Tim Graham at NewsBusters has proposed an interesting question in response to veteran New York Daily News sportswriter Mike Lupica's attack on Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan and David Tyree, the former NFL wide receiver best remembered for his incredible catch as a New York Giant in Super Bowl XLII.
"How far would a New York sportswriter get in his career if he mocked a black liberal football player for sounding like he was playing without a helmet (brain-damaged)?"
Mike Lupica, who also airs a radio show for ESPN, has gone to town attacking Tyree for his opinions on same-sex marriage. In a rambling column that takes no discomfort in directing a few jabs at the Catholic Church, joking that Dolan opposes same-sex marriage in New York because it will interfere with a promotion to Cardinal, Lupica asserts that a football player opposed to gay marriage must have played his career without a helmet. From Lupica's column:
"Tyree makes a video for the National Organization for Marriage that says gay marriage would lead to "anarchy." Sure it would. Having these gays be officially married in the state of New York would bring on fabulous rioting in the streets, along with making them a threat to Catholics. Of course. Like they are Al Qaeda operatives on Christopher St"
If a New York sportswriter applying satire to Al Qaeda doesn't make you cringe, I don't know what would.
"You don't demonize ex-football players and current top Catholics anywhere for believing what they believe, even as they do a pretty good job trying to demonize gay people, men and women, who are no threat to the moral fabric of this country or anything else. Or anybody. Dolan and Tyree are still wrong, the rhetoric they have brought to the debate laced with both ignorance and intolerance."
Is Lupica's rhetoric much better? Remember that Rush Limbaugh was quickly pressured out of a short stint on ESPN in 2003 after suggesting a possible media bias towards Donavon McNabb due to his race.
Do you think Lupica's comments are cheap shots that ESPN should reprimand him for? Do you think he did not overstep his bounds? Or are you ambivalent to the situation and just say to the media "keep your politics out of my sports."
(H/T: Tim Graham)