Monday, September 06, 2010

Australian Swimmer, Stephane Rice, tells her Twiiter fans that the South African rugby team should: “Suck on that f*ggots”

I so missed this story; thank you, Kate, for putting it on my radar - Let's see if Swimming World or Swim News pick it up:

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:

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.”


That apology is so weak, that she might of well have said "she didn't know her mouth was loaded."

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. [...]



Kate said...

I follow her on Twitter, so when this popped up I was completely flabbergasted. Then she replied to someone that people's negative reactions were "precious" and my jaw dropped. This girl is clueless. You're completely right about her public apology being completely insufficient/insincere. And apparently she has no true sports agent to advise her about how to mitigate the damage. She ended the contract with her management company a little less than a year ago.

Tony Austin said...

You would think she was in middle-school.

Thanks for the heads up on that article. Since the second mouse gets the cheese, I bet several a-list athletes will be taking notes.

TedBaker said...

On a personal note, I am endlessly astounded how we continue - in the face of all evidence to the contrary - to equate athletic excellence with personal and moral excellence.

How many athletes need to be caught cheating on their wives or husbands, cheating on taxes, killing people, taking drugs, saying stupid things in public before we - finally! - understand that they are just people who happen be good athletes?

Just don't get it...

Anonymous said...

I can give her a second chance on this since I don't think she is really homophobic as a person - more ignorant (I say this as a mostly gay person).

I do wish that more professional athletes could feel that they can come out though and comments like Rice's don't help, for sure.

Tony Austin said...

"It's only a paper moon, hanging over a cardboard sea, but it wouldn't be make believe if you believed in me!" --Music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg and Billy Rose, 1933

People need to believe - they need to believe in themselves and they they need to be inspired by those that can do things outside the scope of mundane human accomplishments. They need to believe that too can improve and be a better person.

There is no Artesian well or reservoir of perfect people and there is no religious order, political group or gender that has a monopoly on sanity. Everyone knows that; Everyone! But when that informercial comes on at 4:00 AM and there is a skinny chick telling you to take this "snake oil" she is selling so "you can look just like me", yea, people want to believe it and they buy and buy.

Even you and I have silly beliefs and we don't even know it for we believe that our beliefs are solid facts. (I once saw a new age person making fun of somebody who they thought had a silly belief in God and then 15-minutes later they started telling me about this special crystal they were wearing around their neck.)

So, the many Australians that wanted to believe that Stephanie Rice was refined, classy and fashionable, a brand she tried to personify but could not, now find themselves with a woman who speaks like a foul mouthed bigot to her fans at large via Twitter.

Tony Austin said...

Anonymous, I think that is very forgiving of you and very commendable.

However, though i believe she probably is not homophobic, her mouth definitely is and it is her mouth and her accomplishments that advertisers are paying for.

I recommend that she atone and do lots of volunteer work, fund raisers, and appearances for the the group she offended and let the group that was offended pass judgment on how worthy she is.

CoachErik said...

Oh she is Tony, she is doing public appearances. Not at Australian Swim Clubs, or boys & girls clubs..apparently she is doing an American tour of 12 gay bars and finishing up at the Gay Pride parade in San Fran. Oh yeah, when I think of asking for forgiveness from Swimming fans and the gay community, I think of 12 random gay bars across a country that barely knows she exists. Nice try, thanks for playing..

Tony Austin said...

CoachErik, I bet we would not get along in person.