It's been a weird week, you guys (and gals and those who define themselves in another way).
Actually, I take that back. It hasn't been a weird week. It's just been a week in which all of the terrible things we do bubbled up to the surface. We were reminded about our fallacies and how we're still working through a whole host of issues as a society.
Specifically, we kicked things off with an otherwise stately man with a sterling reputation in the world of the NFL reminding us that it's still totally cool to discriminate against gay people.
And we get to end it with an absurd punishment (by comparison to other punishments doled out by the same organization) for domestic violence that then led to the all-too-expected backlash against women and has crested with the two biggest jackasses in the world of sports media living up to their titles.
Coupled with the Boston sports talk guy who protests too much over Erin Andrews and it's been a banner week for the LGBT community and women in the world of sports. The message remains clear...
You are among us, but you are not us.
It's a sentiment I am sure both parties know all too well in facets of life that go beyond sports. I've worked for fifteen different companies or so in my life. Three-person startups, massive corporations and everything in-between. I can count on one hand the number of female executives (V.P. or higher) I've worked for. (Hell, I don't even need one finger to count the number of African-American executives I've worked for, but that's a whole other level of absurdity). And if you've ever listened to James Adomian's comedy bit about how virulently anti-gay (and anti-girlfriend) beer advertising is, you know how the entire process is geared towards telling straight (white) men that sports is their domain. Their property.
No girls or gays allowed.
So, while I can't change all of that, here's what I can do. I can make a promise that right here at TNIAAM, we reject that paradigm wholeheartedly. Sports fans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds and any other type of system you've got for breaking us down into segments. And you're all welcome here.
One of my favorite things about this site is that when I actually get to meet the community IRL, they're all so vastly different from one another. College students, retirees, businesspeople, hippies, moms, grandpas, teenagers...you name it, I've met a TNIAAM reader who fits in one of those categories. And that's not even including the categories that aren't clear from a first-time meeting. The categories we might not outwardly define ourselves with.
I haven't always been the best about policing things in the comments below but my promise to you guys from here on out is that we will do everything in our power to keep it a safe space for Syracuse Orange fans of all kinds to gather, cheer, get angry, cry and cheer again, regardless of who they are and where they come from.
If we see content that's offensive, we'll delete it.
If we see repeat offenses, we'll ban the offender.
If someone feels threatened or uncomfortable with an interaction, we will listen and then deal with it. And not in a "college campus trying to cover up sexual assault" kind of way. I mean in a legitimate way.
If we have someone tell us their First Amendment rights are being trampled, we'll remind them that the First Amendment doesn't apply here.
If you've got questions about any of this, let me know, either in the comments or via email. And no, I'm not interested in censorship, but I do want someone from just about any background to come to TNIAAM, look around and feel confident enough to join in the conversation. Keep that in mind when you decide what photos to post, insults to make and references to use.
I mean all of this not to scold or punish anyone, but rather to celebrate everyone. Or at least Syracuse Fans. Georgetown folks are on their own...
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