As I write this, I have to begin by saying that I’ve never been more upset with an inanimate entity more than I currently am with NBC Sports. This anger can not be understated. I would not hesitate to spit in the nose of NBC Sports’ first born son if I was in the delivery room. I curse the day NBC Sports was born, and the day NBC Sports dies I will hire Gabby Douglas to dougie and fart on its grave. Seriously, if NBC sports was on fire and I had to pee, I’d hold that sh*t until I gave myself amoebic dysentery.
What exactly has NBC Sports done to deserve such animus? Well, I sat down to watch the men’s 100 meter semis and finals at 2:45pm EST. And, because of some intentionally misleading scheduling, I stayed glued to the couch for EIGHT F*CKING HOURS waiting for these events to be televised, and ended up having to witness each of the following things:
A women’s basketball game between two countries no one visits unless they win aÂ consolation prize on “The Price is Right”
Equestrian, a sport so White even Prince Charles saw it and said “Damn, Equestrian, you need to get some sun, man.”
The surprisingly compelling women’s weightlifting
Man vs buffalo boxing
A thong contest
A thong contest between each of the gymnastic judges
Also, since I was aware that the track stuff would be shown on tape delay, I had to stay away from all social media, a few of my favorite websites, and certain channels just to make sure I didn’t get spoiled. Basically, bitch-ass NBC Sports took me back to 1996.
To top it all off, I spent eight hours waiting for an event — the men’s 100 meter finals — that took 9.6 seconds to end, which is the equivalent of ***insert somewhat, but not really all that witty analogy about a male virgin climaxing after 17 seconds on his wedding night***
Anyway, I ended my day long Twitter embargo a few minutes after Usain Bolt crossed the finish line, and perhaps 90% of my timeline was talking about one of five things:
1. Usain Bolt
2. The fact that such a tiny place (Jamaica) can be so dominant in three things people care greatly about (sprinting, reggae, and weed. And, that number jumps to four if you count “murder”)
3. Sanya Richards Ross’ breathtaking win and equally breathtaking weave
4. The fineness of USA sprinter Ryan Bailey
5. The potential gayness of USA sprinter Ryan Bailey
That the relatively unknown Bailey was a big hit on Twitter wasn’t a surprise. While watching the semis, I remember thinking “If he makes it to the finals, Madame Noire, Clutch, Essence, and Jezebel are going to sprint to see who can publish the first article devoted to him.” And, after the camera zoomed in and I saw the red kiss tattooed on his neck, I said “Hmm. That’s…interesting” toÂ no one in particular. For those not well-versed in Damon-speak, “Hmm. That’s…interesting” meant “Hmm. I wonder if Black women think he’s good-looking enough to ignore the fact that men possessing neck tattoos of kisses are usually thought to also enjoy playing tummy sticks?” Nevermind the fact that there is absolutely no correlation between kiss tats and homosexuality, doing certain things that just aren’t done by very many straight Black males has a tendency to make people assume that you’re not a straight Black male.
Now, whether Bailey is straight or not means no difference to me. He’s obviously a very talented athlete, and his looks and youth (he’s only 23) pretty much ensure that his popularity (and bank balance) will skyrocket very shortly. What remains most interesting to me, though, is how the concept of male heterosexuality (Black male heterosexuality especially) is so rigid that the possession one seemingly “neutral” characteristic or even being caught doing a neutral act can make you lose “straight points” in the eyes of both women and men. Having a tattoo of a kiss on your neck is one such thing. Here are a few others.
Talking/writing about sexuality
While most will join in with the discussion and some will give you props for “being secure enough in your sexuality to talk about something like that,” if you’re a Black man and you wish to write and/or speak about gender issues or sexuality, inevitably there will be a few who think (and may even say) “Hmm. I wonder why he even cares about this. He must be gay.” These are probably also the same people who buy produce at Target.
Driving a “non-masculine” car
What exactly constitutes a “non-masculine” car depends on the part of the country you live it, but this distinction remains inane regardless of how arbitrarily it’s decided. For instance, the new Nissan Altimas are very nice looking cars. Honestly, the ones with the dual tailpipes don’t look all that different than many sports/muscle cars on the road. But, because of its shitty engine, there are definitely certain places where driving an Altima will have people tempted to ask if you put your nuts in the glove compartment before you sit down.
Doing something with another like-aged man that doesn’t involve money, women, or sports
This includes (but isn’t limited to)
Getting a drink, going to a movie, letting your boy crash on your couch, walking, taking a road trip together, doing anything that requires you to be in a car together for longer than 90 minutes, going to a restaurant, doing yardwork in the summer time, jogging, starting a popular blog, sitting together while at a coffeehouse, “smiling too much” while speaking to each other, cooking, speaking to each other.
Anyway, people of VSB.com, can you think of anything else totally neutral that a man could do or possess that may make people think he may not be, um, straight? Also, what’s the verdict on grown-ass men who decide to get red kisses tattooed on their necks?
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)