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The conspiracy of silence of gay athletes

October 31st, 2007 by Morten Romby · 2 Comments

Statistical about 10 percent of all athletes are homosexual, but very few dare to talk about it in the open. Roger LeBlanc refers to the phenomenon as “the conspiracy of silence of gay athletes”.

Many homosexuals stop doing sport in their teenage years because they feel tyrannized or left out by their team players. In defiance of that homosexuality is getting more acceptable in society, it doesn’t seem to be the case in the athlete world. Primarily in male contact team sports.

Canadian Roger LeBlanc has done research in this area. He has among other things interviewed 15 rugby players in New Zealand. On basis of his studies he uncovers what he calls a conspiracy of silence in the world of male team sports.

A player in New Zealand talks about how the silence is put into practice.

“I don’t think I or anyone else would speak out against someone during a rugby game, who yelled out faggot or poofter to a player on the pitch. Even if they didn’t know I was gay, they still wouldn’t react positively to my comments,” Jake says during LeBlancs research-interview.

LeBlanc call attention to that many sports organisation don’t exclude gay athletes, but on the other side they don’t have a policy to include them and create an environment where it is possible to stand forward.

Another player in LeBlancs research-interview articulates the problems in this way:

“I dream of the day, when something or someone would change all of this. I can’t see myself fronting up to the media or my officials.”

Watch feature on Pulse TV about Danish handball player Remi Hansen. He has played handball for 20 years, but it was only when he recently changed to a team for homosexual, that he was comfortable on the court.

Tags: Gender relations

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