Bowing to pressure from gay-rights advocates, the NFL Shop will now allow buyers of personalized jerseys to have the word "GAY" sewn onto the back of their shirt.
A homosexual-news syndicate reported today that the league claimed it wasn't caving in to political correctness:
This decision seems to have less to do with any sexual orientation statement by the league and more with the fact that there is a player in the league with the last name Gay, New England Patriots rookie defensive back Randall Gay. Randall is the first Gay in the NFL since Ben Gay played for the Cleveland Browns in 2001. For example, the spokesman said there was no discussion in removing “Lesbian” or other words from the list of banned words and he explained the league’s thinking:The NFL Shop's list of 1,121 words banned from its personalized shirts, which emerged yesterday (and is decidedly not safe for the workplace, or children, or...anyone) truly boggles the mind. An instant, up-to-the-minute education in modern vulgarity, it overflows with expletives and references to sex acts, drugs, and alcohol, in every conceivable combination. Many of the terms appear quite innocent—one can only imagine what grotesque sex act is signified by the name of a sugary pastry one might dunk into coffee. (Note: Please do not try to helpfully educate me on this one.)
“The idea behind personalized jerseys is for a fan to put his or her name on the back or possibly a nickname,” the [NFL] spokesman said. It is not designed for political, social or other types of statements.
The NFL also wants no association with Christianity. You could say that the reason it bans "JESUS CHIRST" [sic] and "JESUSCHRIST" is to avoid the appearance of taking Jesus' name in vain, but "GOD" is banned too—and there's not so much chance of His name's being abused, when so many expletives are banned as well.
For balance, the NFL Shop additionally bans "SATAN" and various spellings of "SIXSIXSIX."
To football fans, I'd guess that the funniest item on the banned list would be the mysterious slogan that was on the back of Rod Smart's jersey when he was in the XFL. Yes, it's true: If you want a personalized NFL jersey, you are forbidden to wear the words, "HE HATE ME."