On LeCharles Bentley Calling Braylon Edwards Gay

While on the one hand it was nice to see LeCharles Bentley stand up for Cleveland on Twitter yesterday, it also feels a bit dirty.  Yesterday LeCharles Bentley had some choice words for Braylon Edwards and his most recent criticisms aimed at Cleveland.  The only problem is that LeCharles decided that the best way to get back at Braylon Edwards for dissing Cleveland was a thinly veiled gay joke.  You know, because there is nothing worse in the world you could call someone other than gay, right?  I won’t quote it directly here.  You can take my word for it, and if you really need to figure out what he said, you can find it pretty easily with The Google.

I am sure a lot of people will just say that it is a cultural thing in the NFL.  Some will say that guys who are programmed to take each other’s heads off on each and every play of the NFL season need some leeway with regard to their cultural sensitivity.  These are not politicians or clergymen, and people need to consider the sources of statements when judging said statements.

When Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy movie came out a lot of pro-gay groups came out and criticized the movie because one of the characters in the movie, Banky portrayed by Jason Lee, made a lot of anti-gay jokes.  Kevin Smith, at the time, was blown away that anyone wouldn’t consider the source as he had the anti-gay jokes delivered by the dumbest character in the script.  Maybe in the same vein, we shouldn’t really look to former NFL offensive linemen for cues on cultural sensitivity.

LeCharles Bentley’s statement about Braylon Edwards is a reminder of culture in the NFL we watch every week.  To date, there has never been an openly gay NFL player. Also to date, I believe there are only three former NFL players who have come out of the closet, most notably, Esera Tuaolo in 2002.  Depending on what statistics you believe, there are anywhere between two and five percent of the population that are homosexual.  Even if by some scientifically proven fact the rate happens to be lower in the NFL it would still be just that.  Lower.  That means that there are some NFL players in the present that are unable or unwilling to admit who they are because of the culture created around the game.  The easily tweeted message from LeCharles Bentley is proof of that.

Maybe you are fine with that.  I know a lot of people don’t think anyone’s sexuality should ever be anyone’s business regardless.  Maybe you are satisfied with the militaristic “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies that have existed for quite a while.  Still, when a former player who also happens to still be in the media feels free to tweet an anti-gay slur on Twitter to call out a former Cleveland Browns player, I think it at least deserves a little discussion.

  • jack

    Are you sure Fujita isn’t Japanese? That was a very cool little video. One of the several things I’ve learned today.

  • Tommy

    glad it was a busy day at work so i didn’t get sucked into this nonsense

    respect for WFNY just went down a notch

  • AcrossTheField11

    What a gay article…

  • Ike

    I love this site to death, and am encouraged that you guys decided to tackle this topic. I admire the courage to tackle provocative topis, but I think Bentley’s comment is being over-analyzed.

    In no way is it explicit enough to assume he’s discussing Edwards’ sexuality. Could he be doing just that? Of course. But the fact that he ended the tweet with “decode at your own discretion” proves my point exactly. Bentley’s on radio now, he’s smart enough to put enough “gray area” in there…and he did.

  • MattyFos

    PC = Gay

  • mike

    DP your such a champion of the minority oh you must feel so smug and satisfied with yourself.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    Not as smug as you felt publishing that comment, but yeah, kind of smug. It tastes really good.

    You should see my mantle. I have all my minority championship trophies all lined up so that the sun hits them just right. It’s sweet.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    If DP were any more smug he’d be president of the Big Ten.

    Also it’s good to hear that MattyFos uses a Mac.

  • mike

    DP

    you should change your picture from Crennel eating that Italian BMT because its a joke involving a overweight African American gentleman and someone might get offended and feel sad and that’s not acceptable in liberal smile-town happy-land.

  • mike

    since i commented alot on this yesterday, this is a different mike from 106 and 109. :)

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    I bet mike 106/109 can bench press almost as much as that other bro.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    If Romeo Crennel had never made jokes about his weight–or, if I was saying in my picture that Romeo was a horrible coach and somehow less of a person BECAUSE he’s overweight–I might agree with you. But, to my memory, one of his best post-game quotes ever was in response to someone asking him if things in a game would have gone differently if something specific had happened/changed, and he said, “Sure. If I didn’t eat so much, I’d be skinny.”

    And, to me, that’s the difference. Romeo himself admitted that his weight is something that he controls. I personally don’t care how much he weighs. I’m also not attempting to imply with my picture that it’s a bad thing; more, just that he likes to eat, and in the context of my Photoshop is happy to have a gigantic sandwich. Your point is taken for the fact that the picture I use is exploiting his eating habits in the name of humor, so I can be fair and admit that perhaps it’s not the best thing to have done.

    His race, however–something that CANNOT be changed, much like a person’s sexuality–has nothing to do with the sandwich, what-so-ever; for the record, I picked that sandwich at random from Google images as the best sandwich to Photoshop into that picture, as opposed to making any comments about race/food stereotypes.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    And, to prove I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong, behold…

    BEER.

  • Wankjob

    As a jets fan.. I could care less if edwards is gay or not. I care more about the fact that we traded our horrible coach to your horrible team filled with horrible players. We were one game away from the superbowl last year while your team was already making post season vacation plans in october.
    While all of you proud cleveland fans are sitting at home watching your team get molested every sunday, think about this….

  • mgbode

    @DP

    #1 – good pic and good beer
    #2 – tell Robert Downey Jr. you can’t change your race
    #3 – if Romeo had said that it would have made the greatest Coors Light commercial of all time.

    Dumb guys Lamenting: “If this Coors light can was blue, it would be at perfect drinking temperature”

    Romeo belittling: “If I didn’t eat so much, I’d be skinny.”

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com DP

    According to metcalfupthemiddle.blogspot.com, he said it on 9.20.07. Google it!

  • mgbode

    Ok. Then it’s up to Coor’s to make the commercial.

    Can they now that he’s a coach again?