Some days ago I was slamming Michael Phelps for making excuses after each mediocre swim, (some of these swims he even won too), stating that he had a PR issue and he better wise-up. Well, there is a new PR crisis in town and this one boggles the mind as to how this individual can be so completely incapable of understanding the consequences of a making simple, hateful, slur on her Twitter account.
Stephanie Rice, Beijing gold medalist in the 200 meter IM, 400 meter IM, and 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay, just took the subject of PR issues well beyond "nightmarish" proportions and well into sports-agent hell; that special place where "all hope abandoned ye who seeks a sponsorship here."
Here is the context of what she said:
Australian competitive swimmer Stephanie Rice has been dumped as the face of luxury car brand Jaguar after she called the South African rugby team “f*ggots” on her Twitter account, Australia’s Herald Sun reports.
I am not going to go off and write 500 words why that was so incredibly stupid and unforgivable because Australian actor and former rugby payer, Ian Roberts, explains it far quicker and smoothly articulates just how radioactive she now is:
That apology is so weak, that she might of well have said "she didn't know her mouth was loaded."
Ian Roberts, who is a former rugby player who is gay, told the Herald Sun: “She is an idiot and anyone who continues to endorse her as an athlete is an idiot as well. … And I say that with a very sad tone in my voice. What a fool. And if her sponsors don’t do something about it, they’re fools as well.”
As soon as she figured out there was an outcry about her Twitter message, Rice quickly deleted the tweet and issued a statement of regret: “I did not mean to cause offense and I apologize. I have deleted it from the site.”
One gay teammate rose to her defense stating that, Stephanie Rice, is not homophobic and that he supports her. Well, maybe Stephanie Rice is not homophobic but her words definitely are.
I have to agree with Ian Roberts; it is tough being gay in Australia as Australia's The Age reported:
THE appetite for ''outing'' gay AFL players is putting lives of young Australians wrestling with their sexuality at risk, says an expert in the field who has advised the AFL Players' Association on the topic. [...]