SB Nation appears to have fired a site editor who published two allegedly homophobic jokes Tuesday.
As chronicled by Deadspin, an SLC Dunk editor who goes by the byline AllThatAmar posted two references to Gordon Hayward that seemed to derisively question his sexual orientation, then added two lengthy notes, explaining why the jabs weren’t homophobic. The post was taken down a short time later, and now Amar has been removed from the SLC Dunk masthead (again, hat tip to Deadspin) and has deleted mention of the Utah Jazz fan site from his Twitter bio.
Amar’s post, which was about Hayward leaving the Jazz for the Boston Celtics, included a reference to him coming “out of the closet” and included a seemingly purposeless header reading “#HappyPrideDayGordon.” Here are screenshots, accessed via a cached version of the page, along with the editor’s notes:
And here’s what SLC Dunk’s masthead looked like before Tuesday vs. Thursday.
If a story about misbehavior from an editor or writer on an SB Nation site sounds familiar, that’s probably because we’ve been here before. In the past, the issue has been both plagiarism, such as in the case of this Broncos writer, and offensive commentary, as in the case of this hateful essay about Josh Hamilton. Rogue employees publishing questionable content is a problem at all blog networks without much oversight (FanSided, for example, has faced these issues as well), and SB Nation has not quite been able to solve the issue.
Given that a sprawling blog empire existing mostly independent of the flagship site is the crux of SB Nation’s model, there’s no obvious way for them to avoid situations like the one with Amar without a major restructuring. It seems that the site has three choices: 1. Add substantial oversight to team blogs so that the bosses can stamp out offensive (or plagiaristic) posts before or soon after they go up. 2. Invest much more heavily in team blogs, paying real salaries, not just stipends, to attract responsible editors. 3. Maintain the status quo and deal with the occasional embarrassment of having an employee write innuendo about an NBA player’s sexual orientation.
Awful Announcing has reached out to Amar and will update this post if we hear from him.