Essentially, Barry Petchesky apologized Thursday to Jim Miller for a post that labeled the former Chicago Bears quarterback as being anti-gay. And then in the next breath, Petchesky said, yeah, but I still think he’s anti-gay.
To back up a bit, yesterday I did a post slamming Deadspin and Petchesky for doing wrong by Miller. Appearing on WSCR-AM 670 in Chicago Tuesday, Miller talked about how factions of an NFL team will have a hard time accepting a gay teammate. The discussion was about the culture of the locker room with Miller speaking from his vast experience.
I heard the segment which included this key point.
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.
Petchesky then did a post for Deadspin that had this headline: “Who’s The Latest Person To Say Dumb Things About Gay Players In The NFL?”
Deadspin also 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.
As a result, Miller got ripped for his supposed anti-gay views. Totally unfair. But then when is Deadspin about being fair?
Petchesky did try to clarify things Thursday. In its Funbag column, a reader asked: “When are you going to issue a correction/apology on the Jim Miller story?”
I feel terrible that the takeaway seems to be “Jim Miller’s a bigot,” even though I included his full remarks in there. Given the chance, I’d write it differently.
OK, nice to admit you made a mistake, Barry. Only he didn’t. Here’s the next sentence:
Regarding Miller, I took a leap as to his personal beliefs that I shouldn’t have, even though I still think it’s a safe bet (When asked if gays should be accepted, Miller said “I could care less,” which is pointedly not a yes.)
Wait a minute, Barry. You just called Miller a bigot. You still think he’s anti-gay.
Here’s what “I could care less” means. Miller was saying “I could care less” about a player’s sexuality.
If somebody asked me how I felt about working with a gay person in the newsroom, I likely would say, “I could care less.” A person’s sexuality doesn’t matter to me.
Petchesky might phrase it the same way, as would millions of others. Does that make us anti-gay?
If you heard the discussion, and if you know Miller, one of the good guys who has made the transition to broadcasting in Chicago and for SiriusXM NFL Radio, you know he is not anti-gay.
Yet thanks to Deadspin, countless people now think Miller is a bigot.
Petchesky went on to stand by his argument regarding what Miller said about the culture in the locker room. It’s all there if you want to read it.
Frankly, Petchesky blew any credibility in my eyes. If I were him, I would do a clarification on his clarification. Sometimes, it takes three attempts to get it right.