N.J. Hockey Player Apologizes for Anti-Gay Slur
A hockey player for the New Jersey Devils apologized on Friday for making anti-gay remarks during a radio interview, Sporting News reported.
Cam Janssen, who plays right wing for the hockey team, appeared on the "Thom and Jeff Show" on Tuesday and made a homophobic joke about oral sex.
"If he’s sucking cock, he’s getting his ass kicked," Janssen said on the radio show. The athlete has also been criticized for calling the Los Angeles Kings "fat broads."
After the incident, Janssen issued a public apology for his homophobic language.
"Earlier this week, I participated in an internet-based radio show in which I used some poor judgment which I now regret. The New Jersey Devils were unaware of this interview, which I arranged myself," he wrote. "I would like to apologize for my poor choice of language. The tone of the interview was very casual and off-color, and I lost focus on what is and is not acceptable and professional. I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by my language. Moving forward, I hope to eliminate that type of language from my vocabulary. I would also like to take this chance to express my support for the work the You Can Play project is doing, and for the gay community in general."
"I apologize for the embarrassment my comments have caused to the New Jersey Devils management, as well as my teammates."
After Janssen apologized equality and gay rights groups applauded the hockey player.
"People unwilling to give Cam a chance to learn from his mistakes are doing no more to support You Can Play than he did in his interview," Patrick Burke, the president of the You Can Play Project, an NHL group that promotes equality, tweeted. GLAAD also felt the same way.
"Unlike some of the apologies we see, this one seems genuine and heartfelt, and it shows that Janssen understands the harm that statements like this can cause, especially to young LGBT athletes who aren’t sure of their place on their team or in their sport," GLAAD officials wrote in a statement.
Homophobia in sports is, unfortunately, an all-too-common occurrence. In February Justin Fontaine of the Houston Aeros was suspended for using homophobic language in a tweet.
"@J_Fontaine37: @DaveJMcIntyre I disagree, the Foo Faggots were awful. #TerribleShow #BadTaste #6205"agree foo foo!" he wrote, referring to the Foo Fighters’ performance during the Grammy Awards.
Fontaine was a Minnesota Wild prospect but the team issued a statement and apologized for the hockey player’s tweet.
"Minnesota Sports and Entertainment (MSE) apologizes for the offensive slur that was posted by Justin Fontaine on Twitter last night. Fontaine has been suspended from playing in the next two games for the Houston Aeros."
But in May 2011 Sean Avery, a member of the New York Rangers, announced his support for gay marriage and joined the Human Rights Campaign’s New Yorkers for Marriage Equality series of ads.
"The places I’ve played and lived the longest have been in West Hollywood, Calif., when I played for the L.A. Kings, and when I moved to New York, I lived in Chelsea for the first four years," the hockey said. "I certainly have been surrounded by the gay community. And living in New York and when you live in L.A., you certainly have a lot of gay friends."