Sunday, August 2, 2009

Let's move on

I'm sure Greg McMackin knew that this was probably going to happen as soon as the words slipped out of his mouth, but the official announcement came Friday:
Hawaii coach Greg McMackin was suspended for 30 days without pay and has volunteered to take an additional 7 percent pay cut from his $1.1 million salary for making a derogatory comment while describing Notre Dame's chant before last year's Hawaii Bowl.
McMackin has very thouroughly acknowledged that what he said was wrong, and his tearful "official" apology seemed legitimately heartfelt -- even the part about dragging Notre Dame into the discussion.

But honestly, I think this whole thing has been blown out of proportion. He never should have used the term "faggoty," but anyone who's been involved in competitive athletics could tell you that terms like this are thrown around on the field to the point where they've lost their intended meaning. It's an insult, obviously, but the fact that just about every sportswriter in the room chuckled when the comment came out goes to show that most people don't think of these words in their literal sense. The biggest problem I had was that he ripped into Notre Dame for no particular reason, but if we're gonna start suspending coaches for talking trash ... well, the SEC would be in trouble.

In fact, not only was a one-month suspension unnecessary, but it'll actually prolong the issue. Think about it: A month from now, we'll be reading stories about McMackin's return to the team and how "he's a better person now" and "we all learned a valuable lesson" and all that crap, basically just revisiting the issues that have already been beaten into the ground.

And comments in the Associated Press story such as "the real damage seems to be to his reputation and to the university" and "McMackin's comments have stunned this state" are just ridiculous. I highly doubt that anyone is stunned by a football coach's use of a borderline profanity, and while I realize that McMackin is supposed to be a representative of his school, it's pretty unlikely that anyone will see his comments and assume that the university is anti-homosexual.

He said something inappropriate, he apologized and he expressed true remorse. Let it go.

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