NFL’s response to Carl Nassib coming out as gay stinks of grandstanding

They’re the standard lines from the street cop in old movies: “OK, folks, nothing more to see here. Break it up and be on your way.” Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib handled it well on...

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They’re the standard lines from the street cop in old movies: “OK, folks, nothing more to see here. Break it up and be on your way.”

Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib handled it well on Instagram: “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, now, but finally feel comfortable getting it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.

“I’m a pretty private person, so I hope you guys know I’m not doing this for attention. I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming-out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate.

“I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America.”

Fabulous.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. After all, who among us doesn’t have a genuine fondness for family members and friends who are gay? “Some of my best friends …” long ago became a matter of fact.

So with the stigma and prejudices in steady decline, why would anyone applaud Nassib’s decision by emphasizing the bigotry of the unenlightened and the just plain bigoted?

Roger Goodell and Carl Nassib.
Getty Images, AP

Why? Because that’s what we do. While Nassib made it plain that he was not grandstanding on behalf of himself or his sexuality, Roger Goodell, the NFL steward who ignores so much of what degrades the league, immediately did some grandstanding in Nassib’s name:

“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell said in an NFL-issued statement “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”

In other words, Goodell and the NFL are eager to make a big deal out of no big deal.

And Goodell wanted all of us to know that the NFL’s magnanimity includes approval of gay players. Goodell’s quick and condescending approbation of Nassib’s decision stunk of grandstanding.

Nassib, a “private person,” comes out, and Goodell is quick to exploit him for all the political correctness he’s worth — while the NFL’s most serious issues — the increasing episodes of players packing assault weapons, for example — go publicly unaddressed.

Goodell’s public response to receiver DeSean Jackson’s ignorant, hate-filled antisemitism? Two years later, still nothing.

Goodell’s credibility on social and financial matters has always been suspect. He once testified that gambling destroys families, but then became an all-in, give-us-our-cut gambling advocate. And he’s now available to identify himself and the NFL as in step with any movement — as long as its carried by prevailing winds.

Thus Nassib has Goodell’s approval to be a gay NFL player.

There are those who have already taken Nassib’s good-for-him, yet no-big-deal matter and stretched it — disfigured it — to absurd, wishful-thinking activism.

It remains historical folly that a made-for-TV novelty act — that 1973 Bobby Riggs-Billy Jean King match in the Astrodome on ABC, a total goof replete with brightly feathered, bare-chested musclemen carrying King to the court in an ancient Roman slave sedan — is now regarded as a serious, pivotal moment in the women’s rights movement.

And so, because anything worth doing is worth overdoing, Nassib is already being assigned his place as a beacon of diversity, inclusion, tolerance and social revolution. Will the pass rusher please report to Mt. Rushmore.

But given the modest, sorry-to-bother-you content of Nassib’s missive, I sense he won’t be easily played. After all, his declaration was not preceded by a publicist alerting all to “Stand by for a major announcement,” the sale of TV rights to his public declaration or a Nike ad campaign.

And that pat on his head by Goodell? Why would we expect better?

Superfluous graphics, babbling praise distract from Jake’s greatness

We get it! We get it! Jacob deGrom is sensational, a sight to behold.

So then let us behold!

What SNY did throughout deGrom’s Monday appearance vs. the Braves was what’s known in the news business as “burying the lead” — hiding the big story behind smaller ones.

Rather than just allow us to watch — to enjoy — the telecast was loaded with the appearance of deGrom stats of every imaginable category and value, followed by a distracting discussion of them among Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.

Jacob deGrom pitches against the Braves.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Rather than consider and watch deGrom as a spectacular pitcher, we were encouraged to look upon him as a dissected lab rat. And when the stats weren’t front and center, discussion of where deGrom ranked compared to the likes of Tom Seaver and whether the previous pitch was a four-seamer or a six-fingered flounder fling from Flushing Bay.

The three nearly gasped when, with two out in the third, deGrom walked a batter. Each of the three then took a shot at trying to explain how this could possibly happen. If only they’d been so lost for words they didn’t bother to look for any

Baez is ‘out’ of excuses

Seems every season a Cubs manager benches “star” shortstop Javy Baez for proving he doesn’t give a rat’s rectum, be it for failure to run to first base or having no sense of game circumstances.

This week, Cubs manager David Ross pulled Baez in the fourth inning for what has become the latest epidemic of the once nearly impossible: not knowing how many outs there were, thus Baez, in a 4-0 loss to Cleveland, was doubled-played off first.

Credit Baez for unspoken candor. He didn’t promise he’d never do that again.


On the subject of epidemics, Braves manager Brian Snitker is another who appears eager to find a way to lose. Monday, in a seven-inning game against the Mets, he pulled starter Ian Anderson for no apparent good reason. Anderson had allowed just three hits on 85 pitches in 5 ¹/₃ innings. Seemed Snitker was eager to reach closer Will Smith, so reliable he’s with his fourth team.

Smith wiggled out of it for the save, but not before loading the bases — and leaving the usual wonder as to why MLB managers insist upon tossing winning hands.


Jordan Eberle celebrates a goal against the Lightning in Game 6.
Getty Images

The Islanders continue to fascinate. They bring to mind the resiliency of the 1960 Pirates, who beat the Yankees in seven in the World Series despite being outscored 55-27. Before beating the Lightning, 3-2, in Wednesday’s Game 6, Tampa Bay had scored 12 straight goals.


Yeah, but he’s our creep: A tweet from ESPN/SiriusXM/YES’ Frank Isola: “The Phoenix Suns are now condemning violence in the arena. Last week, ‘The Suns in Four’ guy received an autographed jersey [and tickets from the Suns] for fighting.” That fan was so rewarded for brawling with a Nuggets fan in Denver during a playoff game.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Phil Mushnick

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