Archive for the ‘sport’ tag
So let’s get this right. First, an athlete coming out would have trouble playing well because of all the attention (presumably negative) he would get. Funny though, many gay athletes say they feel staying closeted hindered their performance because hiding is a huge distraction. Second, Taylor seems to assume that things would go badly for the whole team after an athlete came out on the squad. How about the possibility that the team will do well? Will the gay player get the credit because he came out? Taylor doesn’t seem to consider that.
It’s disappointing to see a columnist for the daily student paper at a top-notch university paint coming out so negatively, not even considering the overwhelming evidence, both quantitative and qualitative, that says to the contrary.
Even with the media, we still have a lot of work to do.
OutSports blogger Cyd Zeigler Jr takes issue with a piece written in the Stanford Daily about why it’s so tough for athletes to come out. It appears the Stanford writer wasn’t thinking his statements through and manages to inadvertently blame players who come out for causing distractions and undermining team morale. Sound familiar? Think “unit cohesion”. This isn’t a new argument. The biggest objection I’d have (along with Cyd) to the piece is that it fails to show the positive statements that have been made by sports figures who have come out, and also fails to show the negative impacts being closeted can have.
I’ve read the Stanford Daily piece (by Tom Taylor) and it’s certainly not ill-intentioned. And he’s right when he says this:
Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution. Some players are probably going to have to take it upon their shoulders to endure all this and lead the way–to inspire others that they are free to be honest and to overcome prejudices so that this career path is open to absolutely anyone with the right skills and athletic ability.
Gays are too often given a stereotype. Back when I was 18, and becoming serious about my sport and my Olympic goals, if I could have seen an athlete like myself out there – with whom I could relate to – my journey would have been a lot easier.
“[American figure skater] Johnny Weir meets a specific stereotype, I meet a specific stereotype and [Welsh rugby player] Gareth Thomas meets another. Being gay is just like any other personality trait: it’s multifaceted. I can’t personally relate to Weir or Thomas, and nor will many other young gay athletes out there. But maybe some of them will see something in me to relate to. The more types we provide, the more we’ll appeal to people [who are struggling with their sexuality].
This is really another one of those not really coming out stories. Blake Skjellerup is out. He said that if any interviewer would have asked him, he would have replied honestly. He also tweets YouTube videos about turning Zac Efron gay.
Speaking of tweeting, this Kiwi Olympian has a sense of humour too.
His coming out interview is featured in Australia’s DNA magazine Sports special edition, available now.
Kowalski, who has won four Olympic swimming medals, told The Sunday Age that he was ”tired of living a lie” and that he wanted young gay people to know that others have had their experience.
Kowalski said he was inspired to make today’s announcement after reading about the Welsh rugby player Garth Thomas, who announced last December that he was gay.
He was so moved by Thomas’s story that he contacted the player. The resulting conversations left him feeling ”excited and relieved” for Thomas, but he also felt ”anger because I was jealous … he was out and felt liberated and free.
”And it really got me thinking that I could do that (come out) if I wanted to. I felt really compelled to do it because it’s very tough to live a closeted existence.”