Stop me if you’ve heard this one before — Jeff Gordon is gay. It’s a rumor/joke that’s been floating around NASCAR for as long as I can remember. However, the guy is married with children, so he doesn’t exacting fit the bill.
But now the ‘Jeff Gordon is gay’ talk has hit an all-time high/low. Why? Because Empire Sports jokingly wrote that he was in a relationship with fellow driver Stephen Rhodes. The article is entitled: Jeff Gordon And Stephen Rhodes Confirm Homosexual Relationship; NASCAR Fans Outraged.
Only one part of that title is true — NASCAR fans are outraged.
Many readers let the website have it in the comment section, saying that they should be sued, among other terrible things. Other readers were quick to point out the difference between journalism and satire. Clearly, many fans missed the point.
This whole ordeal is basically the equivalent of reading The Onion and taking it for truth. (I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most NASCAR fans don’t read The Onion.)
Can you imagine if this was a true story? It would have melted the internet. Several athletes have come out as gay recently, but none of them are even close to being a star like Gordon. He’s one of the faces of NASCAR and I’m not sure that sport, or any other, is ready for the media circus that would surround a franchise player coming out.