Micheal Ray Richardson. Pic courtesy of albanypats.com/Chuck Miller
By Ross Forman
Two more basketball personalities have gotten into sticky situations lately after using the anti-gay f-word.
Micheal Ray Richardson, coach of the Albany Patroons of the Continental Basketball Association ( CBA ) and a former National Basketball Association ( NBA ) player, was suspended for comments that insulted Jews and gays.
'Shut the fuck up, you faggot,' Richardson shouted to a heckler during a game last month, the Albany Times Union reported. He also yelled at another fan to 'shut the fuck up.'
And during an interview with the local newspaper, Richardson said:Read more story below....
—'I've got big-time lawyers. I've got big-time Jew lawyers.'
—'They know that in this country the Jews are running it if you really think about it. I mean, which is not a bad thing, you know what I mean?'
—'They got a lot of power in this world, you know what I mean? Which I think is great. I don't think there's nothing wrong with it. If you look in most professional sports, they're run by Jewish people. If you look at a lot of most successful corporations and stuff, more businesses, they're run by Jewish. It's not a knock, but they are some crafty people.'
After being suspended, Richardson said, 'It's terrible and I don't think it's fair, but I want to make an apology if I offended anyone because that's not me.'
Meanwhile, CBS-TV's college basketball color commentator Billy Packer continues to stand by his use of the term 'fag out' during a late-March interview with Charlie Rose.
Packer has said he would use it again.
Packer was in Atlanta for the men's Final Four when Rose asked him, 'Do you need a runner this Final Four because I could jump on a plane and I could be there.'
Laughing, Packer replied, 'You always fag out on that one for me, you know. You always say, oh yeah, I'm gonna be the runner, then you never show up. But I'm sure they can find a place for ya. You've got all the connections in the world. You can go ahead and be a runner anyplace you want to.'
Packer told the Philadelphia Inquirer: 'I said he fagged out on me and it had nothing to do with sexual connotation. I got to know Charlie a number of years ago and have great admiration for his program and intellect. He is a big Dukie, and he has been talking a number of years about coming to the Final Four to be a runner.'
Packer said by 'fag out,' he meant the Dictionary.com definition, 'to tire or weary by labor; exhaust.'
'The term has nothing to do with sexuality,' Packer said. 'I think he is the most eligible bachelor. It's about a guy too lazy to get the work. ... I can assure you I will use that phrase again and I won't think twice about it. My meaning is genuine.'
Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) issued a statement after Packer's comment.
'John Amaechi, who has done a tremendous amount of youth work and obviously knows the sports world first hand, has said that every time someone uses the F Word, gay kids in high school die a little bit on the inside.
'CBS has tried to spin this as a poor choice of words. Billy Packer and the CBS Network should know better and must apologize for the hurt that this kind of remark causes.'
HRC hosted a panel of GLBT athletes in Atlanta coinciding with the NCAA Men's Final Four. Amaechi, Billy Bean, Joey Fisher, David Kopay, Terri O'Connell and Esera Tuaolo shared their stories and unique perspectives on the experience of GLBT athletes.