RTÉ sports analyst criticised for using 'homophobic language'

The RTÉ analyst said that it would become a "namby-pamby pansy-boy game" if the black card rule was instated in GAA which has led to criticism.


RTÉ sports analyst Colm O’Rourke has been criticised by GAA referee David Gough who said he made a homophobic comment.

While discussing the black card rule on Allianz League Sunday yesterday evening (February 2), RTÉ analyst O’Rourke said that removing contact from the game would turn it into a “pansy-boy” sport.

“If a person isn’t going to have the ability to go for a ball and take a chance on hitting somebody, then we’ll have nothing in the game. It will be a namby-pamby pansy-boy game and I think none of us want that,” he said.

Conor Cusack, who campaigns for mental health representation and former Cork hurler tweeted: “Not long after the GAA’s first official participation in Gay Pride, the outdated label ‘pansy boy’ used on a GAA TV programme”.

David Gough, who refereed last year’s All Ireland Football Final said he was disgusted by the comments:

“The pejorative use of homophobic language on national TV is abhorrent and unacceptable. I’m disgusted.”

Executive Director of BeLonG To Youth Services commented on the discussion, highlighting the importance of language:

“This language gives permission for abuse and violence against LGBTI+ folks or anyone who doesn’t fit gender stereotypes #LanguageMatters”

In 2019, GAA took part in the Dublin Pride Parade for the first time in Pride’s 36-year history.

The association has made great strides towards LGBT+ inclusion in recent years, confirming that they would be employing a full-time diversity and inclusion officer in 2019, as well as speaking out against homophobia in the sporting world.

Manager of Dublin Pride Eddie McGuinness said that the use of such language is out of order and that presenters and guests should be educated on such matters:

“This is out of order for @RTEsport @RTEgaa language like this should not be used by outdated presenters! educate yourself we are now in 2020 this is not schoolyard language”

RTÉ Sport and Colm O’Rourke have not made any comment.

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