Roy Hibbert, “No Homo” and What to Tell Your Kids

I was watching ESPN’s SportsLine the other night and one of my boys came into the room mid-broadcast. What my son heard from the TV was something like, “…Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was fined $75,000 for inappropriate comments…”. If you’re reading this you probably heard about the improper comments made by and the rather large fine levied on Hibbert.

roy-hibbertI knew that backstory, and my kid, who is 15, didn’t so naturally he asked me what was happening. I explained the situation, including the “no homo” comment but omitting the “mother**kers” part. (see link above for specifics) Since this kid is a digital native and online for a couple of hours a day, I wanted to make an effort to make sure he knows the implications of what is going on, and what it means to him.

The $75,000 fine is a large number for what might have been considered an offhand comment. If you frequent Reddit, 4chan, the YouTube video comments section or other online forums frequented by teens and young men you know that “no homo” is a common line. Generally accepted as having been popularized by Hip Hop artists, it is now used frequently to follow a comment and affirm the commenter’s heterosexuality.

According to Wikipedia:

“The phrase no homo … parenthetically assert(s) that the speaker of such does not have any homosexual intent and (is) usually used after an utterance that may have given that impression.”

 

If you have young men in your household, it may be worth having a conversation about this. To the young men out there:

  • While it is OK to state that you are of a given sexual orientation, it is not OK to aver that you are not of a certain orientation, if doing so might imply that you view the other orientation as being less than acceptable
  • If done as a joke, ask yourself how the comment would make a friend or peer who is a homosexual feel?
  • If a college admissions officer or future employer, having little personal information about you, viewed this comment made by you, how would that affect their view of you?

It is time for the phrase “no homo” to fade out of the current lexicon. If it doesn’t, it is time for young men to stop using it, both out of consideration for others and as part of the constant practice of future-proofing your online profile and reputation.

Am I off base on this? Let me know in the comments.

 

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