With March Madness happening right now, there is always very intense games that can lead players and even coaches to make some questionable decisions. On March 24, UC Irvine played and lost against Oregon. During this game, the coach of UC Irvine, Russell Turner, wanted to rattle Oregon’s forward Louis King by calling him “queen”. Turner was quick after the game to claim that he was making a chess reference not a sexist or homophobic comment.
There were many critiques of Turner’s comment asking how you can “try to rattle a player” by complimenting them. This is the main reason that people do not believe Turner’s explanation and believe he was making a sexist and homophobic comment. Spectators took to Twitter to express their disappointment in Turner for attacking King’s manhood and that he should not be lying to make himself seem like he was complimenting King. They called on the coach to own up to what he was really trying to do.
This begs the question, why is being called a queen such a terrible thing for men? In a feminist perspective, it comes back to the fact that sport is only for men as they are perceived to be the stronger, more athletic gender. Therefore, by referring to a male player as female, it brings out the idea that he is weaker. To look at a homophobic perspective “queen” can be considered a homophobic slur referring to a flamboyant gay man. Even implying that someone is gay in such a high level of sport can impact a player’s career. So, even if Turner was just trying to compliment or rattle King, we see that both players and coaches must be very careful what they say because it doesn’t take much for something to be blown out of proportion.