Former Astros baseball player Lance Berkman spoke out about the “digital persecution” directed his way after he publicly opposed passage of Houston’s equal rights ordinance (HERO).
The “digital persecution” that basically did not affect his life one iota as he does not have a Facebook or Twitter account or spend much time online:
He did say he Googled some of the coverage of his stance, which included radio ads on local airwaves.
“A lot of the comments were not in favor of letting the HERO ordinance pass, which was a little encouraging,” Berkman told Berry.
What really offended his delicate ego is that when he spoke out publicly against a law that created a municipal remedy for discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for fifteen classes of people including veterans and the elderly, people spoke out publicly against him.
Yes, an internationally known athlete who represented Houston for eleven years (plus the one day at the end of his career when he re-signed with the team so he could retire as a member of the team) was surprised that his speaking out against the equal rights ordinance triggered a reaction and not only from people who agreed with him.
What did he say about it, exactly?
“No men in women’s bathrooms, no boys in girls’ showers or locker rooms. I played professional baseball for 15 years, but my family is more important. My wife and I have four daughters. Proposition 1, the bathroom ordinance, would allow troubled men to enter women’s public bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. This would violate their privacy and put them in harm’s way.”
And what did he claim was unfair about people responding to his advocacy?
“I didn’t expect the mayor to make a personal attack,” he said. “I didn’t expect her to talk about my girls or my family.”
You didn’t expect anyone to talk about your family? Because you did.
And actually, not only did you talk about your family, you talked about hers.
Everyone knows the mayor is a lesbian, but opponents of the equal rights ordinance conveniently ignore the fact that the mayor is also a parent and a married person. A lesbian parent of two adopted daughter and an all-but-adopted son, who Mayor Parker describes as African-American and mixed race.
The HERO would protect people based on their membership in classes including race, familial status, and sexual orientation, so the ordinance is exceptionally personal to her and her entire family.
When Berkman spoke out against it, he spoke out against a law that would protect the mayor and her family in multiple ways.
He was the one who used his wife and daughters to justify his bigotry. He can’t act surprised when someone else continues along that line.
Coach Berkman? May I explain something to you?
You’re not being persecuted for saying what you think.
What you’re experiencing, sir, are the consequences of engaging in political discourse with people who are not obligated to tolerate your intolerance.
Welcome to the big leagues, cowboy.
And by the way, Berkman, if you’re so concerned about protecting women and girls from predators …
I couldn’t help but notice that when the Houston Astros dumped the Houston Area Women’s Center from their roster of charities after a 23-year relationship and in the middle of a fiscal year, you were nowhere to be seen.
Surely, sir, you are familiar with the Houston Area Women’s Center? The nearly 40-year-old and exceptionally well-regarded local charity which provides services to adult and child survivors of rape and domestic violence?
You know, people who have been the victims of predators?
Here you go, cowboy. I’ve got a whole list of ways you could involve the Astros, retired Astros, or your students at Ed Young’s Second Baptist school, in supporting the Women’s Center and people who’ve been the victims of predators, since you seem to care so passionately about it. You can Google them to get a phone number. I’m sure they’ll take your call.