Manly Men: SF's Fog Rugby Team

Photo Credit: Sean Gustilo
Have you experienced any homophobia?

Yeah, we have. It's something that's pretty much gone now, but definitely in the beginning we were called "faggots" and were the subjects of slurs like that. There was even one game where a couple of guys on the other team refused to play unless we all had AIDS tests.

Rugby is a rough sports, and often someone will get frustrated and call somebody "faggot,"—athletes throw that word around all the time, but obviously when you're playing a gay team it means something different. But because rugby is such a rough sport, we have a chance to prove ourselves—it doesn't matter if you call me "faggot"; I'm still going to knock you to the ground. We've really gone through an education process with these straight teams who might come from a homophobic mindset. We show them that gay guys can tackle just as hard as straight guys, and if you call me "faggot" I'll knock you down even harder.

Do you think spectators who don't know can tell that the Fog is a gay team?

No, I don't think so. That's the funny thing—because of who we are, we attract a lot of straight athletes, and people can't tell who's straight and who's gay. A lot of times, it's not who you'd expect. It's pretty amazing.

What are some of the injuries you or your teammates have sustained?

I've been relatively lucky. I've been playing for five years, and all I've done is cracked my ribs and scratched my cornea. I've also have had two concussions. A lot of people have had concussions. People break arms and snap tendons, and there are a lot of gashes.