Raven Accused of Homophobic Slur; Takes on Gossip Websites

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Now that the Ravens are out of playoff contention, what’s a bored football player to do? Post on social media, apparently — and get in trouble for it.

Last week, Ravens wide receiver (and cute dad-to-be/intern) posted a photo to Instagram of a guy wearing pink flowery socks. But it was his caption that caused the controversy: “Look at this queen.” TMZ called it “gay hatred” and a “homophobic slur.” Smith responded by going on the offensive:

As Ravens blog Baltimore Beatdown notes, what’s actually offensive is equating Smith’s comment with the very real and very harmful homophobia that is prevalent enough in the NFL. Let’s direct our rage at the coaches who say that gay people are going to hell, or who say things like “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” (Yes, it’s an actual quote.) I’m willing to give Torrey Smith the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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  1. I’m sure Torrey Smith isn’t a homophobe, but what he said is homophobic, and perhaps he should talk to gay folks and see how they feel about the comment—and so should you, Rachel. After all, it’s not your opinion nor his that counts here, but that of those who might be offended. Suppose I took a pic of you walking around Canton and posted it online with the comment “Hey, check out this hipster white girl” or suppose I took a picture of Torrey and posted it with the comment “Whoa, ghetto.” I wouldn’t then consult hispanic folks or gay folks to determine whether that was offensive or not, would I? Let’s face it: these words mean different things to different people, and they’re often hurtful. So it’s best not to use them. What you and Torrey fail to understand is that it’s fair to judge the action while passing on judging the person. I’m sure Torrey is a great guy, but he made a mistake and should apologize for it. Trying to defend him by saying “oh, he’s a cute dad-to-be” doesn’t cut it.

    • You make a great point, Dan — a person who is not a homophobe (racist/sexist/whatever) can still make homophobic (racist/sexist) comments. Careless use of hurtful language isn’t cool.

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