Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bostonians May Be Racist, But New Yorkers Are...


So I was at the Yankees game last night and had the "privilege" of sitting in the bleachers, something I had never before done at the Yankees game. The game was going well until Andy Pettitte imploded in the sixth inning. At this point, all hell broke lose.

Once the Yankees began losing, fans near me in the bleachers took out their anger on the Detriot Tigers Right-Fielder, Magglio Ordonez. Chants of "FAGGGGG-lio" started to become louder and louder. People also started screaming "Hey, Faglio--does[Gary] Sheffield pull that hair from behind?" Ordonez has hair down to his shoulders... His haircut also had one man in front of me yell, "Hey Fag-lio, what salon do you go to?"

And the homophobia continued. During every Sea Dog fan's favorite song, "YMCA," people in the bleachers started pointing to one Tiger's fan. I was confused as to their pointing, but when the chorus of the song came around, everything became clear. Just try to imagine two hundred New Yorkers screaming "WHY ARE YOU GAY!?" to the beat of "Y M C A"

For the rest of the game, whenever Ordonez turned around and face the bleachers, people would scream "ASS-HOLE" and give him the finger. And later, towards the end of the game, a man behind me screamed at Ordonez, "Where's your fucking Green card? Are you even legal?" Three Latino men next to him chuckled, somehow not offended by the remark. They incidently had been yelling at Ordonez in Spanish. And while my Spanish is a little rusty, I do know the meaning of "Maricon."

Lesson here? Well there are many. But the most obvious is that New York has issues of its own when it comes to racist, homophobic, sports fan. Also, don't bring little kids to the bleachers. This guy next to me was sitting there with his 5 year old and had to leave 3 innings into the game. It made me ashamed to love the Yankees.


betty said...

When I was about 9, my uncle took me to my first Yankees game, and we sat in the bleachers. I usually have a useless memory for details, but I'll always remember that they were playing the Twins because of all the different words the bleacher guys found to rhyme with "Puckett".

Like the people at your game, we had to leave in about the 3rd inning. But then my uncle approached a security guard and told him how I had come all the way from Maine and how gross it all was and he let us in!

Anyway, this story had a happy ending, and the players probably don't even pay attention, but it is super sad and disillusioning to hear such comments, and coming from MANY people with whom you share a passion.

Bimbo and I were privy to some racist jeers at Black and Latino pitchers last year at the Stadium that we have been trying to forget about. At the time, we attributed the problem to the individuals and their communities rather than to something having to do with sports or the Yankees. But now I'm beginning to wonder.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Plus, we got swept by one of the most under-performing teams in the league.

Yankee fans also have an uncanny ability to get rageful in gross ways against their own players when they are let down.