The Issue: <ul><li>Gay athletes receive much negative attention from the public and their peers due to nonconformity to their associated sexual image </li></ul><ul><li>There exist a hostile environment around gay athletes which limit their ability to express their sexual identity and hinder their overall experience as an athlete and human being </li></ul><ul><li>This observation comes from numerous encounters between athletes, their peers and the public which leads to question the equality between heterosexual and homosexual athletes </li></ul>http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Gay_flag.svg/777px-Gay_flag.svg.png http://weblogs.hitwise.com/robin-goad/lolcats.png
The Gender Ideology <ul><li>The Gender Ideology refers to attitudes regarding the appropriate roles of women and men. This ideology presents itself frequently in sports </li></ul><ul><li>Since the Roman civilization, sports were mainly a display of power and strength and were only limited to men. Some activities include: </li></ul><ul><li>- Wrestling </li></ul><ul><li>- Fighting (Gladiator battles) </li></ul><ul><li>- Hunting </li></ul><ul><li>Women were excluded from many sports due to the belief that qualities such as strength and power are opposite of femininity </li></ul><ul><li>Even after the 1920s organized sports were still closely tied with the separation between what is correct for women and men to participate in </li></ul><ul><li>Today, the segregation between femininity and masculinity is obvious: </li></ul><ul><li>- Sports such as rugby, football, boxing and wrestling are all considered to be masculine </li></ul><ul><li>- Sports such as figure skating and gymnastics have a feminine connotation to it </li></ul><ul><li>A poll conducted by Sports Illustrated showed that 76% of 1000 interviewees were more comfortable with gay athletes being involved in sports such as tennis and gymnastics than sports like football and boxing </li></ul>http://www.visitingdc.com/images/statue-of-liberty-address.jpg http://www.visitingdc.com/images/statue-of-liberty-address.jpg
Homophobia in Sports <ul><li>Homophobia is the fear or discrimination against homosexuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Heterosexism is the cultural assumption that only heterosexual relations are acceptable </li></ul><ul><li>The world of sports is extremely homophobic which harm gay athletes in countless negative ways such as: </li></ul><ul><li> - Verbal Assault (taunts, threats, mocking) </li></ul><ul><li> - Social Isolation (shunning the athlete, discouraging social contact) </li></ul><ul><li> - Physical harm </li></ul><ul><li>For elite athletes, conforming to heterosexual norm are sometimes necessary for maintaining team and coach relationships and also ensuring the continuity of sponsorships and financial support: </li></ul><ul><li>- 65% of a Sports Illustrated study revealed that they were less likely to purchase a brand that is endorsed by a gay athlete </li></ul><ul><li>- 23% Were less likely to purchase footwear apparel endorsed by a gay athlete </li></ul><ul><li>“ Coming out” for elite athletes is only optional when their careers have concluded. </li></ul><ul><li>- David Pallone (Major League Baseball umpire) publicly declared that he was homosexual and then was fired the following November, for being the third worst umpire in baseball, even though he was in the top 10 the year before </li></ul><ul><li>- Seattle Seahawk’s Allen Iverson told HBO’s Sterling Sharpe that Esera Tuaolo was ““wise to conceal his homosexuality while he was still an active player” </li></ul><ul><li>Homophobia presents differently in male and female sports </li></ul>
Our perception: Male Athletes <ul><li>How would you feel about a sports magazine cover such as this one? </li></ul><ul><li>Because male athletes are always associated with strength and masculinity, it is difficult for a culture that is so saturated in testosterone to accept gay athletes’ sexual identity </li></ul><ul><li>Being gay threatens the identity of the male sports’ image where it projects the notion that “just because I play football, doesn’t mean I’m masculine anymore” </li></ul><ul><li>Homophobia in male sports is often due to a fear of loss of the macho image </li></ul>http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/files/u26/esera1.jpg
Case: Esera Tuaolo <ul><li>Esera Tuaolo was a professional defensive lineman for nine years before he announced to the public that he is gay </li></ul><ul><li>Before coming out, Tuaolo confessed that he would wake up sweating at night from the sheer terror that “maybe someone knows saw something they shouldn’t… Maybe they’ll call a coach or the papers” </li></ul><ul><li>The pain that Tuaolo carried almost drove him to suicide. He suffered in silence, obeying the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy </li></ul><ul><li>Tuaolo was abused verbally when he announced that he was gay. Running-back Garrison Hearst declared publicly that “I don’t want any faggots on my team” and Allen Iverson also revealed publicly that he disliked Tuaolo’s “faggot tendencies” </li></ul><ul><li>Tuaolo never said a word about his sexual orientation because “it’s a place for gladiators, and gladiators aren’t supposed to be gay” </li></ul>Name: Esera Tuaolo DOB: 7/11/1968 Primary Position: DT/NT Height: 6’2 Weight 314lbs http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/files/u26/esera1.jpg
Our Perception: Female Athletes <ul><li>Homophobia presented in female athletes is different from male counterparts such as Tuaolo in a way where she will be criticized for being too masculine </li></ul><ul><li>Display of a woman’s physical strength is often considered masculine and she loses her feminine quality and their physical qualities automatically link them to homosexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Many elite female athletes feel pressured to act feminine </li></ul><ul><li>Girls and women are often afraid to join certain sports that are associated with masculinity and require power and strength </li></ul><ul><li>This discourage women to participate in sports because they fear that they might be at risk of being viewed as “lesbian” </li></ul>http://www.gemzies.com/upload/page_thumb/gay.jpg
Resolving the Issue: <ul><li>How can we stop homophobia in sports? </li></ul><ul><li>In your community </li></ul><ul><li>1. Coaches and athletes must accept sexual diversity amongst the team, which further allows athletes to feel comfortable and create a better environment for all </li></ul><ul><li>2. Educate teammates about the importance of embracing diversity. This can be done by removing destructive stereotypes and reducing fear and ignorance on the team </li></ul><ul><li>3. Raise awareness of the sexual diversity that is around us. Numerous gay athletes have spoken about inequality that exist in sports (Martina Navratilova, Esera Tauolo, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>World Outgames: Internation sporting event that began in 2006 in Montreal Quebec with over 12,000 athlete participants </li></ul><ul><li>World Gay Games: Largest sporting & cultural event started in San Francisco in 1982 </li></ul><ul><li>The Outgames & Gay Games are open to all athletes and brings together people from all over the world. </li></ul><ul><li>It also foster and augment the self respect of gay athletes throughout the world </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Who you want to have sex with has bearing on who you want to have sex with and nothing else — not on how fast you can run, not even on who you want to hang out with or what you want to wear — it’s just who you want to have sex with.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Cyd Ziegler </li></ul>
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