Students at an Alabama high school are reportedly facing disciplinary action after displaying a homophobic banner at a nationally-televised football game.
As the Mobile Press-Register reports, ESPN broadcast Spanish Fort High School's victorious 20-14 matchup against Daphne High School earlier this week. As the network's cameras scanned the crowd, a group of students was revealed to be holding up a banner reading, "Purple? Man, that's GAY" -- an apparent dig at Daphne's school colors. A second sign was also revealed to have read, "Daphne. Isn't that a girl's name?"
Still, the response to the former's implicit message after images of the sign appeared on Deadspin, Buzzfeed and other media outlets was fast and furious. Wrote Outsports' Jim Buzinski: "The gay sign is offensive, but so uncreative and lame that those holding it deserved to be mocked rather than lectured."
"Spanish Fort High’s nickname is the Toros, which is associated with bullfighting, which is glorified animal torture," added NBC Sports' Rick Chandler. "All in all, Spanish Fort fails at being a high school. Please try harder, Spanish Fort."
School district officials aren't taking the furor over the sign lightly. "It was a gimmick to get national attention, and they were successful at that," Baldwin County Schools Spokesman Terry Wilhite told Local 15. "What they wont be successful at is doing it again."
He went on to note, "After the game, the students were spoken to. And then back when school resumed the students were again spoken to by the principal and he, believe me, will carry out a disciplinary action."
Perhaps those Spanish Fort students would be best served by considering the results of a new University of Michigan study, which found that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students who frequently heard "That's so gay" experienced emotional difficulty.