The link is to a story by David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement blog. David’s headline is ” Hate Crime? CSU Football Players Use Anti-Gay Slurs In Violent Assault”

I wonder, does it really matter? Hate crime or not, this was a brutal, meaningless, and heinous crime.

Three Colorado State University (CSU) football players have been “indefinitely suspended” from the team — but not from the school campus — after reportedly using homophobic slurs while beating up several freshmen students. The university’s response appears guarded and insufficient, after the attack on the college freshmen.

This story epitomizes the use of slurs as a weapon, and demonstrates the end result of inaction towards teen bullying in our schools. These football players didn’t learn to use these slurs as weapons that cause damage when they came to college, but rather, they are the result of years and years of embedded meaning throughout their school life.

They say they were leaving a party at LaPorte and Shields about midnight on Friday when an SUV loaded with fellow students drove past, its occupants yelling homophobic insults. When Gocha responded with the same insult, the SUV screeched to a halt and several men piled out, Haley said.

The offense committed against the football players that provoked the fight? A students responded to being called slurs with the same slur. In other words, receiving back the same insult they were hurling at others was enough to create this scenario.

“I covered Donny’s head with my body,” Haley said. “We were all scared for his life. It froze me. You can’t really put into words how disturbing it way. My only thought was to protect his head.”

A Hate Crime is a crime committed against a person or persons with the intent to create fear and intimidation within a group of people, such that the crime is one against persons as a group, for example, against Jews, or Blacks, or Queers. It isn’t clear if this crime meets that criteria or not, and in many ways it doesn’t matter (at least in my book) That a young man was beaten to a point that his friends feared for his very life is the same, no matter if this was a hate crime or not.

There has been a move among LGBTQ activists (???) to label anything anti-gay as “hate,” and while that epitaph may be appropriate at times, it also has the potential to weaken any real dialogue surrounding horrific violence. It has the potential to try and look at everything through a simplified lens of good or bad/ hate or love. And, much like the rhetoric surrounding the abortion issue, when the discourse is distilled down to two over-siplified criteria, no real progress is ever made. The speed at which we (in the generic sense of the word) move to that over simplification stands in the way of understanding and changing the situations that lead to violence as horrible as described above.

The players have been suspended indefinitely from playing already but the school has taken no action yet, awaiting the results of a full investigation. I personally won’t be surprised if alcohol was involved, and that is the “rule” that the football players broke and thus cause for that punishment.I think we ned to watch how events follow the investigation closely so that real justice is done as all of the facts are made known.

But even before all of that, we can open our eyes and see what happened here. A group of young men, who see themselves as the epitome of “maleness” hurl anti-gay slurs. When another male, throws that same slur back at them, it is enough provocation to beat the living daylights out of him. Why is it that for the epitome of maleness, that gay slur is so wicked and demands such an eruption of violence? Where did these words gather so much meaning and power? The answer is in the halls, classrooms, locker rooms, school busses, and other spaces of our entire educational landscape where bullying goes unchecked and even supported by teachers, administrators, coaches and parents.

via Hate Crime? CSU Football Players Use Anti-Gay Slurs In Violent Assault | The New Civil Rights Movement.


  1.  Well since the victim was charged the same at the attackers i can only conclude that Fort Collins is a dangerous place to live with a corrupt police force!!!

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