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Senior editor’s note: We received dozens of emails from people in response to last week’s column by Lenny Palumbo, “Fighting is good for Hockey and the Sabres,” which touched on the “You Can Play” project where some NHL players participate in, and urge players be judged on athletic skill and not sexual orientation. Lenny criticized the “You Can Play” promotion as being a thinly-veiled endorsement of homosexuality in hockey. Below are a few emails and our responses.(more on our website)

**I'm probably not the first to write in about Lenny Palumbo's homophobic comments in his recent article, but I hope many more do. It's just idiotic, ignorant, and gives the Sabres and the NHL a black eye. Here's hoping you do better in the future - Sky.

(Dear Sky: You indeed were not the first to respond but we appreciate your comments even if we disagree with your conclusion. Lenny has a right to his opinion and we have the freedom of speech protection to allow him to express it. Thank God!)

**To put it simply, you have knowingly decided to publish ignorant, homophobic and incendiary remarks. Lenny & the Reporter are an absolute disgrace. You should be ashamed.-Alan Nathan.

(Dear Alan: We are not ashamed to allow freedom of expression in our newspaper. If you disagree with the columnist’s opinion, that is your right.)

**You fire Palumbo yet? Hope so, what a joke. Fire your editor too thanks. Andrew Kutz.

(Dear Andrew: We have no plans to fire Palumbo. Glad you got a laugh even if you didn’t agree with the column.)

**I don't know how you go about deciding the type of people who write for you and what they write about but you should rethink your process. The hockey article written by Lenny Palumbo was the most ridiculous piece of garbage I have ever seen published. I had to look up your name to make sure that it was not his personal blog that I was confusing for some actual source of news or information. As a journalism major, I was personally offended by how biased, idiotic, and truly unprofessional the entire article sounded. It was not a thought provoking argument with a list of solid facts to back it up. This was the rant of a high school freshman and everyone in your chain of staff should be embarrassed for publishing it. C. Sizgoric.

(Dear Cassandra: I’m sorry you found the article disappointing, to say the least. Fortunately in this country, we still welcome different views and you can see examples of that every day in newspapers, on the radio, and on television stations across the country. I am offended pretty much on a daily basis by the biased reporting that is dished out as news and really is nothing more than the personal agenda of the owners of the media outlet involved. We try to present a variety of news stories and opinion articles in the Reporter and I’m sure our readers can appreciate that we don’t necessarily endorse the views of our writers but support their right to express them. We hope you go on to a great career in journalism and help keep our citizens informed through your work. )

** Disgusting article from Lenny Palumbo. Everyone involved with writing it and allowing it to be published should be ashamed.... As a Texan who had intentions of following the Sabers since acquiring Steve Ott, I think I’ll find another source of hockey information.-- Chris Masey.

(Dear Chris: Just so you know, it is the SABRES, and you are certainly free to read what you want.)

**What an ignorant comment made in the article by Lenny Palumbo. That is a disillusioned view to have in today's society. Are we still in the 50's?

Absolutely ridiculous! I will no longer be supporting your paper, nor the many sponsors that appear on your website. That homophobic nonsense should not be a part of your publication. YCP is not even a league initiative - get your facts straight jackass! Glen Beauregard.

(Dear Glen: We hope you feel better after getting that hostility off your chest. By the way, you are correct in saying that You Can Play is not an official league policy but it is supported by a number of NFL players and team officials [see Lenny’s column in this week’s paper if you want more information]).

**I'd like to put my name forward for your soon to be open position of sports writer/contributor. I can't imagine Lenny will have a job much longer after that absolute disaster of an article. I've also taken the liberty of emailing all of your advertisers to let them know they support a a homophobic publication. Cheers! -Brent Calder

(Knock yourself out Brent.)



Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com July 24 , 2012