Sport and Homosexuality

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Some weeks ago, an article appeared in the press from Germany, which stated that Manuel Neuer, goalkeeper of the German national team was confessed himself as gay. As soon as Neuer admitted that he was relieved, the news spread quickly throughout the European continent trying to make disease about the footballer news.

All this made me think, how can it be that in the XXI century exists such a rejection or homophobia against this group? This has motivated me to make an analysis about the gay movement in the sports field.

Looking back in the history, in the old Greek Olympic Games during the VIII century before Christ, athletes used to compete naked in the main part of sport competitions as races and discus throwing. In Greek society, nudity and homosexuality were not cause for shame or make a scandal. The word gym in Greek means “naked” and gyms were established by military organizations to educate the body, spirit and the people’s mind.

But nowadays a homosexual person in a team sport like soccer, rugby, basketball or even baseball would be a cause of aggression or mockery from their rivals and in many cases from their own peers.

It is a paradox, while the society is progressing, understanding and accepting homosexuality ideas, the sports world is still a taboo subject for people, seeming we live in prehistory time. After reading some reports, I noticed that it is believed that the 10 percent of the general population in the world is homosexual and if that were true around 325 to 400 male athletes in professional sports will be homosexual.

The main part of the professional athletes wait until their careers are over to coming out, because of the fear of losing contracts worth millions and being criticized by the main part of their fans, peers and rivals so they have to deal with these issues for the rest of their careers.

Nobody wants to feel left out especially in the sports world, people want to feel that team camaraderie, and for a homosexual to come out to his teammates would defiantly destroy him. Because of this homophobic behavior and acceptance, homosexual athletes have to stay in silent about their sexuality and pretend to be heterosexual to preserve their good name, life, contracts and investors advertisers.

A study that has quite surprised me is this one conducted by Sports Illustrated in April of 2005. One of the questions surveyed was, "is it okay for gay athletes to participate in sports, even if they are open about their sexuality?" 78% of the people polled agreed its okay. On the other hand they were asked again "would it hurt an athlete's career to be openly gay?" 68% said it would hurt they're career and this opinion has to make us to think about that people today.

|Homosexuality and Sports | |Survey conducted for NBC/USA Network by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Inc. Methodology: Penn, Schoen and Berland | |conducted 979 interviews among the general population from March 18-21 of this year. The margin of error sampling is +/-3.1| |overall and larger for subgroups. | |Question | |Agree | |Disagree | | | |It is OK for gay athletes to participate in sports, even if they are open about their sexuality | |78%...
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