University of Hawaii football coach Greg McMackin has been suspended for 30 days without pay for using an offensive slur. The McMackin slur poured out of Coach McMackin’s lips Thursday during a speech before reporters at the Western Athletic Conference media preview in Salt Lake City. To be more specific, the McMackin slur was used three times to describe a chant used by Notre Dame football players at a banquet before the Hawaii Bowl last year; the McMackin slur is widely considered to be a derogatory term for homosexual men.
What did McMackin say? Here is an edited version of the McMackin slur:
“They get up and do this little cheer … this little f—– dance,” said McMackin to reporters, while demonstrating the dance.
Greg McMackin has apologized profusely for his transgression.
“I would sincerely like to apologize for the inappropriate verbiage of words that I used,” said McMackin at a news conference arranged by the Western Athletic Conference not long after McMackin’s now-infamous speech. “I have nothing against the University of Notre Dame. I don’t talk like that. I’m really ticked off at myself for saying that. I don’t have any prejudices. It really makes me mad that I said that. I’m disappointed in myself.”
We live in a very politically correct world, and thus it should come as no surprise that the McMackin slur has unleashed an uproar and Greg McMackin is being lambasted by various commentators and members of the gay community.
While some no doubt believe that McMackin ought to be fired for his offensive remarks, others are infinitely more forgiving. In fact, some would argue that McMackin’s punishment is too harsh; that he ought not be suspended at all.
It was an unfortunate choice of words and McMackin demonstrated very poor judgment by allowing the slur to escape from his lips.
But how much damage has the McMackin slur really caused? Have gay men been traumatized by Greg McMackin’s ill-advised choice of words? Are they no longer able to function because they have been beaten down by the crushing weight of McMackin’s devastating diatribe?
Carolyn Martinez Golojuch, president of the O’ahu chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays says that this “discriminatory incident is a reflection of widespread verbal abuse that many times leads to assaults in our society.”
Can one really make that argument with a straight face? (no pun intended). Does she really believe that the McMackin slur is going to inspire some deranged miscreant to hunt down and pummel gay men?
Why isn’t a sincere apology enough?
And it needs noting that the use of a racial or ethnic slur does not necessarily imply that the person using the slur is a racist or bigot. It does not necessarily imply that at all.
Would it help matters if President Obama convened a Beer Summit where Greg McMackin and members of the gay community could come together and hash out their differences? Where they can take advantage of a teachable moment?
McMackin Suspended Over Slur, Jaymes Song, The Associated Press
Swift discipline urged over coach’s ‘hurtful language’, Stanley Lee, The Honolulu Advertiser