Note: we are republishing this story to raise awareness about the persistence of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric even in 2021.
Joy Behar was slammed online after she made a joke about “penetration in the end zone” before asking “is it really that big a deal?” following Carl Nassib’s announcement that he was gay.
Behar and her fellow hosts were discussing Nassib coming out when she stated: “I know he's the first active NFL player ever to come as gay but come on it's 2021, is this such a big deal?”
When her co-hosts stated that it was indeed a big deal, she joked: “You know after they said penetration in the end zone they lost me."
Co-hosts Anna Navarro, Sara Haines and Meghan McCain grimaced at her statement, but Behar continued: “I don't know that this is such a big deal.”
Behar stated that athletes in different sports had come out as gay, and because of this, Nassib's announcement - the first from an active NFL player - was “not that big of a deal.”
She later tried to apologize for the crude joke, although she doubled down that the announcement was not a big deal.
She stated: “I just long for the days where you can just be gay in the world and it doesn’t become a big deal. That inappropriate joke I made for daytime television - scratch it. Make believe I never said it. We'll be right back.”
Behar was quickly slammed on Twitter, with one person calling for her resignation.
The user wrote: “Gay jokes were NEVER funny. Get a clue.”
A second person wrote: “What would happen if a conservative made a statement like this? The media would blow up!”
A third wrote: “Just watched Joy Behar on The View simply dismiss an off color joke about a gay NFL player. Hmm, I guess it's that easy to brush off homophobic humor.”
However, a couple of gay Twitter users defended Behar’s statements, maintaining that they weren't offended.
One wrote: “Joy Behar made an 'inappropriate' joke while discussing the coming out of NFL player Carl Nassib. As a flaming homosexual, I didn't find her joke offensive. At all.”
A second wrote: “Joy Behar made what people are calling ‘an inappropriate joke’ by saying ‘penetration in the end zone,’ that I, a flaming homosexual, find absolutely funny!”
ABC has yet to respond to requests for comment.
Nassib, a Las Vegas Raiders defensive, came out on Monday in an Instagram video.
He began: “What's up people, I'm Carl Nassib, and I'm at my house here in Westchester, Pennsylvania. I just want to take a quick moment to say I'm gay. I've been meaning to do this for a while now but I finally feel comfortable enough to get it off my chest. I just think that representation and visibility are so important.”
“I actually hope that one day videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary,” he stated. “Until then, I am going to do my best and do my part to cultivate a culture that is accepting and compassionate.”
He revealed that he was donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project to help America’s LGBTQ youth, which he called “an incredible organization,” and that it was the number one group for suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth.
He concluded the video: “I'm very excited to be a part of it in any way I can. I'm really pumped to see what the future holds.”
The NFL tweeted its support: “The NFL family is proud of you, Carl.”
Countless players praised Nassib’s decision to come out.
Sources: Daily Mail