Earlier today we posted a video of New York Yankee fans singing a shockingly homophobic version of "Y.M.C.A." A short time ago I spoke with a spokesman for the Yankees who told me that video was from four years ago and that the Bleacher Creatures (a group of fans seated in a specific section of Yankee Stadium) had been told that homophobic lyrics would not be tolerated.
That turns to be true and not true. While the most virulently anti-gay version of that song is no longer being performed by most fans in Section 203 , the Bleacher Creatures clearly still don’t get what is offensive about their antics because they have numerous videos posted of themselves from as recently as several weeks ago singing "Y.M.C.A." with the lyrics changed to "Y. R. U. Gay?" as a way to denigrate fans of opposing teams.
Even with the worst of the anti-gay lyrics removed, performing this song is simply unacceptable. It’s hard to believe the Yankees would tolerate a version of "Y.M.C.A." that denigrated African-Americans, women or Jewish people. Yet despite the assurances I received from the Yankee spokesperson, this issue is still not being taken seriously enough.
I imagine a zero-tolerance policy for this kind of behavior would eliminate it very quickly.
It’s especially disturbing to see this kind of homophobia being demonstrated in New York in light of the horrible anti-gay attacks and gay teens suicides of late. If there is anything good to come out of those attacks and tragic deaths, it’s that we as a community are saying "Enough is enough."
Anti-gay jokes in movies aren’t funny. Anti-gay lyrics as part of sports camaraderie are not okay. Using "gay" as a putdown is not acceptable.
To paraprhase Howard Beale from Network, "We’re mad as hell and we aren’t going to take it anymore."
So Bleacher Creature fans, I do not care that you think we are being P.C. or too sensitive or ruining your "fun." This is 2010 and chanting bigoted, homophobic lyrics is no longer okay. We’ve dealt with homophobic BS our entire lives. You can deal with not acting like 14-year-old morons as a way to entertain yourselves.
I’ll let you know what I hear back from the Yankees.
Update: After I contacted him, the webmaster of Bleacher Creatures agreed to pull those videos.