Gay's Okay, but Tongue Is Out

This was published on my blog on Friday, April 08, 2005.

Leigh Clemons is a professor at LSU. One of her former students started at safety for the New England Patriots in their Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, so she decided to buy a jersey with his name on it.

But the online NFL shop rejected her order.

The problem? The player is Randall Gay, and "GAY" was one of the so-called "naughty words" banned from its jerseys by the NFL.

Prof. Clemons persisted, though. She made a phone call and, after going "through three levels of bureaucracy," she finally got the jersey.

That was good news, sort of, to Barry Gay of Raleigh, NC. He wasn't allowed to buy a jersey with his last name on it. Then, to add insult to insult, when he tried to fill out a complaint form online, he was told, "You can't use that word or phrase in the last name field" when he entered his genuinely real last name.

There's still no solace, though, for fans of the New York Jets' DB Reggie Tongue. At last report, "TONGUE" was still on the NFL's list of banned "naughty words."