Yes, lets get sport, and LGBT issues in one posting, just for once.
I’m sure my North American readers have seen this in the last few days, but it may come as news to some of my other readers, so lets roll with it here, just in case.
Lesbian sports people, yes, lets say there has been a good number over the years, either during their career, or post career, so its not terribly exciting news for most people nowadays. Not necessarily the case in the past, I remember in the past, on a few occasions with female tennis players that the commentator would mention their, err, good friend in the crowd watching, because she was female. Yes, it didnt take much to put 2 and 2 together to work out what kind of friend they were, even if the commentator didnt want to say so, in case ‘easily offended’ of ‘somewhere’ would write and complain if they did. Eventually it started to change, but not until more recently.
But a gay male sports star, oh heaven forbid the thought! And lets face it, given the machismo of most sports, its fair to assume that most male sports would have a lower percentage of gay participants than within the general population. Only one football (soccer) player ever came out as gay, in less enlightened times, and got immense flak for doing so. But this was nearly 20 years ago, when things were less enlightened, but anyway…
Beyond that…silence. Until a couple of years ago, when a Cricket player came out as gay. Earlier this week, Jason Collins, an NBA player finally became the first sportsman in one of the ‘big 4’ sports over there to come out as gay. Most reaction has been good, though as would be expected, there are 1 or 2 idiots around all the same. But lets face it, he isnt the only one!
The interesting thing to see with Collins, is that he became a free agent at the end of the season. Not that free agency officially starts until the play offs are over (a few weeks yet), but it will be interesting to see how many clubs offer him a position, I feel? Hopefully it wont affect issues, but…?
Equally hopefully, in a few years time, this coming out will either be met with a ‘so what?’ comment, or not even noticed at all, but I suspect that may be sometime off yet.
The video, yes, the obvious one