So here we are in 2012
We have an African American President running the USA, Elton is married and with child, Prescription marijuana is available on the NHS if your Optic nerve is giving you trouble and the Scissor Sisters have had 2 number one albums. A wave of common sense seems to have swept across the western world. Even if you don’t agree with something people seem to be open minded to the idea that others do. We all for the most part get along. Society in the last 50 years has changed. So why hasn’t football?
Homosexuality in football has often been called “The Last Taboo in the sport”. How long can it continue to be called this? Around 7% of Men in Britain are Gay. It would appear not one of this 7% is playing professional football. 4,000 Professional Footballers and not one openly Gay man.
I hadn’t given much thought to the issue previously but I thought I would write this blog after seeing an article in an old football magazine from 1998. It discussed the lack of openly homosexual players in the game and briefly mentioned some of the reasons for it. 14 years later the same article could be printed again without one amendment. To me it would appear nothing has changed.
So why has so little changed? Is it fear of taunts from fans? Fear of abuse from fellow players? Worried about losing endorsements? Ignorance? Maybe all of the above?
When you read comments from Antonio Cassano or Phil Scolari on the issue it would seem that there is still some intolerance in the game. If you look at any video on Youtube about Politics, Religion, Race or sexuality you may be used to seeing the little red circle which next to it reads “user comments have been disabled on this video”. This is because of the ridiculous “debates” and arguments these videos cause. Intolerance still exists, but why has that stopped every single homosexual footballer from coming out? What would the reaction be? Would we as fans tolerate footballers being abused over there sexuality? Racism is not tolerated in the stands as it is pathetic. What would be different about sexuality?
Very little is also said from players and the press about the issue or supporting the idea of “The Last Taboo” being broken. It shouldn’t really be a big issue, but it seems to be. There are multiple reports on the radio, in newspapers and on TV stating publicists and agents have advised Gay footballers to “stay in the closet” for the sake of their careers. Recently the boxer Orlando Cruz “came out”, Gareth Thomas has and there careers are not over. Gareth Thomas is now a somewhat minor celebrity in the States even. So what is it with football? Will a professional footballer in England ever come out or do all Professional footballers just like women?
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