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Friday, February 11, 2011

Boston Herald’s Bob Kraft article draws homophobic web comments

By Hannah Clay Wareham -

A recent Boston Herald article announcing that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will be keynote speaker at an LGBT networking event hosted by Boston Spirit Magazine attracted a slew of unsolicited homophobic comments online.

While several comments were deleted by the Herald, citing that their content did not follow the website’s posting guidelines, remaining remarks include, "Unreal get right with God, this country is going to S--t. God help us!"; "Isn’t that wonderful, more lip service to all the freaks of our diverse society. Makes you want to throw up in your mouth"; "Tight Ends and Wide recievers will be on hand to answer questions after the symposium"; and "die in a fire" [sic].

"It’s unfortunate that some people in society still feel the need to preach such hatred, whether it is homophobia, racism, or any other type of bigotry or discrimination," said Boston Spirit Magazine publisher David Zimmerman. "However, the fact remains that the people who chose to post negative comments on the Boston Herald website represent a very small portion of the Herald’s readers and an even smaller portion of Massachusetts citizens.

"In a conversation I had recently with Steve Buckley, the Herald sports columnist who recently came out, he told me that he has received nearly 3,000 emails and ’99.99% of them were positive and supportive.’ To me, that speaks much louder than the 40 to 50 morons commenting on the Herald website."

Read the full Herald article below.
New England Patriots [team stats] pooh-bah Robert Kraft will be the keynote speaker at a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender networking session — which, according to the organizer, is the first time the owner of one of the city’s premiere sports teams will headline a major event for gays.
“It’s groundbreaking, absolutely groundbreaking,” said David Zimmerman, whose Boston Spirit maggie is putting on the fourth annual LGBT Executive Networking Night later this month. “Once again the New England Patriots [team stats] and its ownership are leading the way in professional sports.”
Zimmerman said he lobbied Kraft to accept the invite by appealing to the Pats owner’s “good business sense” and trailblazing nature.
“I’ve always seen the Patriots as being pretty open-minded,” he said.
But the pigskin czar doesn’t consider his participation in the session as particularly groundbreaking. When asked why he decided to do it, Kraft replied “Why wouldn’t I?”
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said the owner gets scores of invitations to speak every year and “probably declines more than he accepts.” But James said the organizers of the LGBT event were flexible and could work around Kraft’s schedule.
Zimmerman said he is expecting more than 1,000 business professionals at the event, which is sponsored by heavy-hitting corporate types such as U.S. Trust, Fidelity, TD Bank, Eastern Bank and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
“I expect that he will talk a little bit about the current business climate and the economy,” said Zimmerman. “And maybe about the social barrier that exists between professional sports and the gay community, and we’ll see where that goes.”
The Feb. 23 event at the Boston Marriott Copley Place is open to the public, but you must RSVP in advance at Do tell ‘em the Track sent you!


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