Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rumored gay in soccer in Brazil causes flap

Tales Azzoni has an amusing AP story on Yahoo! today about gays in soccer. “In a macho sport, an uproar over gays and soccer in Brazil.” Link:

There was a rumor that a player on a rival team, spread by the president of a team, is gay. The player sued for defamation (in Brazil that can lead to a criminal charge), and the Brazilian judge claimed that gays don’t belong in soccer.

There have been occasional stories of gay professional athletes in the United States, but they really have never created that much controversy. In the NFL, Dave Kopay in the 1970s, and more recently Esear Tualo has a book “Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL (2006, Sourcebooks; review); he played in one Super Bowl. In major league baseball, Glen Burke, Billy Bean and umpire Dave Pallone. Link: Mark Bingham, a hero on Flight 93, was an amateur rugby player.

Of course, especially with contact sports, the question of “forced intimacy,” known from the debate over gays in the military, could come up at an intellectual level; but it doesn’t really cause a problem. In diving, The Greg Louganis story is well known (review).

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