I wrote the following Letter to the Editor of the SBNation at large; however, I do think it best to share here as well for both the community at large and for the Stampede Blue staff. Before delving strictly into my letter, I encourage anyone to look through my comments, and they will hopefully see that mine is a voice of true moderation in regards to the greater political topic rather than one of anger and derision. Without any further ado:
I have been a loyal SB Nation reader for some time. I recently saw the above article posted on the Colts' SB Nation blog (Stampede Blue). This article requires one to link to OutSports - another SBNation Blog and agree to that site's terms before being able to post.
My largest concern arises from the fact that by creating a blog / forum centered around a "personal identity subset," SBNation has conceded that the rest of their forums are for vocalization of "standard, majority" opinions (i.e. Evangelical Christian). I know this is NOT the intention. Yet in concluding that a separate forum was necessary, have you not discouraged interaction / discourse on regular forums? Perhaps this was the intention . . . from my personal observation, I have seen numerous fruitless comments berating others from both sides of the broader argument. I cannot and will not fault an editor that thinks it best to confine the discussion to a particular forum where the debate may be carried out in defined and intelligible manner.
Yet, obviously this is not what happens. As one user in the comment thread of the Outsports article noted, "You clicked on a GLBT blog . . . and if YOU don't like it leave (summarized)." As a rallying point for one party of the debate, Outsports can never be a forum for intelligible debate because the alternative side will never truly be heard - especially if censored. Thus, by agreeing to the standards of the forums - written or unwritten - has one not all ready agreed to purport the ideals of the community at large? Thus, by forcing / directing the only comments for such an article to be directed to the Outsports website and away from Stampede Blue's, SB Nation has either deliberately or involuntarily silenced a portion of the debate.
Or to continue the argument in another vein, shouldn't there be a blog for each personal identity subset community (i.e. Muslims, Women, etc.)? Furthermore, doesn't the lone inclusion of GLBT blog state that the other "federally or state protected minorities" are of a lower class?
In light of the conclusion that there is no place for an individual personal interest sports blog without having one for every conceivable personal interest group, there appear to be only two options for SB Nation to employ: either the individual sites themselves should be utilized as the centralized forums of debate with each article's comment thread serving as an un-moderated feast of pure debate or all SB Nation writers should be banned from discussing any political topic at all. Now, I am not so naïve as to think that your firm would choose the latter option and forego the page clicks afforded by the current "hot topic" of sports. Obviously, the advertising profit is too high to forego this opportunity.
Finally, in light of the reality that the only forum that one can post in is overtly dedicated to one side of the debate is - at minimum - disconcerting. At most, I believe it represents a bias toward one particular set of views. In which case, why hide it then? Simply concede the business that comes from 'traditional values minded' people and move on. Perhaps, the weight of SBNation is too large to warrant such considerations, but it is interesting that the site would choose derision rather than the sporting news as its central precept then."