Anthony Edwards’ homophobic lyrics ‘disappointing’ for LGBTQ fans . Timberwolves

Jenna Wegner is a lifelong fan of the Timberwolves and, in the past few rough and turbulent years, has come to realize that she is a woman “once and for all.” She began taking steps to live her true nature and began the process of medical transformation.

Amid the many difficult personal moments that ensue, Wolves, especially guard Anthony Edwards, have been a source of joy for the Minneapolis native.

“The ant was a huge part of that joy, both as a player and as someone off the field,” Wegner said. “He was quick on his way to passing Ricky [Rubio] As my favorite talking wolf.”

Then Wegner, like other Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender fans of Wolves, felt a lot of upsetting emotions after Edwards posted a video on Instagram in which he used anti-gay language. Watching the video, Wegener said, was a “huge blow”.

“A lot of people made fun of me and called me insults [for my appearance]Wegner said. “You cry for it a little bit and keep knowing that you will never see these people again. But knowing that someone really likes you, who will always be present in the media you consume or in the city you live in, is also likely to laugh at you or describe you. Slander, this is frustrating.”

Wegner is one of more than two dozen LGBTQ fans in Timberwolves who have spoken with Star Tribune since the video came out to say they were disappointed, dismayed and hurt by what the 21-year-old Wolves star had to say. The Instagram post showed him calling a group of men on the sidewalk “weird” in a derogatory way while adding, “Look what the world has done, brother.”

“I want to see him sit down with members of the LGBTQ community and talk to them and understand where experiences are being shared, where things like discrimination between marginalized groups is shared.”

Amber Keyes, Wolves fan

Edwards, entering the third year of a $44.3 million four-year contract, was fined $40,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for the video. His agency, Klutch Sports Group, did not respond to requests for more data. Wolves’ training camp opens on Monday.

Edwards’ charismatic off-field personality and electric potential on the court have made Edwards a favorite with fans, including many LGBTQ fans. But in the wake of his video, many of these fans are left with mixed feelings about rooting for Edwards and their favorite team, wondering if they’ll be attending the games in person and wanting more from him and the team in terms of apology and accountability. Only a few fans the Star Tribune spoke to for this article said that what Edwards posted wasn’t a big deal.

“It gave homophobia a voice,” said Eric Bogard, a gay Wolves fan of Rogers. “She almost gave them a poster boy picture.” Look at that big name, it feels that way. It’s okay to feel this way. “

“She keeps guarding LGBT people away from the sport. She keeps that gateway by saying you’re not welcome here.”

Sports have always been a difficult place for gays to feel welcome, in part because anti-gay language can be part of sports slang. Edwards’ video stirred up unwelcome feelings for many.

Ben Draper lives in England and became a fan of Wolves precisely because of Edwards.

“The reason it has been so painful for the gay community is because it has set an example for all of us,” said Draper, who is not binary. “He made us feel like something to be laughed at, just a penalty.”

next step

Edwards issued an apology via Twitter. For many, it wasn’t enough to show that he was truly sorry. Some would like to hear more from him.

You don’t hear your tone of voice or your intent with a tweet,” said Tobias Johnson, a Savage fan who is bisexual. “I think it’s something to get right in front of the camera and microphone and say, ‘I’m really sorry.'”

Others would like to see Edwards do outreach work with LGBTQ groups and use his social media platform to denounce and express hateful language.

“He’s got to make a big push to prove to us that this isn’t who he is,” said Amber Keys, a transgender fan of Stillwater’s Wolves. “…I want to see him sit down with members of the LGBTQ community and talk to them and understand where experiences are being shared, where things like discrimination between marginalized groups is shared.”

Edwards’ comments caused many LGBTQ Wolves fans to analyze their fan base. Keys said she’s wearing a “Thorskey” shirt, which is based on a word Edwards likes to say so much, that he wore it to sleep. Not anymore.

“[Edwards’ words] She gave homophobics a voice, almost giving them the image of a poster boy. “Look at that big name, it feels that way. It’s okay to feel that way.”

Eric Bogard, fan of wolves

Ben Pourier, a gay Minneapolis fan, said he attends about 20 games a season and hears often from the Wolves ticket office. He was frustrated by the team’s lack of response, beyond President Tim Connelly’s statement, and some fans on social media who defended Edwards’ words.

Nothing makes me want to talk to him [the Wolves] Now,” said Pourier. … I read things on Twitter that people don’t understand. “

There is an asterisk

Pourier said he’ll still be happy when Edwards does well – his fan base hasn’t stopped wolves. Other fans felt the same way, they would not be able to fully enjoy the success as they did before.

“I think there’s a little asterisk I like, ‘Damn, he said,'” Johnson said.

Keys added, “I still look at the box result every morning and would be glad if Ant was in his twenties, but only from a basketball standpoint. I wouldn’t go out and buy his shirt, while before he would be.”

Boogaard said he wasn’t sure if he would feel welcome attending the Wolves matches.

“I’m sure there are homophobic people in the Timberwolves games,” Bogard said. “That’s for granted.” “My voice isn’t exactly the most masculine voice. If I spoke, would I hear the comments?”

“I want to believe this is something anyone can learn from and I like to believe it was a poor choice of words and grow from there.”

There is hope among this group of fans that Edwards will learn what happened, and take the time to understand why he hurt and repair the damage that has been done. The ball is in Edwards’ court to take that responsibility seriously in order to regain some of the confidence he’s lost.

“I hope he’ll turn out to be a more awesome person than I originally thought,” said Sabrina Heller, a heterosexual St. “But until I see some personal growth happening, and not just the growth everyone on the court is talking about, I think I’ve been pretty cool on Ant for a while.”

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