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Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (pictured, left) doesn't know a lot about sports. Eric Stonestreet (right), who plays his partner on the show, does ... or at least that's what they wanted the fans who follow them on Twitter to think when they took in a Knicks game last week.
Ferguson, who is gay, tweeted that he was "excited to go to my first NBA 'sports game' tonight with my fake boyfriend." Stonestreet, who is straight, responded, "Can't wait 2 explain the difference between a zone defense and a man to man defense 2 my tv boyfriend."
The two went on for a series of tweets, with Stonestreet explaining to Ferguson what the big "orange ball" is and Ferguson telling fans he was court-side "after Act I."
It's an old stereotype "that wasn't funny," Outsports.com editor Cyd Zeigler told The Advocate.He posted the series of tweets on his website, saying Jesse "had to play the 'I'm so gay, I don't know what that orange round thing on the court is' role. Ugh."
Moments after Zeigler posted the article, Ferguson responded with another tweet: "I want 2 invite @outsports 2 get mani/ pedi's & watch all of season 5 of Sex in the City but I'm 2 busy being stereotypical to fit him in."
"It's almost always that they don't know what a basketball is, but they can name all of Liza Minnelli's hits," Zeigler said, nothing that it was clear from the tweets Ferguson was playing up his lack of knowledge about basketball. "He decided he thought it would be funny to show how gay it is because he doesn't know basketball. It's old.
"The show's very popular. I think what he's doing for gay couples on TV is wonderful. I didn't say he was a bad person. I just don't think it was funny."
Zeigler says he doesn't think the stereotype doesn't do any harm to gay people -- "there are enough people like John Amaechi and Dan Choi that I think people know all gay people aren't like this" -- he just wishes people would find a new joke.
And if Ferguson had been educating Stonestreet on the ways of the NBA? "That could have been funny," he says.