Even as we see positive change sweep the globe we are sometimes reminded that there are still major hurdles to overcome.
Edmonton returner/receiver/running back Christion Jones showed us that with an ill-advised tweet on Saturday night on Global Pride Day.
Jones tweeted out that he doesn’t believe a man or woman should be in a same-sex relationship. In the year 20-freaking-20, someone shared that opinion online without thinking they would receive backlash.
While there were few who defended his actions, most users were swift in condemning Jones’ homophobic rhetoric.
The 27-year-old responded to many of his detractors claiming that his initial tweet wasn’t meant to be homophobic, but that he was just stating his opinion, and he has the right to do that even if you disagree with him.
Jones has the right to state whatever he would like, but we who disagree with him also have the right to tell him his opinion is wrong — and his opinion on same-sex relationships is wrong.
His tweet was homophobic, his views are antiquated and his words were hurtful and hate-filled, even if he won’t admit it.
We are at the end of Pride month, and we have Pride month because of people like Christion Jones, who still judge people for who they love and who they are. There is no reason for someone to feel “uncomfortable” regarding same-sex relationships.
Jones’ initial tweet was bad enough, but his follow-up tweets defending his position demonstrate that he doesn’t believe that he said anything wrong. Clearly, he doesn’t get it.
The CFL prides itself on being a league that is open to everyone. Their “Diversity is Strength” campaign and partnership with the people at “You Can Play” are just a couple of ways in which the league has shown support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
The league and many of its teams have changed their social media profile pictures this month to include the rainbow flag to show their support during Pride. Jones’ tweets are contradictory to those beliefs and have no place in a league that loudly proclaims how inclusive they have been and continue to be.
His team and the league as a whole need to come out hard against Jones’ statements. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. What Christion Jones said is abhorrent and the league needs to take some type of action. Whether that is voiding Jones’ contract, fining him or demanding an apology, they cannot sit idly by and let one of its players spread a hateful message.
Love is love and hopefully some day we will get to the point where people like Christion Jones understand that.