The Professional Athlete Of A Team Sport

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In 1975, after his retirement from the NFL, David Kopay was the first major professional athlete of a team sport to come out as a homosexual. Very few have followed after Kopay’s example, but based on the percentages of individuals who identify as a member of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community, including those who have both come out and those who have not, it is assumed that 5% to 10% of NFL players are “closeted” and have not come out as homosexual (Garber, 1999). It is a common theme to see athletes, especially those who are part of a team sport, come out once they enter retirement, as opposed to sometime during their career. In fact, 2014 was the year Michael Sam became the first…show more content…
As of July 2014 this study, entitled “Out of the Fields”, has interviewed and surveyed approximately 2500 Australians that included both heterosexual individuals and members of the LGBTQIA community (who the study refers to as “LGB people” for short). The initial key findings show that “85% of LGB people and 75% of heterosexual participants said they have witnessed or experienced homophobia in a sporting environment either playing or as a spectator”, 64% of LGB people and 47% of heterosexual people agree or strongly agree that homophobia (in the form of comments, jokes, insults or abuse) is more common in team sporting environments than in the general society, and 50% of LGB people reported being a target of homophobia ("Out of the Fields", 2014). Results also show that verbal slurs like “fag, dyke, or poofter” were the most common form of homophobia, then homophobic jokes ranking as the second most common form, and finally casual comments like “that’s so gay” ("Out of the Fields", 2014). The issue here is that admitted LGB people are being bullied to the point where participation in sport is unsafe and not worth the risk while closeted LGB people are scared into silence. Based on the critical theory, there is lack of fairness and sensitivity to diversity when it comes to LGB athletes. The goal is to improve the general population’s
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