Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You Know How I Know You're Gay?

Given all of the tension for our Scousers around here today, UF decided to delve into something that wasn't related to the Champions League clash with Chelski. Instead, we examine a recent story in the BBC News Magazine that asks the question that everyone wants answered: Why are there no openly gay football players? Although one could argue that there are openly gay players, the truth is that no one has come out (see what I did there?) and admitted that they are a homosexual (at least not through their words). The eternal debate regarding gays and sports is always two-pronged (oh, grow up!): (1) how would teammates react?; and (2) is it any of our damn business?

Clearly, there are some individuals who would prefer not to think too much about gay footballers, as it disturbs their delicate sensibilities. Djibril Cisse (why did it have to be a Frenchman?) has stated that he will not kiss any of his teammates during goal celebrations to ensure that no one thinks he is gay. Given Cisse's history, I would think he should be more concerned about his glass legs than his lips, but I digress. The FA addressed this issue last summer during the "More Than Playing Games" Conference in Belgium, but homophobia continues to be an issue.

Statistically, it is more than likely that out of over 4000 footballers, some of them are gay. Alan Smith, former Crystal Palace manager, has noted that he had "players over the years who were single and read books and so others said they must be gay" (who knew John Amaechi played football?).

However, all jokes aside, the experience of the only known openly gay footballer suggests that homophobia is still a very serious issue within the sport. Justin Fashanu, a former player for Nottingham Forest and Manchester City, came out one year after finishing his FA career with West Ham United. After initially being hailed as a gay icon, Fashanu was forced to continue his career with clubs in Toronto, Sweden, and Atlanta. Despite being fully match-fit and possessing adequate talent, Fashanu was never again offered a place with an FA club. After years of being ostracized by former teammates, and disowned by his brother, he was investigated in the United States on charges of sexual assault. Erroneously believing that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, Fashanu hung himself in May of 1998.

This has led to clubs actively instructing players to avoid any actions or situations which would appear to be of a homosexual nature. In fact, PR expert Max Clifford claims that two major EPL clubs (Chelski and ManUre?) have approached him to help players develop a "straight" image (I'm guessing this involves things like: (1) date Abigail Clancy or Gemma Atkinson; and (2) do not kiss other men). Until footballers develop a little more tolerance for alternative lifestyles, it seems that certain players will have to continue to engage in sex parties with five hookers at once in order to assert their heterosexuality and throw everyone off the scent.

1 comment:

Goat said...

Perhaps Fred Smoot has a second career ahead of him as a Sex Boat tour operator for English football clubs.