Homosexuality in Sports

Posted by on Feb 6, 2014 in Documentary, Journalism | No Comments

Following on from the Hollywood Reporter video I decided to look into how open people are about their sexuality within the sporting world. If TV really does reflect our lives within society then having gay representatives within sport would really challenge any stereotypical ideas of gay men.

I wasn’t expecting a great deal of openly gay people within sport but having read an article titled ”Why so many sports starts are terrified to admit they’re gay” on the daily mail website, I was surprised by just how little there are. In the London Olympics only 23 out of 14,690 athletes were openly gay, which is an improvement on the Beijing Olympics where there were only 10 openly gay. So the 23 in the London Olympics only made up 0.16% of the total amount of athletes, if this is compared with the treasuries estimation that 6% of the population are gay then this suggests that not everyone within the olympics is honest about their sexuality.

Their reasons for not revealing their sexuality can vary and may simply be because they find it unnecessary to state their sexuality but the article on the daily mail site says that there are fears to coming out within sport. These fears are that it may jeopardise sponsorship deals and that fans, coaches and team mates may suddenly question their abilities.

“Homosexuality is still the love that dare not speak its name in large parts of society. And sport is the area where homosexuality carries the greatest stigma.” - Im not sure whether this quote from the article is completely true, but the statistics of openly gay people within the olympics does imply there is a stigma to homosexuals within sports.

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