A few days ago the website Empiresports.com ran an online article saying that NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon had come out as gay. Furthermore, it ‘confirmed’ his homosexual relationship with openly gay driver Stephen Rhodes. The article then went on to report about how outraged NASCAR and especially NASCAR fans were after hearing that the ‘most masculine sport ever’ had been marred by the gays. The online post also expressed its support for the gay couple saying as long as Jeff Gordon kept winning on the track, it didn’t matter what he preferred sexually.
The story itself showcases that yet another of the major American sports leagues is capable of having out gay contenders. And int this case even have them in relationships. With each other! Only thing is… that it’s a fake news story.
Empire Sports is a ‘fake news site’ like The Onion. They create fake news stories based on faint rumors and hearsay from the sports world. Usually, the satirical tone is obvious, but sometimes the stories on the site seem to carry some legitimacy – like the story about Jeff Gordon and Stephen Rhodes. Which notably proved to be a good thing. Because apart from a few negative reactions (much like the fake fan retort) basically saying that gays are ruining sports, most views (from the people who inadvertently believed the fake post) where overwhelmingly positive and supportive.
Here a few examples:
“who the hell cares, everyone lives their life however they choose, nobody cares how you lives your so don’t make it your business how other lives their…And the #24 car don’t care about Jeff life style…lol”
“ok, So what if he is a Gay Nascar Driver….. For one, That dont make him any less of a person. For Two, that dont make him any less of a driver. Its not my place to critize him for his choice of living. I say, “Rock on with your bad self, Jeff!”
“Who cares? There are too many important issues in our country to worry about. If this is the life that he and Steven or any homosexual person wants to live we were not put here to judge. Let them do what they wish as long as they aren’t bother you then leave it alone.”
For more of the quotes, click here.
So, is NASCAR ready for an openly gay driver? Yes, because they already have one! And an openly gay couple? Apparently so. Because in the end – and that’s exactly what all major league players and fans are slowly finding out – it’s all about the sport and not about what goes on in the bedroom. Even though the article was fake, the reaction to it was genuinely supportive.
Source: empisresports.com, outsports.com