—as if this isn’t a discrimination gay non-athletes face every day. It also takes as a given that players will or should have any say in the demographics of their locker room.
Won’t say he wouldn’t accept a gay teammate? Well, perhaps Petchesky didn’t read the entire Chicago Tribune story that was linked to the post. It included this passage.
Asked his stance on whether gays should be accepted, Miller said, “I could care less. You can play football or you can’t. I’m just giving you my point of view that certain factions of a locker room will not accept it. … That’s the reality of the situation.”
Seems like a fairly definitive answer to me. Miller “could care less.”
As I said, Miller was talking about the culture in the locker room based on his years of being a player. It was a frank and interesting discussion. The possible reaction hardly seems to be beyond the realm of possibility.
Deadspin, though, portrayed him as being anti-gay. It sent out this tweet to its 368,000 followers:
Former Bears QB Jim Miller has opinions on gay players in the NFL. Spoiler: He’s not a fan.
Meanwhile, readers roasted Miller in the comments section, although a few people noted Petchesky missed the point of the interview. Unfortunately, the majority of people who read the post or saw the tweet now think he is a gay basher.
So will Deadspin apologize to Miller for the gross mischaracterization? He probably shouldn’t hold his breath.