An Australian Rules football star just penned a heartwarming op-ed telling his fellow players that it's really awesome if you're gay and everything—but it would be even more awesome if you kept that to yourself. Like, forever.
Apparently, there are rumors going around the AFL that a gay player is about to out himself and the media outlets have been offering cash to any active players who might admit their homosexuality. So footie veteran Jason Akermanis decided to give any prospective trail blazers a heads up that it would be a horrible idea. Not because he hates gay people, but because they wouldn't be safe. Unfortunately, he's probably right.
If you thought suicide was bad among young men, it is four to six times higher for people who are attracted to the same sex. It clearly can be a difficult and lonely road, one that hopefully can be made easier.
Now try being the first AFL player to come out. That is too big a burden for any player.
I know there are many who think a public AFL outing would break down homophobia, but they don't live in football clubs. It's not the job of the minority to make the environment safer. Not now, anyway.
In an athletic environment the rules are different from the cultural rules for men.
Never in a mall will you see two straight men hugging, a—- slapping and jumping around like kids after an important goal.
Locker room nudity and homoerotic activities are normal inside footy clubs.
Young people from the ages 15-24 are the main participants in organised sport in Victoria. Some of them must be gay and I hope they thoroughly enjoy their sporting lives without having to experience any form of prejudice.
But if they are thinking of telling the world, my advice would be forget it.
Basically, what Akermanis is saying is that football players (including himself) are violent, immature goons who wouldn't be able to carry themselves professionally around an openly gay teammate ... which is pretty much accurate in all sports. I guess he gets credit for admitting it. But if the problem with gay athletes is that they prevent all the straight dudes from spending more quality time slapping each others' nude asses, then you might need to think harder about what your own issues are.
Also, bleached hair with a dark beard? Come on ....
Stay in the closet, Jason Akermanis tells homosexuals [Courier Mail]