Sunday, March 4, 2012

You Can Play and Homophobia in Sports

Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke (brother to the late and openly gay Brendan Burke) has created a new nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homophobia in sports.  The You Can Play Project will operate with the goal of showing that sports are more accepting than people think.  A more detailed description of the organization, its goals, and those currently involved can be read here.

I like this idea because, despite what people may think and all the stereotypes about intolerant jocks, athletes are pretty culturally aware.  Sure you might get the occasional idiot like David Tyree, but most know that they've shared a locker room with a LGBT individual and don't think anything of it.  To quote Charles Barkley, "any player that thinks they haven't (encountered LGBT) is a stone freakin' idiot."

My own experiences in sports with LGBT individuals are few, and any enmity directed towards them has been even more rare.  The only thing I've really heard is the liberal use of the word "faggot" which despite being a slur, usually isn't indicative of homophobia, merely a lack of creativity.  It's a shame that sports and athletes get such a bad rap because a lot of times the camaraderie of a locker room and a team can be a nice haven for someone who is gay.

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