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By Lenny Palumbo

When Palumbo sarcastically called for Elton John (above left) to replace NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (above right), some people exercised their first amendment right to express their outrage.
Patrick Burke, co-founder of ‘You Can Play.’
In response to Palumbo’s story, You Can Play issued a statement to Deadspin.com: “... We are tremendously proud to have the full and uncompromising support of the Buffalo Sabres organization, their captain Jason Pominville,
(above right) and their wonderful and
loyal fans. Sabres fans can expect to see more of their players in You Can Play videos as we move forward. In the meantime, we will continue on in our role as the hockey world's best enforcer, standing up for the defenseless when bullies attack them- on the ice, in the locker room, or in print."

First, I’d like to thank all the outraged bloggers who helped make last week’s article, “Fighting is good for hockey and Sabres,” go viral.

Your much-appreciated efforts generated free publicity for the Niagara Falls Reporter. For this we are grateful.
It seems the article’s last two paragraphs have many members of the pro-homosexual lobby in an absolute tizzy. My first suggestion is that those so affected calm down by taking several deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. If necessary, repeat this process until your present state of hysteria subsides and you are able to again operate normally and rationally.

Apparently, any criticism of the National Hockey League’s decision to advance the pro-homosexual promotion You Can Play will be answered with bargain-basement insults and nonsensical arguments. Judging from the rhetoric induced by my article, a number of the supporters of homosexuality and the You Can Play project do not count reading comprehension and self-control among their character traits.

In last week’s article, I mentioned that You Can Play is an abominable NHL promotion. Let me be clear. While technically You Can Play is not an NHL promotion, NHL logos are used and NHL players are seen in their NHL uniforms, signs that it has the support of the NHL.

For the uninitiated, You Can Play is co-founded by Patrick Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and son of Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke. His brother, Brendan Burke, an openly gay college hockey manager for the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks, was killed in a car crash in 2010. The project is committed to fighting “homophobia” in sports.

The organization’s website claims it is “dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.” According to its mission statement, You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success. You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.”

Among the NHL players who have lent their support to the promotion are Rick Nash, Brian Boyle, Claude Giroux, Daniel Alfredsson, Scott Hartnell, Zdeno Chara, Dustin Brown, Shea Weber, Henrik Lundqvist and enforcer George Parros.

“We’ve got 35 guys committed to the filming and so far 30 guys I believe have now been filmed,” Burke says. “We’re hoping that as other guys see the PSA’s (public service announcements) and see what we’re all about, more and more of them will find ways to get involved to show their support.”

Burke insists the project is necessary because of what he calls “casual homophobia” that exists in locker rooms and prevents gay players from being candid about their sexuality.

"Those guys are using homophobic slurs but not meaning them in a homophobic sense. You see a guy say 'don't be gay' and he's not saying 'don't be a homosexual,' he's saying 'don't be an ass,'" says Burke. "We're all about makin' fun of each other. I understand how guys bond. But we need to cut out that language so those athletes that are hiding can feel safe."

So let me get this straight (no pun intended). The kind of behavior the “You Can Play” project is determined to eradicate from the game of hockey is neither “homophobic” nor directed toward homosexuals. The situation, according to co-founder Patrick Burke, is more a case of guys being guys, developing camaraderie within a team by busting each other’s chops in a good natured and harmless way.
Homophobia, as defined by the gay lobby, is “an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.” That’s not at all what Burke claims some NHL players are guilty of.

His assertion is that inappropriate locker room language creates an environment in which gay hockey players feel threatened to reveal their sexual preference. How many gay hockey players does Burke believe fall into this category? A few or more than a few? Is there one in every locker room? Are there several dozen throughout the league? Could there possibly be so many as to warrant collaboration with the “You Can Play” project? It seems doubtful.

Burke’s allegation that the “You Can Play” project’s goal is in part to combat politically incorrect locker room language begs an obvious question: If real “homophobia” isn’t the agenda behind the NHL’s support for the “You Can Play” project, what is the agenda?

A public service announcement featuring Burke, his father, and a number of NHL stars sheds some light on a possible explanation. In it, Burke remarks, “My brother, Brendan, fought for tolerance, equality and gay rights in sports.” Clearly, he and his father are honoring his memory by picking up where Brendan left off, championing gay rights and pushing the gay agenda. If the true purpose behind You Can Play’s mission is not to address “homophobia” among hockey players, then it must be to further the advancement of the pro-homosexual position.

And this, finally, is what makes this an abomination. The pro-homosexual lobby has for decades attempted to indoctrinate impressionable children into accepting the idea that “gay is good” with biased propaganda in the public schools and movie industry. The You Can Play project is not designed to eliminate “homophobia” from sports nor is it directed toward athletes and adults. It appears to be simply another ruse concocted by the gay lobby to influence children as early and as often as possible.

What could be more powerful an influence than little Johnny listening to his beloved hockey heroes supporting the gay agenda? And what chance do parents have to raise their children as they see fit when sports organizations like the NHL join Hillary Clinton’s village and subvert their efforts to teach right from wrong? This conversation should take place between parents and their kids and the NHL should stay out of it.

Of course, those who object to the efforts of the pro-homosexual movement to strong-arm them into accepting their world view are immediately labeled “homophobic.” It is an appropriate tactic because the term is as deceptive as the movement itself.
The word homophobia, strictly translated, is derived from the Latin word “homo” meaning man, adjoined with the Greek word “phobia” meaning fear. It was invented by psychologist George Weinberg and first used in his 1972 book, “Society and the Healthy Homosexual.” It actually means “fear of man” but has evolved to mean “fear of homosexuals and homosexual behavior.”

If George Weinberg can make up words so will I. Here’s one that describes the affliction suffered by those pushing the gay agenda on children: Objecto-phobia – “the irrational fear, aversion to, or discrimination against those who object (or even seek objective discourse) to the efforts of the pro-homosexual movement to quash freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of belief.”

Those who suffer from “Objecto-phobia” often preach tolerance but practice intolerance. They are almost always oblivious to their hypocrisy or consider it justified because they’re absolutely certain they are “right” and those they target are “wrong.” They have turned their backs on god and his laws and made gods of themselves who, in their omniscient wisdom, pass judgment on objectors.

I believe, the You Can Play project isn’t really about fighting “homophobia” so much as it is about persuading others, particularly children, to accept what their parents believe to be unacceptable. Like other deceptive tactics, such as certain anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs in public schools, it seems designed to mold impressionable kids into adults who hold the “right” opinions about homosexuality. It is based on the premise that “it takes a village to raise a child” by eliminating the influence of dissenting parents. And, unfortunately, it often employs useful idiots like the National Hockey League to do its dirty work.

For those who are interested...

Because so many people have misinterpreted and/or misrepresented my words and opinions, I would like to clarify my position on homosexuality and the You Can Play project.

I do believe homosexuality to be an immoral lifestyle but I also believe it is immoral for a man to cheat on his wife or vice versa. Furthermore, I believe it’s immoral to steal or commit murder. In short, I believe in God’s commandments and accept them without qualification. These are not my own “opinions.” If you don’t like my position, your argument is with God, not me.

I have absolutely no problem with gay people and think it’s fine for them to play in the NHL, NFL, NBA or any other sports organization, professional or amateur. I believe there should be tolerance for gays and am opposed to discrimination of any kind. I could care less about how one chooses to fulfill their sexual desires whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. It’s none of my business.

Where I do draw the line is when gay activists and their various organizations, such as the You Can Play project, target children with Trojan horse promotions designed to indoctrinate them with pro-gay propaganda. They have taken this approach with anti-bullying and suicide prevention programs in public schools, and now appear to be using sports organizations as another way to subvert the influence of parents. There are honest gay activists out there who do not deny that their movement employs such strategies.

It’s not gay people I have a problem with but the gay lobby that is committed to this deceptive agenda. Gay rights and tolerance is one thing, gay propaganda and indoctrination quite another. In other words, do whatever you want but leave my family out of it.

If anyone has crossed a line it’s not me. It’s those who target other people’s children. Just as homosexuals have the right to do whatever they want with whomever they want, parents have the right to raise their children however they please and should not be interfered with by those who do not share their worldview or religious beliefs.




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