Recently, let say in the past two years more professional athletes have come out of the closet than in the past decade. But still homophobia in professional sports is great bastion for homophobia.
From 2011 to 2013, dozens of athletes publicly came out. More or less all the disciplines were involved, like swimming, cycling, rugby or soccer. And recently the basketer Jason Collins came out, the news was a top story as Jason is still an active player in the NBA. As a public coming out is still an extraordinary event, the news was commented by his colleague, by sports authorities and he even got the support of the US President Barack Obama. See Video Interview of Jason Collins at the end of this post.
Even before that 2013 coming out of Jason, not only the athletes were concerned by the same sex orientation of the players and the homophobia in Sports, but also high figures of Sports. This was the case for Phoenix Suns president Rick Welts, ESPN radio host Jared Max, wrestler Hudson Taylor, and rugby player Ben Cohen. The major League Baseball got involved when the San Francisco Giants participated in Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project for which a total of eight MLB teams had produced videos for the campaign. Former basketballer Charles Barkley was vocal in his condemnation of homophobia in sports.
For Caroline Fusco, of the University of Toronto, professional sport remains a stronghold of homophobic attitudes. And she declares:“Sport as a space has been one that has really been there for the production of a certain kind of hyper-masculinity. Particularly when you think of pro sports, the big ones: hockey, football, baseball. These all tie in to the rugged notion of masculinity, and these attitudes remain — that gay men aren’t masculine.”