Many still think homophobia is acceptable
Although I saw a few fights break out in the stands at the Cell over the weekend, most of the back-and-forth between Sox and Cubs fans seemed to be of the trash-talking variety. Cubs suck, Sox suck -- you know, the usual elevated discourse on the relative merits of the two organizations.
Baseball fans reach dismal lows at weekend Cubs-Sox game
There did seem to be an increase in trash-talking logos, from signs to T-shirts to bumper stickers.
I saw a middle-aged woman in a Cubs T-shirt with a customized, expletive-filled diatribe about the Sox on her back. Somebody somewhere's saying: That's my mom!
In my section, a father and son each had their gloves, hoping to catch a foul ball. Looked like a timeless, All-American tableau. Except the boy, who was about 6, was wearing a hat with a depiction of a little boy urinating on a Cubs logo. Ah, the grand traditions handed down from father to son.
Numerous fans wore T-shirts proclaiming "F--- the Cubs" or "F--- the Sox." Others opted for the universal "Giving the finger" logo on their shirts.
A White Sox fan in right field on Sunday was wearing a Sox jersey with the number 35 and the name "BARTMAN" on the back. Subtle.
When the game ended Sunday, a few Sox fans unfurled banners with a blue-on-white "L," mocking the Cubs' tradition of flying the "W" flag after a victory.
And then there was this (above). I saw this one quite often, on T-shirts, signs and bumper stickers:
Get it? Sox fans are winners, but Cubs fans are GAY. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
A company called Chi-City Tees is among the many online vendors offering variations on this theme. Their pitch for the $19.95 T-shirt says:
"The hottest and truest T-shirt on the South Side. We all know the Cubs have their parade . . . gay . . . and the Sox had theirs . . . championship parade."
In the men's room on Friday, after the game: Sox fan walks in, does an exaggerated prance and shouts in a lispy voice, "I'm a Cubs fan, where are the gay bars?"
He says this about 10 times, over and over, until a Cubs fan in line finally says, "Why don't you go home and beat your wife?"
The response from Mr. Genius: "Maybe I will!"
Nor am I going to pretend I marched indignantly around the park on Sunday, tearing down those "Cubs Parade/Sox Parade" signs like a mad crusader.
The signs, T-shirts and bumper stickers are literally a sign of the times. I talked to someone who had one of the signs posted at his tailgate party. Nicest guy in the world. Just poking a little fun at Cubs fans. I'll bet a lot of the folks who buy these shirts are for equal rights and aren't at all inclined to discriminate against gays -- but the explicit message in the parade "joke" is that it's a putdown to call someone gay.
I see this all the time in the chat boxes in the online poker tournaments. A player will lose a hand, and he'll call his opponent "gay" or a "homo." It's never intended as a compliment. Nobody says, "Wow, you're a great player. You must be gay!" It's always, "What a stupid bet, you gay douchebag."
As hundreds of thousands were declaring their gay pride or their support for gay pride at a parade last Sunday, there were myriad reminders at the Sox/Cubs game that for many, it's still considered an easy insult to call someone "gay."
And then there's....*sigh*...this.
This clip of a group of Somalian immigrant children harassing a gay man as he walks home from Twin Cities Pride in Minneapolis. Listen as they shout "I hate gay people!" "Fuck gay people!" and other epithets. The man maintains his composure beautifully.