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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Orlando bar Sportstown apologizes for transphobic Instagram post

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 7:09 PM

  • Screen grab via Sportstown/Instagram
Milk District bar and pool hall Sportstown issued a lengthy apology Tuesday after online backlash regarding a transphobic post on their Instagram account.

The post, which has since been deleted, featured an image of sign showing a boy and a girl peeping into their underwear with the words "There IS a difference." The post also included hashtags like #genetics, #gender, #narcissism, #xy, #chromosome and #budorbudlight.
  • Screen grab via Sportstown/Instagram

Outrage over the post began almost immediately, with commenters calling out the bar for implying that transgender people are somehow illegitimate and that the sexes are binary, which they are not (here's a highly recommended read on the subject).

The bar issued a brief apology on the Instagram post, saying, "Thanks for all the comments. We're just old school, with old school humor and artifacts. Didn't mean to insult anyone."

However, after removing the IG post, Sportstown issued a more lengthy apology on Tuesday from their Facebook account stating that the post in question was not from a "place of hatred or malice," but rather "a deaf attempt at humor."

"To Our Loyal and Diverse Customers, We hear you. Over the last few days we have been listening intently, and we hear you. The words may mean little to you now, but we hope you can let our actions speak for us," said the bar on Facebook.

"For 38 years we have prided ourselves on fostering an inclusive and accepting environment where anyone is free and safe to be themselves. The fact that we have done anything to in anyway tarnish that is heartbreaking to us. We are sorry, from the bottom of our hearts. The post of conversation, which has since been removed from our account, was posted not at all from any place of hatred or malice, but a deaf attempt at humor. We now see your thoughts and understand how our thoughtlessness has adversely effected our, until now, stellar relationship with the lgbtqia community of Orlando. We apologize and insure you this will never happen again. We also promise to never change, and will continue to be an accepting, open and safe place for Orlando to come together and share a beer."

Though most of the comments on the public apology seem to forgive the local bar, some say posts that were critical of Sportstown were deleted. "It was a bit snarky,"said Trish Tempo, who told Orlando Weekly her deleted post suggested that the bar participate in Orlando's annual Come Out With Pride Parade. "But it's disingenuous to make a public apology then delete any comments that don't praise you for the courage."

Sportstown is located just down the street from LGBT-friendly bars like Southern Nights and Southern Craft.

Orlando Weekly
reached out to Sportstown by phone for comment at noon on Wednesday, May 23, and have not yet heard back. We hope to update this post when they respond.

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