This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. It’s an excerpt from a story at the Philadelphia Gay News explaining Gayborhood opposition to the Sixers’ Market Street Arena proposal:

LGBTQ+ safety

The current proposal notes that people would likely plan to park within a half-mile radius of the arena, which would include Gayborhood streets.

“Philly sports fans are known to be rowdy,” (Robert) Tunick said, underlining that they might not keep their own anti-LGBTQ+ opinions to themselves when passing through the space. “Would people in the Gayborhood feel safe?”

“Will [spectators] be respectful to people who are transgender, nonbinary — to people who are going in and out of bars wearing leather or wearing drag?” he asked, adding that LGBTQ+ people might not feel comfortable being themselves in the Gayborhood anymore.

Others agreed that growing misconceptions around trans identity, drag performances, and other LGBTQ+ activities and expressions have made them feel less protected — and this project feels that it could put them at greater risk. Some who don’t currently live in the Gayborhood said they might not use the spaces as frequently out of fear that the two groups might clash.

“The Gayborhood is supposed to be a safe space, and even if it doesn’t create an actual problem, it’s going to create a perceived problem — where people are going to feel like, ‘I can’t go out. I have to stay home when they have a game,’” underlined Tunick. 

All due respect to the LGBTQ+ community, which deals with nastiness and bigotry that most of us have never experienced and likely never will. There are many legitimate concerns and I don’t want to be dismissive of the feelings of a marginalized group, but this is not a realistic or legitimate gripe, and it furthers the stereotype that every Philadelphia sports fan is a boorish and uncouth brute. That’s borderline offensive. I thought we jumped the shark when residents suggested that drunk or injured Sixers fans might overwhelm Jefferson Hospital, but this one takes the cake.

For starters, the Sixers arguably have the most progressive and diverse fan base in Philadelphia. And the NBA is a league full of black and European men. It is the most global among the four majors, so you get a robust cross-section of fans from all different cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic groups. The league itself has championed progressive causes, as has Sixers ownership. I’d personally rank Sixers fans at the very bottom of the rowdiness scale in this region. These is no basketball version of the F Lot Crew, and the instances of poor behavior at Sixers games are almost exclusively happening inside the arena, i.e. the popcorn dumper or double bird flipper, aka Richard Harkaway, the urologist.

What I’ve observed over the past year and a half is that it seems like non-sports fans who write about the arena see the tailgate culture of Eagles games and think that’s the norm across Philadelphia sports, which is not the case at all. First of all, the Sixers play in the dead of winter, and there’s no pregaming scene outside of the Wells Fargo Center right now, save for a couple of weeks during the playoffs, so this locust-like neighborhood descent that people fear is simply not a thing. There will be no gathering of far-right Sixers fans in the Gayborhood, or Chinatown, or Washington Square West, or on the Jefferson Station train platform. What Sixers fans may do, however, is patronize your restaurants or businesses, and while the parking concern is a legitimate one, let’s be honest with ourselves – parking in any Center City neighborhood is already a disaster, new arena or no new arena. Parking has been a dumpster fire for decades.

There are legitimate reasons to oppose the Sixers’ downtown arena. This is not one of them.