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    Monday, July 15, 2024

    Why does my drinking Bud Light offend you?

    News item: Anthony Bass, a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, shared a video Monday via Instagram endorsing an anti-LGBTQ boycott of brands such as Target and Bud Light.

    "Here's the reason biblically why I believe Christians have gotta be boycotting Target, Bud Light, and any other corporation that's pushing the things they're pushing,” Bass said. “I think a lot of people make this into a political issue, or they say, 'Oh, what's the big deal?’

    “This is evil, this is demonic, we won't stand for it, we're not going to go to the stores anymore and we're not going to give you our money.”

    It would be impolite to wish that Mr. Bass, who throws a ball for a living, blows out his elbow. Perhaps then he could simply blow it out his tailpipe.

    Because I’ve grown tired of sanctimonious and hypocritical moral outrage over what Target and Bud Light are “pushing,” while it’s permissible that Bass and his ilk get to “push” their beliefs on the rest of us.

    Example: In the last two months or so, I’ve been questioned a half dozen times in public as to why I’m drinking Bud Light. Seems people like Bass have objected to Anheuser Busch’s marketing partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Their boycott of Bud Light has led to a decrease in sales both locally and nationally. (Local bar and restaurant owners say Bud Light sales are down almost 30 percent.)

    It is their right, of course, to boycott the product. I’m just curious as to why what I’m drinking is their business. I drink Bud Light because I like it. And I’m still drinking Bud Light because I will not marginalize people based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I’m respectful enough to support someone else’s desire to evolve into another gender. And I’m not stupid enough to believe that my decision to drink Bud Light changes who I am or what I stand for in any possible way.

    But I wonder why it’s so important for people — and the questions to me haven’t all come from men — to announce their disdain for a bottle of beer, tacitly implying their sexuality is “normal.” Remember this one and write it down: If you are truly comfortable with who you are, you needn’t announce anything to anyone.

    And yet to further illustrate how screwed up this country really is, there’s this: Anheuser-Busch hasn’t merely been accused of alienating its traditional customer base with the partnership, but some LGBTQ+ campaigners have also criticized the company for not defending its ties with Mulvaney.

    Amid all the finger-pointing and fear-fanning, the truth hides in the corner, too scared to emerge. The truth is that we are supposed to think critically, weigh evidence from both sides and then make up our own minds. Instead, we’ve become a country hell bent on legislating whatever cause we think is right and just, while burying the other side from all consideration.

    It’s political tribalism. All or nothing. One side or the other. If you’re not in agreement with every morsel of the transgender movement, you are a snarling, hating, infidel. If you’re not in total agreement with Anthony Bass and his beliefs, you’re going to wither in hell.

    But what if — and hold on to your ascots here — two conflicting positions can still be true? Example: What if I support Bud Light’s decision to use a transgender influencer, but also believe that transgender high school athletes belong in their own division?

    I disagree with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy complying with a state law that requires all high school students be treated according to their gender identity. We should consider a sports-centric law that acknowledges sports' unique challenges and accommodates the physical component for success that exists virtually nowhere else in society.

    Sex discrimination in education, health care, housing and financial credit have no place in this country. But we must — must — realize and accept that sports require a physical component to succeed that calls for different guidelines.

    Put it this way: Applying to a school or for health care, housing or financial credit requires no physical component to succeed. Sports require speed, strength and agility and do not fit under the same umbrella. And yet sports are routinely shoved into the same arguments about unfair treatment. Injustices get piled on for rhetorical usefulness, even though they're not applicable.

    The male born composition has inherent physical advantages, rare exceptions noted. But in the aggregate, there are physiologic differences between biological males and females. I don’t believe writing that makes me transphobic. We should respect a person’s pronoun of choice. But that doesn't mean we have to blindly agree with claims that are not supported by science.

    Yet that appears to be the new end game in this country. Blind agreement. Their side or yours. And here I sit, sipping my Bud Light, trying to figure out why so many of us act like the last three letters of Anthony Bass’ last name.

    This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro

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