Apologies from Jason Alexander for calling cricket ‘gay’

I have to admit, I expected better when I saw the headline, “Jason Alexander offers the greatest apology in history for ‘gay cricket’ joke.”  I mean, the greatest? In history? Is this the best humanity can do or has ever done?

SO, let me know if I’m just an overly critical philosopher here, but it doesn’t seem the greatest apology to write at length that it was completely unclear to you and to your gay friends — of which you have so many — as to what you said that could possibly be bad, but that after much mind-bending and soul-searching, you see macroscopically that oppression is bad, and that because oppression continues, we’re not yet ready for your awesome jokes referring to some sports as ‘gay.’

I swear, I really was feeling receptive to J.A. when I started reading this!  But paragraph by paragraph, he started to bug me.  Maybe it was just the chronological presentation.  Philosopher Nick Smith, the author of I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies, urges our attention to the value of apologies, their roles and functions.  I can see the value of Alexander’s extended explanation in light of his initially dismissive twit-tweet that people have no sense of humor.  I shall try to look upon this positively as an offer of serious uptake. But I still feel irked.

4 thoughts on “Apologies from Jason Alexander for calling cricket ‘gay’

  1. I thought it was pretty good. Rather than just rely on his intentions, he decided to take the people who took offense seriously, and while it wasn’t immediately clear to him what the problem was, he thought about it until he understood their point of view. Once he did, he REALLY understood it. None of this “If people were offended, then I’m sorry” bullshit. He was able to articulate what was wrong about what he said, admit that he should have known better, and apologize for having caused harm, regardless of his intent. I think if more people could apologize like this, we would live in a different world.

  2. Here is what really annoyed me about this apology. J.A. says:

    “…talking about the all white uniforms that never seem to get soiled; the break they take for tea time with a formal tea cart rolled onto the field, etc. I also did an exaggerated demonstration of the rather unusual way they pitch the cricket ball which is very dance-like with a rather unusual and exaggerated arm gesture”

    “I was basing my use of the word “gay” on the silly generalization that real men don’t do gentile, refined things and that my portrayal of the cricket pitch was pointedly effeminate , thereby suggesting that effeminate and gay were synonymous.”

    So, all the described gestures are classified as being ‘effeminate’ – i.e. it’s not ok to ascribe them to gay men, but completely fine to ascribe these stereotypes to women?!

  3. I did think the extent to which he analysed his actions and the harm he did was pretty unusual.

  4. By now means the greatest apology ever, but I thought it was incredibly refreshing for him to take ownership of the offense — rather than just expressing his regret that some people were offended by what he said. And his effort to explain why this kind of remark and the offense it causes really matters was also refreshing. So, to be honest, I liked it.

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