In a piece that appeared on the website’s student newspaper posted Friday, the Daily Reveille asked several players on the LSU football team how accepting they would be if there were an openly gay player on the roster. The attitudes of most of the players when it came to that question can be summed up by the words of quarterback Stephen Rivers.
“If he can play for LSU, he will play for LSU,” the sophomore told the paper.
Notice we said “most,” though. When asked about a gay man being a member of the Tigers, running back Alfred Blue, well, went here:
“Football is supposed to be this violent sport — this aggressive sport that grown men are supposed to play. Ain’t no little boys out here between them lines. So if you gay, we look at you as a sissy. You know? Like, how you going to say you can do what we do and you want a man?”
In response to the quotes, LSU has issued a statement on behalf of Blue in an attempt to cram the homophobic toothpaste back in the tube.
“I understand that my comments may have sounded insensitive to those who read the Reveille article on Friday,” the player’s statement began. “I in no way meant to belittle any person’s way of life and feel that everyone deserves a chance to become whatever they want to be. One of my comments that was left out of Friday’s article shows this. I told the reporter that if any person can help to contribute to the team, then that is the bottom line.
“I apologize if anyone was hurt by my comments and also to everyone that I may have let down.”
While there appears to be some significant momentum toward a homosexual football player stepping out of the closet, Blue’s comments make it perfectly clear that such a development would be the first step of what will likely be a long road to acceptance inside the locker room.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.