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Homophobia in sports


Graeme

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There was a recent international survey on homophobia in sports. The first results have been reported.

Study shows gay athletes face rampant homophobia

While the newspaper article's headline is stating the bleeding obvious, the details are more interesting. I had to cringe when I read about the eighteen-year-old who was voted off his rugby team by his so-called teammates....

What I'm waiting for is to see how much things have changed over time. That survey was looking at any homophobia at any time. Has it gotten better recently? Still waiting, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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I wrote a novel 10 years ago about homophobia in high school sports, and it's interesting to note that for most American sports, there are very, very few publicly "out" players on any teams. Usually, they wait until they're retired to talk about their private lives. Even at the collegiate level, it's rare.

I think it's getting better nowadays, but we have a long, long way to go before there's real equality and tolerance. I'm glad that a handful of Olympic athletes and a few others (like the gay pro basketball player that came out this year) took this step. As far as I know, there are still zero gay pro baseball, football, or hockey players in America. But we get a little bit closer every year.

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When I was in high school the quarterback and another player came out, but didn't make a big deal about it. The team and the coaching staff were totally supportive. Things seem to be coming up from the lower grades. We were out at UC Berkeley, and never had any problems with others in the dorm or on campus.

Doug and I decided we wouldn't come out because we were focused on our studies and our grades so we could get into UC Berkeley. We came out at our Senior Ball by dancing one of the slow dances then kissing at the end. That was met with cheers and applause, and comments mostly like, "Yeah, we knew you guys were boyfriends."

Colin :icon_geek:

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