DeSean Jackson’s Anti-Gay Slur Defended by Radio Host
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been widely criticized for calling a radio show caller a gay slur a few weeks ago, and deservedly so. Appearing on The All Out Show with Rude Jude and Lord Sear, Jackson took offense to a question from a caller and lashed out at him. Jackson’s comments went largely unnoticed until Deadspin posted the audio 10 days ago. They described the encounter as follows:
In [the audio clip], you'll hear DeSean not take too kindly to one of the calls, from Troy in Tennessee. Troy asks if DeSean's “had his dick knocked in the dirt [indecipherable],” before the call ends. According to the invaluable Urban Dictionary, knocking one's dick in the dirt entails knocking someone down or out—maybe even giving someone a concussion?
Jackson replies, “What type of question is that? Say ‘no homo’, gay-ass. Faggot.”
Jackson initially defended himself on Twitter, but after several news outlets picked up the story, he issued an apology through a spokesperson. However, Rude Jude, one of the shock jocks who co-hosts The All Out Show, told Deadspin in an interview that he didn’t think Jackson should have had to apologize:“[Jackson] is a hood dude,” and, for “hood cats, the worst thing you can call someone is a bitch or a faggot. I don't think he's homophobic. He's joking.”
Rude Jude’s comments should have been the main story here, not Jackson’s. Granted, Jackson is certainly deserving of the widespread criticism he received, and he should have apologized immediately rather than issuing a statement well after the fact. But Jackson’s celebrity status has overshadowed the truly despicable attitude of the radio hosts that gave him a platform for his comments.
Rude Jude’s defense of Jackson boils down to: “because a gay slur is the worst thing that Jackson could have called him, he’s clearly joking.” Not only is this nonsensical, it’s outright offensive. As far as Rude Judeis concerned, calling someone ‘gay’ is the ultimate insult.
This is far from the first time that Rude Jude – born Jude Anthony Angelini—has been in the limelight for his inappropriate comments. Rude Jude rose to fame in the late 1990s as a regular on the Jenny Jones Show, where he would make fun of the show’s guests (in a 2006 interview, he described his job on the show as “clowning strippers, fat chicks and whoever else they put in front of me.”) Just in case you weren’t convinced, The All Out Show’s website assures listeners that “nothing is safe or sacred when Rude Jude and Lord Sear hit the airwaves every afternoon—all things improper, immoral, and inappropriate take center stage.”
A public apology from Angelini clearly isn’t forthcoming (probably because he is under no pressure to issue one.) In fact, this brand of “humor” seems to be working to Angelini’s advantage: The All Out Show has become one of the most popular hip-hop shows on Sirius Satellite Radio, and is one of the top shows on SiriusXM’s Shade 45 channel, a hip-hop station created by Eminem.
Although there have been no public calls from any of its listeners for any sort of apology, Eminem and Sirius should take initiative to stand up for the gay community and call out one of their employees for his openly anti-gay sentiments. Eminem himself has faced a lot of criticism over the years for homophobic lyrics in his songs, but he told the New York Timeslast summer that he has grown more tolerant and now supports gay marriage. Sirius has also been praised for its channel OutQ, which is the only 24/7 gay and lesbian media outlet. So far, neither Eminem nor Sirius has commented on the issue.
DeSean Jackson deserves the backlash he has received for his gay slur, but at least he ultimately apologized. Rude Jude should be made to do the same.
Thumbnail image source: www.beantowner.com.
Jeffrey Boxer is an intern with Campus Progress.