On the door-step of equality: Attitudes toward gay athletes among academy-level footballers

Rory Magrath, Eric Anderson, Steve Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this semi-structured interview research, we investigate the attitudes of 22 academy-level association football (soccer) players who are potentially on the verge of becoming professional athletes. We find that, as a result of these men belonging to a generation holding inclusive attitudes towards homosexuality, independent of whether they maintain contact with gay men, they are unanimously supportive of gay men coming out on their team. Thus, this research supports a growing body of literature suggesting that teamsport culture is no longer a bastion of homophobia in the UK. Their support includes athletes being unconcerned with sharing rooms with gay players, changing with them in the locker rooms, or relating to them on a social and emotional level. The only apprehension they maintain is that having a gay teammate might somewhat alter homosocial banter, as they would not want to offend that individual.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)804-821
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Volume50
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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