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Deadspin Writer Responds To Jim Miller Story Criticism

Jim Miller. (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

Jim Miller. (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

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(CBS) Earlier this week, former Bears quarterback Jim Miller joined The McNeil and Spiegel Show and discussed the difficulty a gay athlete may have in the NFL.

Miller wasn’t saying he had a problem with a gay athlete in the NFL, only that “certain factions of a locker room will not accept it.”

Deadspin got wind of Miller’s comments and published an inaccurate report that took Miller’s comments out of context and painted the former quarterback as a homophobic bigot.

“Miller was on the radio yesterday to talk about the plight of gays breaking into the NFL, spurred by reports from the combine that GMs were flat-out asking Manti T’eo if he’s gay,” Deadspin writer Barry Petchesky wrote. “Miller doesn’t like gays; but he’s at least smart enough not to couch it that way.”

Today, in an open Q&A with the website, Petchesky was asked when Deadspin would issue an apology to Miller.

Here’s his response:

I feel terrible that the takeaway seems to be “Jim Miller’s a bigot,” even though I included his full remarks in there. Given the chance, I’d write it differently. Regarding Miller, I took a leap as to his personal beliefs that I shouldn’t have, even though I still think it’s a safe bet (When asked if gays should be accepted, Miller said “I could care less,” which is pointedly not a yes.) The emails calling me “faggot” and “homo-loving liberal” lead me to believe that there’s a homophobic contingent that identifies with Miller’s argument, and he’s speaking for them even if he himself doesn’t subscribe.

But I’ll stand behind my points, which are that it’s asinine to A)Set up the strawman that anyone was claiming it wouldn’t be hard for a gay player; B)Take the blame from homophobic players and put it on their religious doctrines; C)Pretend there aren’t already players hated by the rest of their locker rooms; D)Claim that sexual integration in sports is a project by “progressives or liberals.” Imagine those comments being said about Jackie Robinson–“You can’t just expect to integrate baseball because there are players who won’t accept black teammates.”