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    November 01, 2006

    'Kinda gay' remark was 'kinda sexual'

    Posted by: Chris

    Kinchen ESPN has "kinda fired" former NFL receiver Brian Kinchen from doing college football commentary after he called one of his own comments "kinda gay" during the broadcast of last Saturday's Northern Illinois-Iowa game. Actually, he's suspended for this weekend's action, and his future with ESPN is under review, AP reported:

    Kinchen was explaining the need for receivers to make catches with their hands because they are "tender" and can "caress" the ball. He then paused and said, "That's kind of gay, but hey... "

    "The comments were inappropriate, and we apologize for them," said Josh Krulewitz, ESPN's vice president of public relations.

    Kinchen, a former player at LSU and for three NFL franchises, was similarly contrite:

    "[My remarks] were completely inappropriate and not at all a reflection of who I am or the way I perform my work," Kinchen said in a statement issued by ESPN. "I have learned from my mistake and look forward to continuing my broadcasting career."

    The suspension has struck almost everyone as an overreaction. No gay voices, including the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), had spoken out against Kinchen, much less called for his removal.  Some gay sports enthusiasts, including Cyd Zeigler over at Outsports, have nonetheless suggested that gay groups have contributed to a politically correct climate that pressured gay-friendly ESPN to act.

    I, for one, think ESPN's reaction isn't an example of pro-gay "political correctness" as much as it is the dysfunctional way we treat sex and sport, where the action on the telly can bear no relation whatsoever to the typical reaction of those watching. Kinchen wasn't suspended for being "anti-gay"; he was punished for making a sexual remark. He suggested it was "kinda gay" for a receiver to be "tender" with his hands and "caress" the ball.

    His remarks aren't like the anti-gay slurs uttered (usually with impunity) by pro athletes and coaches, but more along the lines of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the Super Bowl halftime a few years back. Those of us watching in real-time noticed something unusual happen, but it took a lot of prudish conservatives freeze-framing their VCRs to see her naughty bits, and then came the predictably apoplectic reaction.

    ESPN's response, like the FCC's historic fine in response to Janet's boob, wasn't leftist politically correct. If anything, it was rightist politically correct, which demands censorship "in the name of the children" of any and all discussion of the human body that could be considered sexual. But as any episode of "The Simpsons" demonstrates, the subtlety is for adult consumption and goes right over their children's heads.

    KinchenhugIf the adults didn't keep replaying Janet Jackson's "boob tube" moment with her nipple blurred, or keep rehashing Kinchen's comments for further interpretation, both would have passed without notice by 99.99 percent of the impressionable minors watching. Instead, our supposed adult reaction is the equivalent to Beavis telling Butthead, "Heh heh — he said 'balls.'"

    But, hey, if we're going to exaggerate the sexual in everything Kinchen says and does, let's not stop with his testicular commentary. How about this photo of the former New England Patriot tight end, hugging teammate Tom Ashworth during the Super Bowl. Where were the ESPN/FCC censors for that one?

    Follow the jump for more 'kinda gay' info on Kinchen:

    Kinchen_models_1 Then there's the fact that Kinchen's services as a "sports and fitness model" are offered by the Stage 2000 talent agency in Baton Rouge, La. There he is on the agency's website, right next to Jared and Josh LeBlanc, who could clearly teach Kinchen a thing or three about what could be considered "kinda gay."

    Believe it or not, the rest of the world isn't so sophomoric about sex, and treats it more as a natural part of being human. Here's hoping we'll see Kinchen back on ESPN in another week, with hopefully not all the "color" drained from his "commentary" by sex-phobic network suits.





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    1. Crain on the sex-phobic network suits from aTypical Joe: A gay New Yorker living in the rural south. on Nov 1, 2006 11:20:23 PM

      Chris Crain on ESPN suspending Brian Kinchen: The suspension has struck almost everyone as an overreaction. No gay voices, including the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), had spoken out against Kinchen, much less called for his rem... [Read More]


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