So Gay Pat has demanded that gay athletes come out of the closet. He believes that athletes should “Get over yourself and change the world. You’re going to be surprised at how many people have your back.”
But I disagree.
Why should we hold athletes at different esteem compared to everyone else? Including politicians and business people. The discussion originates from Premier League football which highlights the major flaw in Pat’s argument.
The English Premier League is probably the most cosmopolitan marketplace in the world. You will not find such a diverse mixture of nationalities anywhere else. Pat claims some Premier League players are too scared to come out, but what if some of those players are from countries such as Sudan, Algeria or Indonesia where homosexuality is illegal? If they return to those countries they could well be arrested and imprisoned or even worse. Their families back home could also be targeted and persecuted because their son or brother is gay footballer on the world stage.
Most Premier League players also play for their national team and with the next World Cup held in Qatar where homosexuality is also illegal why should we place athletes in a situation where they have to stand out as being different. They may even be banned from entering some countries if they speak openly about supporting homosexuality. Why should we expect a gay athlete to damage their career whilst a gay architect can be just successful whether they are open about their sexuality or not?
I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t blog about gay issues. Because that is what I’m doing, but what does anyone’s sexuality have to do with their ability to have a career as an athlete.
The Premier League also makes billions of dollars in television revenue from countries where homosexuality is either illegal or heavily frowned upon. It’s almost certain the business people and accountants who run football will be the ones to most suffer if a number of players come out as being gay. It’s these people who need to be forced to change.
The modern professional sports industry likes to portray athletes as Greek gods to help sell merchandise and video games but in reality they just like the public. You won’t improve the world by forcing the wrong people to wave a flag.