First, a little background in case you don’t know what AFL stands for or who Jason Akermanis is (my hands are both up). Last week this controversial Aussie Rules player made big news for this gem published in the Herald Sun basically urging gay sports stars to stay in the closet. AND LOCK THE DOOR (quelle irony that this genius suggestion came in the same week where one NSW politician learned what can happen if you are closeted). Aker (who is a high profile AFL player FYI) wrote in part…..
Imagine the publicity associated with a current player admitting he’s gay. It would be international news and could break the fabric of a club.
Football clubs are very different environments. Locker room nudity is an everyday part of our lives and unlike any other work place. I believe it would cause discomfort in that environment should someone declare himself gay.
I have played with a gay player in the twos for Mayne in Queensland in the mid-1990s who was happy to admit his sexual persuasion. He was a great guy who played his heart out and was respected by everyone in the team.
The only time I noticed a difference was when I was showering with 10 other players after a good win and I turned around to see all 10 heading out in a second with their towels. Sure enough, our gay teammate had wandered in.