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09 February 2006

Comments

Bernie

As a matter of course, the NFL gives preferential treatment with ticketing to former players and coaches who played in the Super Bowl, so Simmons should have gotten his passes.

The NFL also wrote the book on how to shape and protect its public image. I'm sure this was no mistake.

poo

The NFL wrote the book on how to shape and protect its public image is right. He's just grandstanding to sell a book and he knows it. This isn't about the league.

This is about his own entirely PERSONAL demons, and he needs to grow up and realize the league didn't make him that way. And that, as a private organization which has an image to protect, it's their right to disassociate themselves from him.

Face it, the NFL is what it is. They are all about image. It would be one thing if he were gay. It would be another thing if he were HIV. But he's a whole lot more and he's no hero. He was a hard core drug addict and an admitted prostitute. He made personal choices that he now regrets. But he has a book to sell and he wants to ride the league's coattails to sell it.

It's completely and utterly disingenuous of him to show up and expect to be welcomed at the Super Bowl. The dude knows what the league is about. He needs to move on.

After Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is the greatest friggin day of the year. He has no role in the Super Bowl given what he's marketing. He's a mess, and in a week of fun and celebration, no one wants to be brought down by his sad story. Sorry if that's harsh, but I'm on the league's side here. I don't blame them giving him the brush off. I bought his book, but have a hard time getting through it. Totally depressing. Who needs it?

Now, some ex player who came out as gay, was HIV, but lived an otherwise exemplary life? Totally different reaction.

Seahawk

Simmons doesn't do his cause much justice by being seen behind that ambulance chaser Gloria Allred.
She's the one who wanted Michael Jackson's kid taken away after Jacko hung his kid out of a window.
I was expecting her to show up this week, only I thought she'd be demanding they take Britney Spears kid away for driving with a baby in her lap.
As far as the NFL, they may be as powerful and control-crazed as any institution in the nation.
And Simmons' PR may be wrong-headed, but he deserves to be treated as fairly as all the wife-beaters, felons and steroid-sucking cretins who walked past him going to the Super Bowl.

poo

The difference is all the wife-beaters, felons and steroid-sucking cretins don't write tell-alls! He's an admitted drug addict and whore.

The cretins put up a good front. We may all suspect, and in some cases know, that they're wife-beaters, felons and all, but they sure as hell don't confirm anything.

Simmons let it all hang out. That's why the door slammed in his face. Whatever--he's getting what he wants out of this--publicity for his book.

He's the worst-case nightmare scenario of a gay player. Honestly. The worst. Crack head, whore, thief...beyond gross. I feel bad for the dude, but it also annoys me that he's what we get when someone thinks of an former pro player (who happens to be black). I kinda wish he'd have just dealt with it on his own.

naturalblkluv

i am wondering, did he actually think he was goning to be let into the superbowl after writing this book ? he states the nfl over looked fail drug test, steroids test, and other things. now he wants them to accept him with open arms.

my guest is that this was a publicity stunt at getting a buzz behind his book and creating sales.

poo

The last time he accused the NFL of shutting him out, the NFL's response was a) they weren't aware of any specific offers from him, and b) the league might consider bringing him in for its annual rookie symposium.

So they're not exactly cold to him.

His response? He showed up at the press tent two days before the Super Bowl and demanded a pass.

Clearly he was doing it to get buzz.

I think his HIV prevention campaign is just cover for selling his book, but that's just a cynical opinion.

He wanted a confrontation so he could get PR from it. Well, he's getting it.

supernovadiva

this story made me so sad. he gave his all to the game and this is how he's treated. other players are tolerated for doing really criminal things and given announcer jobs but once you say you're gay they 'castrate' you.

Bernie

Poo, I'm not quite sure what planet you came from, but I wish you'd go back. Your lack of compassion for a fellow human being who went through a great deal of hardship before redeeming himself is distressing.

IF you bothered to read his book you know that he grew up fatherless in Savannah, GA at a time and place when being openly gay and black were just not going to happen. He was raped at age 10 and had no one to confide in about that ordeal throughout most of his life. These two facts alone shaped most of who he would become as an adult. Forced into the closet in the supermacho world of college and pro football and a sexual assault victim trying to cope all by himself. For you to be so judgemental in labeling him a crackhead, whore and thief, without taking into consideration what he lived through speaks more about you than him.

I do hope YOU never slip up and then find yourself needing a compassionate hand of help.

Mark

He might be telling the truth about being locked out of the Superbowl, but the story sounds fishy. Even Outsports is saying his story seems uncredible. He can't just show up at the last minute and think he will get tickets automatically because he used to be an NFL player. It seems like a highly calculated attempt to garner publicity for his book. We need bisexual and gay players with credibility and integrity to be the face of the issue, not people with questionable integrity.

rod

Naturalblkluv: There was no "failed drug test" or steroids involved. If you read the book or even my review, you'd know that he was cut because his playing suffered. I don't think the NFL was drug testing 20 years ago.

Poo: Your comments are surprsing. First, the NFL (and professional sports) is rife with drugs, both steroids-users and recreational drug users. Also, anecdotes suggest that in their college years, more than a few players have tricked with "sponsors" and "boosters." Looking at the numbers of bodybuilders, wrestlers and college football players who have migrated into gay porn confirms this. For instance, bodybuilding will never become an Olympic sport because it's corrupted with drugs and prostitution.

We all make mistakes. Alcoholism and substance abuse are HUGE problems in the black community, but we pretend to ignore it and act like an ostrich with our heads buried in the sand. Statistically, the chances are fairly likely that one of your family members, cousins, aunts, uncles, brother or sister has a problem with substances. Being gay compounds the issue. It's among the reasons why HIV seroconversion rates are so high.

Unfortunately, most white gay men acknowledge crystal meth, cocaine and alcohol are huge problems in their community. For some reasons, brothers like to pretend that those problems don't exist in Harlem, Oakland or on the South Side. There's no shame to admitting that you have a problem. Roy Simmons should applauded for coming out and admitting that he had a problem. He's in recovery--what more can we ask for?

Mark: Should we play the morals police and say which gay men deserve our sympathy and compassion and which do not? If you want "bisexual and gay players with credibility and integrity" to be our icons, you're saying that a HIV poz player, former drug user and former hustler is not the face you want--which is exactly what his charges against the NFL. You're perpetuating the bias. Very, very few black players have come out; read my or Keith B's reviews, you'd see that most black players who have come out have had similar stories. I'm not going to wait for a hypothetical gay man who has lead an exemplary life; I'd rather deal with real people and real problems.

Lastly, so what if this is publicity for his book? Everyone has a book, blog, movie, tv show or CD (or all of the above, lol) and everyone promotes them. Simmons has made people talk about discrimination by the NFL, and, his publishers have spent money here. Thats a hella lot more armchair critics have done. First we complain that no players come out; now we complain that this player who comes out has lead a hard-knock life and we don't want him.

PS: Poo, no more comments on this topic. You've said more than your fair share.

mark

My comment about bisexual and gay players with integrity has nothing to do with past life as a hustler or drug users, but a reference to what seems like a paperthin publicity stunt fronted by none other than credibility-challenged attorney Gloria Allred. Even if his story has merit, Allred's presence undermines its weight.

yeahisaidit

rod i have been reading your blog for a minute now...the topics, layout and design, hell everything, is in a word, fantastic. just my cup of tea i must say...i've never posted comments until today, although there have been countless times when i have felt compelled to respond to various items. i figured i would just wait and let things happen organically. and as hard as it might be as an american citizen in a country were i'm free to express my opinions i've discovered and take great pride in coming to understand the fact that what i think about something does not have to be openly discussed in every situation. besides i also came to realize oftimes how important it can be to allow others to do the expressing and for me to just listen and then learn. however, scanning comments to this particular post i felt compelled to comment on some of the above responses concerning simmons, not to particularly reprimand anyone, but to offer my own perspective...then i read your comments directed at some of the previous posters and just laughed out loud. man, so much of what you stated were my sentinments exactly! and more than likely communicated better than i could've....thanks. p.s. and although it's not a perfect world when will individuals in our community more widely understand and accept that things like compassion, forgiveness, empathy etc. are not things one expressess to be not only kind hearted or self-righteous but also so you yourself might hopefully be shown these sorts of things from people as you go through your own ups and downs? no disrespect to anyone but when reading some of the above posts i felt some of the respondents were perfect people having never made any mistakes or poor decisions ever in their own lives...thanks again for offering them some things we can all consider before we might go openly condemning someone...it's a lesson that took me a long while to learn but that i'm so much more enlightened by and not because i'm busy running around forgiving others left and right or anything but more especially for those occassions where i can now more honestly deal with and forgive myself...peace.

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