Thursday, February 23, 2006

Homophobia within Sport



I've been reading with interest the posts by Zefrog and Slightly concerning Football and Homophobia, and the so called 'outings' of the Premiership footballers.

While both make valid points, concerning the impact that it would have on society if some of the players within sport were to come as gay, there seems to be a discrepancy between other sports and football.

Growing up in Wales, were Rugby is considered on par with religion, it has was always acknowledged that there are players who are gay, but not openly so, even if they did, I don't believe that there would be much of a anti-gay movement as Slightly claims. I've personally slept with 2 players who have played at International level for Wales, and a even more who have played at Club level.

Apart from the ones who were in relationships with females at the time, the others were known within they're clubs as being gay or bisexual. This didn't affect the relationships that the other players had with them, although as expected it was used regularly as a way of mocking them, but not viciously, more in banter, as they would also mock those of a shortened height or with a lisp. While some may consider this as being offensive, it also should be remembered that if someone was to say something about the gay players and meant it offensively from any other team, then the teammates of those who were being attacked would support them.

This also applies to those who support Rugby, fans in general are considered polite to those who play against their team, while they want they're team to succeed and there are rivals within the sport, generally most fans appreciated other teams, are respectfully of them and the players within the opposition. A player of different colour, creed or nationality doesn't tend to suffer any abuse from fans when they play. Those of different clubs aren't targeted when they play for the International teams, and even International teams for example England when playing against Wales, are afforded that respect when they play. There are a number of players who the fans know to be gay, yet don't chant abuse or torment them even if they play for the closest rival team, Rugby is and will continue to be a thug game played by gentlemen, and this applies to the fans too.

Football on the otherhand doesn't have the same respect either by the players or the fans. Players details of they're private lives are sort after, and exploited by the press and the fans to hurl abuse, mock and seek an advantage by demoralizing the player and the team.

The current obsession, not only by the tabloid press but also the gay press, which you would consider would be more respectful of people's private lives, mainly for readership and advertising revenue, in regard to the football players who have indulged in private behaviour whether it was gay or not shows how far we have to go to respect others be they gay, bisexual, lesbian or straight and their privacy. Just because someone has a trade within the public arena doesn't mean that they have to be tormented when they live within the law and cause no legal or moral disturbances.

Gay footballers will not be able to come out now or in the future until public obsession with the sexual lives of those who are held in high regard, idolised or in the public eye disappears.

Hopefully the readers of the Sun, NofW and other equally unrespectfull media outlets will tire of the current witchhunt over people's sexual lives, which will enable those who wish to live openly as gay, lesbian or bisexual without themselves or others constantly stating so will be able to.