For years people have tried to offer answers about why there aren't more publicly out gay professional athletes in the big men's sports. One of the reasons given by people in sports and in the media is that they will suddenly be subjected to horrible treatment by fans and opposing players. Yet this week English soccer referee Ryan Atkin came out publicly as gay saying, "People don't shout at you any louder because of your sexuality." That completely contradicts the fearmongering that so many people are engaged in surrounding coming out in sports. We dive into the realities of this.
Also, Major League Baseball wasted no time suspending Oakland A's player Matt Joyce for directing a gay slur at a game last week. Joyce has offered an apology and he accepted responsibility. Are suspensions an important part of tackling homophobic language in sports, or are they an arcane idea best substituted by "education"?
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