This afternoon, Patrick Burke tweeted this:
This kicked off a short exchange in which I suggested he publish a list of sexuality-neutral insults on the You Can Play Project's website to demonstrate the wealth of options making homophobic slurs so unnecessary to those who wish to express their competitive displeasure with others, and maybe even to help chip away at the wrong perception that anti-homophobia is the domain of the oversensitive and über-PC.
He responded that while he'd personally enjoy such a document, it's not how he believes his donors want YCP to pursue its mission. This is a fair position. Fighting casual homophobia in sports requires appealing to a broad cross-section of sports fans, including those who are put off by profanity. As an emerging hub of the anti-homophobia movement in hockey, it is likely wise for YCP to remain inoffensive to as many fans as possible. Of course, the anti-homophobia market also has room for niche products, and not all of us are responsible to a body of donors with specific sets of preferred and verboten tactics.
What I would like to put together is a sort of highlight reel. I want to get as many different faces of hockey fandom as possible spewing their favourite put-downs that call out an individual by means other than assigning him membership in an unfairly socially disparaged group. If you're comfortable showing your face on the internet in an extremely profane setting, you can help by making a webcam video of yourself spouting some abuse, and sending it to me to add to the master reel. The more profane the better!
Just speak into the camera, and say the insult you want to say. Call the imagined audience an asshole, shithead, fuckface, HFBoards participant, shit-for-brains, dumbass, or whatever your angry sports fan heart desires. You can even say a series of them (how much from each participant gets used will depend on the number of submissions and variety of deliveries). The more profane the better! Don't make a submission if you don't want your image in the same video as people saying graphic and shocking things, because I'm going to make a point of including those kinds of entries. Drink a bunch of rye first to get into the spirit if you want, or think about Kerry Fraser. The clips will all be packaged with a tasteful score, and an explicit call to action to give up homophobic slurs.
I think something like this could get passed around the hockey-loving parts of the internet quite a bit, and really resonate with the kinds of people who most need to get the message that they shouldn't say "fag" when they mean "asshole." If you'd like to participate, send an email to the address in my profile for details on how to get your video to me for inclusion.