Apparently in May of last year, Yoann Lemaire took a sabbatical from the team that he played on for 14 years after teammates were seen on camera making homophobic remarks. Lemaire had asked to return recently, but the team refused, even having club president Frédéric Pretty sign a rejection form. Here’s a rough translation of the reasons Pretty gave: The invoked reasons are to protect the two parties. It is important to us, considering the passion since the events of May 2009 and the media coverage that resulted, to avoid again incidents.You can find out more about it here, or if you are German, here. In Germany, an interview given by Michael Ballack's manager recently told us all of a "gay cabal" in the German national team (do gays eat their young? No, wait, that was cannibalism) without naming names but threatening to do so, for what purpose? I have no idea, probably to force Ballack back into the national team.
Listen, statistically, there should be at least one gay football player on each team as they walk on the pitch. And considering the testosterone-driven sport, it is very likely that there is more than one. But they can't come out, of course. The fans – so it is feared – would rip them apart when they are in another stadium, will very likely taunt them as "cocksuckers", "faggots" and what-have-you, just as they scream "nigger", "monkey man" or "blackface" when they see somebody with a dark skin. Stadiums. The last bastion of the stupidly drunk and hateful (outside of a Christian Coalition Glenn Beck rally) white people.
And whether gay football players like it or not, it's something they have to deal with, just like the first black baseball player had to live with, or the first black boxer. I wish we would be more enlightened than that (and again, if somebody points out to countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Iran and their ritual burning of flags, stone-throwing and what-have-you... we are not those countries, we are not like that, we are better, we are supposed to be better than people who stone women to death, you know?)
But it appears we are not. Better than them.
At least not by much.
Well, at least that football player won't be stoned to death.
Sometimes I feel so weak.