There are certain words and phrases that those in the spotlight should instinctively know not to say. These words naturally instigate controversy followed by immediate apologies. We've seen it time and time again.
It's like clockwork, really, and people always catch you doing it.
Such was the predicament former Seinfeld star Jason Alexander found himself in when he was on The Late Late Show Friday night.
The show is hosted by the very funny Scottish-American comedian Craig Ferguson, whose natural humor always seems to challenge his guests to keep up in the chuckles department. In Alexander's attempt to keep pace, he started bashing one of Ferguson’s favorite targets, England. More specifically, he took shots at their national sport, cricket, pulling out the term 'gay', which is about the top of the list of words not to say.
"You know how I know it's really kind of a gay game? It's the pitch. It looks like nothing — if you put it in slow motion… It's the weirdest… It's not like a manly baseball pitch; it's a queer British gay pitch." Alexander said.
Of course, as expected, Alexander's comments immediately caused an outpouring of anger and hate directed at him. So much negativity, in fact, that he took to the number one choice for celebrity apologies, Twitter, to share his regrets.
"… I should know better. My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. Plus, in my own small way, I have lived some of their experience. Growing up in the '70's in a town that revered it's school sports and athletes, I was quite the outsider listening to my musical theater albums, studying voice and dance and spending all my free time on the stage. Many of the same taunts and jeers and attitudes leveled at young gay men and women were thrown at me and on occasion I too was met with violence or the threat of violence.
So one might think that all these years later I might be able to intuit that my little cricket routine could make some person who has already been made to feel alien and outcast feel even worse or add to the conditions that create their alienation. But in this instance, I did not make the connection. I didn't get it….
…So, I can only apologize and I do. In comedy, timing is everything. And when a group of people are still fighting so hard for understanding, acceptance, dignity and essential rights – the time for some kinds of laughs has not yet come. I hope my realization brings some comfort.
In the end, the whole incident will be brushed under the rug and forgotten, as is the way of these things, but hey, one good thing did come out of this.
Just look at the free pub that cricket is getting!
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP