Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sorry Seems to Be the Easiest Word...

If you hurt someone that is close to you, apologizing can be one of the toughest things to do. There certainly is some truth in Elton John's song, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.

But strangely enough, saying you're sorry is easy when spewing racist, sexist or homophobic comments.

Earlier this week, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, in discussing plans for Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022, encouraged gay soccer fans to "refrain from sexual activities," because of the country's ban on gay activities. After being roundly criticized by the media, athletes and other officials, Blatter apologized.

Case closed.

Yet this pattern is all too familiar.

Pro athletes call people "faggot" and other homophobic insults in Tweets and other social media postings—when they're called out on these insults, they say they're sorry and apparently that's enough.

Celebrities like Mel Gibson and Michael Richards have complete meltdowns, screaming racial, anti-semitic and homophobic epithets to anyone who'll listen. As the controversy increases, they say they're sorry.

I understand that you're supposed to apologize when you hurt someone or do something wrong. But I can't help but feel as if we're making it too easy, as if we're condoning these insults because the person apologizes afterward.

Do the words "I'm sorry" really make that much of a difference? If you start using racial, homophobic, sexist or anti-semitic insults, is that simply an accident you can ignore because you apologized?

"I'm sorry" are two important words everyone needs to learn. But we need to teach children and adults that these words are not a do-over button. You can't erase away the hurt by simply apologizing.

But if you disagree with this post, I'm sorry.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Larry,
    Just popped over here per Ashley. I just had a conversation with my 7 year old about "sorry". She is very quick to use it but in a way that assumes it will just cover up her sins. I tried to explain it doesn't work that way. It's not a get out of jail free card.

    Oh yeah, Sepp Blatter is an asshole. Sorry if that upsets you Sepp.