Monday, August 3, 2009

McMackin Should Have Been Fired

I speak here, not as an aggrieved Irish fan, but as a rational human being - Hawaii coach Greg McMackin should have been fired, rather than receive a 30-day slap on the wrist. Let's review the facts, shall we? Greg McMackin stepped up to a podium, in a room filled with reporters, and blatantly uttered a vulgar gay slur, not once, but several times. He then asked for the same group of reporters to "cover" for him. In other words, he clearly knew what he was saying and had little compunction about the phrasing. Imagine this scenario another way. Imagine rather than the gay slur he did use, McMackin had said, "They get up and do this little cheer...this little 'n-word' dance." Would McMackin have kept his job? Should McMackin have kept his job? Of course not. For anyone who thinks otherwise, consider that Don Imus was fired for less than that. Why is this any different?
What makes matters even worse is that McMackin coaches the football team at the official academic institution of a state that has been at the vanguard of gay rights in America. As such, this is not merely a failure on the part of Greg McMackin, it is a failure of the administration and, in fact, the State of Hawaii.
Sure, McMackin whined, grovelled and cried his mea culpa. Big deal. If he had half a brain, or an ounce of decency, none of that would have been necessary. He simply would have kept his big mouth shut and not engaged in unprovoked and indefensible slander.
Ah, but what about free speech? Fine, McMackin is more than within his rights to make crude, ignorant and asinine comments. Similarly, the University of Hawaii would have been (again, should have been) well within their's to depose such an embarrasing employee and representative of the school. Sadly, it is far easier for academics to consider concepts of right and wrong in the warm, theoretical cocoon of a classroom; quite another to exercise those concepts in the real world.

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