Being Out in College Football

  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Aug 24, 2009 2:11 AM GMT
    I thought this was a very interesting read.

    Gay College Footballers: They Exist
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    By Michelle Garcia
    Gay College Footballers: They Exist

    A survey of 85 college football players shows that nearly half of them know of at least one openly gay athlete actively playing on their team.

    According to the same ESPN magazine survey, 70% of players at Pac-10 schools (including UCLA, Oregon, and Stanford) revealed that they have a gay teammate.

    Ryan Hockensmith, a writer for ESPN who worked on the survey, told on Monday that the players seemed to be more in touch with current events and more accepting than expected.

    "A lot of these guys are 18 to 22 years old, and there's a perception that these guys just go play football, and at the end of it they really are wise about the world," he said. "It was really refreshing."

    There are currently no openly gay players in the National Football League, though former NFL players Esera Tuaolo and Dave Kopay came out after retirement.
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    Aug 24, 2009 4:28 AM GMT
    That's really cool. Not that there are gay college football players (I think we all know that, there are 3-4 on my gay team) but that they are now out to many of their team-mates.

    One of the things you'll hear from Esera - who played in the NFL not that long ago - is that if he had come out then, he wouldn't have made it to game day... i.e. someone on his own team would have taken him out during practice.
  • swimmer111

    Posts: 11

    Aug 24, 2009 5:10 AM GMT
    This isn't a study. It was a survey and has been misquoted a few times. Nowhere does it say, from what I've been able to read, that the student-athletes "knew" of any "out" gay teammates. The survey said "they believe they have at least one gay teammate." HUGE difference here people. Knowing of an out gay teammate and accepting them are two different things. Believing someone on your team is gay and knowing they are and accepting them are even more different.

    It'd be nice to have a wider sample size and a follow up question about out teammates, level of perceived acceptance and homophobia, and an open ended question about why they think their teammates are not out if they are closeted. I imagine the most common scenario is that there are guys on the team everyone wonders about, but no one talks about it and the athlete stays closeted until the end of his career.

    Just wanted to point out the discrepancy, but if anyone has the actual article I'd love to read it.
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    Aug 24, 2009 5:11 AM GMT
    swimmer111 saidThis isn't a study. It was a survey

    If you could let us dumb bunnies know the difference between a survey and a study it would be most appreciated.
  • TallSporty

    Posts: 4

    Aug 24, 2009 5:17 AM GMT
    I think he means that the survey is likely not statistically valid, meaning that one should not extrapolate the same % for all college football players from their sample size of 85.

    Also, there is no article on this. It was one of many questions asked of the 85 players on a variety of subjects.

    I run and we know there are gay guys playing college football, but there is still intense pressure to stay closeted or discrete. I know of at least one who is out to his whole team but even he doesn't want to go public with his story. Change is glacial, but even glaciers eventually melt.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 24, 2009 4:42 PM GMT
    I posted this on my Facebook page when it came out, and thought it was interesting that it didn't take that next step. There are probably very few openly gay college football players, and my guess is there are probably few to none at colleges where football is PAC 10 level.

    And I think just because other players suspect that one of their teammates is gay, that might not be a good thing, at least some of them basing their opinions on perceived stereotypes. Of course given the world we live in a heightened awareness that gay people are all around is a good thing. It would still be better when this survey reports that there are out players on all of these teams.