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Australian Footballer to Gay Players: Stay in the Closet, We're not Ready to Accept You

Jason Akermanis, a player for Australia's Western Bulldogs football club, has written a column for Australian newspaper Herald Sun in reaction to rumors that two players have been offered $150,000 to come out of the closet.

Akermanis says it's not a good idea. Akermanis  

He writes: 

"If a player wants to out himself, then I say good luck. But I believe the world of AFL footy is not ready for it. To come out is unnecessary for a lot of reasons. 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. For some reason I felt uncomfortable, so I left. I am sure most players these days would do the same."

Akermanis goes on to say that he's against homophobia, and that he hopes the environment will change for gay players.

But apparently he's not willing to step up and change it himself.

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  1. Although I think his intentions are genuinely good, I think the whole 'don't upset massa' approach is about as outdated as the 'girls' running out of the shower.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | May 19, 2010 1:31:43 PM

  2. So, only when the openly gay guy enters the shower do these macho men become "uncomfortable"? What was going on in that shower before the openly gay guy walked in? Apparently something other than bathing one's self.

    Posted by: Jimmy | May 19, 2010 1:37:21 PM

  3. So he thinks Australian footballers are more uptight and homophobic than Welsh and British rugby players?

    Posted by: Jon | May 19, 2010 1:37:39 PM

  4. I think men who want to dye their hair blond should only do it secretly and not expose the pubic to it. I'm against hair color phobia, but I don't think the public is ready to deal with sports players with dyed blond hair.

    Posted by: nick | May 19, 2010 1:38:40 PM

  5. Wouldn't he want to know which players are gay so he doesn't shower with them (and thus get accidentally ogled)?

    Fact is, these Aussie football and rugby players get VERY gay in the locker room, hugging, bathing together, showering, slapping, you name it. There are countless cellphone videos that show this. They only feel comfortable with this venting of their gay feelings because they believe no one is "truly" enjoying it. THIS is the fabric he's talking about.

    Personally, I think male sexuality is extremely fluid -- gay for pay, gay for beer, gay for any reason at all -- and that's why they get so uptight about it. I've had a few encounters with straight guys who I absolutely believe are straight in every way ... and yet they still sucked and got sucked no problem.

    Posted by: Fred | May 19, 2010 1:38:43 PM

  6. Football? Looks like handball to me.

    Posted by: crispy | May 19, 2010 1:45:05 PM

  7. the thing here is, this guy is so ignorant that he has no idea how dumb this article makes him sound. I'm a little embarassed for him. And in writing this he may have proven his point in a round about way; some of the world still has no idea what being gay is or is about.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 19, 2010 1:58:27 PM

  8. It is funny to me that although the piece seems to indicate that these guys are homophobic, it is always overlooked that what they really are in fact is misogynistic. Because the whole issue of 'straight' guys being uncomfortable with a gay guy in the locker room stems from the fact that they don't want another guy looking at them 'like that'. And by 'like that' they usually mean like a woman. Which is pretty silly since gay guys aren't into women. But the point is that for a straight guy there is really nothing worse that being looked at 'that way' by another guy. Because 'you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly you'd love to know. Wouldn't you?' ;-)

    Posted by: JR | May 19, 2010 2:02:42 PM

  9. As a huge fan, and former player in the feeder league to the AFL, you should be aware that Jason Akermanis is a total fame whore. He wrote this to be controversial, and to bring attention to himself.

    I also think most current players wouldn't care, and in fact would rally around a teammate that came out. The current and future generations of players simply don't see it as being that big an issue.

    And, as an aside, I can assure you that Jason Akermanis has played in a premiership with a player who sleeps with men. I know this because he came on to my boyfriend half naked in his hotel room.

    Posted by: James | May 19, 2010 2:15:07 PM

  10. FRED, it may come as a blow to your fantasy but men who are "straight in every way" don't have sex with other men unless they're being paid or raped. I don't even buy the drunk man defense. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, it doesn't change sexual orientations, even temporarily. Men who are 100% straight will resist a gay encounter regardless of their level of intoxication. If a man is voluntarily having sex with you and enjoying it then he, by definition, isn't 100% straight.

    I always have to laugh at gay men who claim that they had sex with a straight man because his wife wouldn't give him oral sex, or because he struck out with the women at the straight nightclub so he went to a gay bar to pick up a man for sex. Yeah, keep strokin those silly fantasies. 100% straight men don't go to other men for sex when their wives or girlfriends won't give it to them. THEY GO TO OTHER WOMEN.

    I've NEVER heard of a 100% gay man who struck out with men at the gay nightclub going to a titty bar to pick up a woman for sex. If I ever were to hear such a story I would be quick to point out that he clearly wasn't 100% gay then.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 19, 2010 2:19:57 PM

  11. Says the guy who dyes his hair a nasty Platinum Blonde!

    Posted by: Matt | May 19, 2010 2:23:12 PM

  12. It's just that, HIS problem.

    Posted by: marc | May 19, 2010 2:33:48 PM

  13. Tampazeke nailed it and then some. I should add that the "Freds" of this world perpetuate the lie used by the religious right (George Rekers, et al) that homosexuality is a "choice," rather than an innate condition that has nothing to do with loose morals, not accepting Jesus as one's Savior, too much beer, or one's wife not giving you head.

    Posted by: Ricardo | May 19, 2010 2:35:56 PM

  14. JR WINS!

    "Because 'you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly you'd love to know. Wouldn't you?' ;-)"

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 19, 2010 2:39:12 PM

  15. No way! Another stupid, backward athlete? Get outa town!

    Perhaps this douchebag thinks if he were transported into a women's shower, he'd lose all control and start raping everyone...perhaps he has no discipline and self control, and always, forever thinking about sex and nothing else. Also, perhaps, he thinks he's much more desirable than that picture would lead one with taste to conclude.

    One of the problems of homophobia is that straight homophobes believe that gay people are just like them...and they are trash...and are voicing their disgust with themselves.

    Posted by: TANK | May 19, 2010 2:45:55 PM

  16. Has he heard about all the homophobes who were caught in bed with gay men? I'd keep your mouth shut douche bags.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | May 19, 2010 2:48:06 PM

  17. Oh, TAMPAZEKE... how naive you are. You clearly didn't play sports growing up or join any type of male only group. The "gay" shennanigans that "straight" guys get on with would shock some gay men. Playing Football and being in a Fraternity gives me some credit to speak on this. Guys grabbing each others cocks, humping each other, groping, was all done by STRAIGHT guys.

    The same guys who circle jerked to Candy Stripers II are the ones who are still straight, happily married with kids, and not "gay." Which brings me to the point I think Akermanlessness is trying to make. If there is a gay player, they will feel self-conscious about playing their grab ass games, and have to really analyze their sexuality. And they certainly don't want to be looked at the filthy dirty way they look at women.

    Does that make sense? It's the same issue with letting women into a very mysoginistic military. But now, with some women outperforming their male counterparts, guys in the military had to think about how the treated and related to women, which has benefited everyone in the long run.

    James is on his way I think, so this is good news.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 19, 2010 2:51:00 PM

  18. Oh, I forgot to make my main comment.

    Akermani is a total douchebag who is the very definition of a "concern troll". He doesn't give a flying shit about the gay kids in high school or the gay people in the locker room that he says he "wishes the best" to. Nor does he really hope things change. If he did he wouldn't have said what he said and how he said it; especially not in such a public way.

    I wonder if Herald Sun publishes the "concerns" of racist players or players who strongly disapprove of religious players who are open about their spirituality in public and in the locker room?

    Why is it that, when it comes to gay (and seemingly ONLY gay) rights, dignity and humanity, there is still a pervasive view that there should still be a debate and that all views, including the view that we don't deserve rights, dignity or humanity, are equally valid?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | May 19, 2010 2:54:24 PM

  19. As mentioned before, there are already gay players around. What he means to say is that he'd be too uncomfortable to find out that his teammate may or may not have been a voyeur, instead, he'd rather keep him in in the closet. It's a function of some people's small-mindedness.

    Posted by: Maxcor | May 19, 2010 2:59:09 PM

  20. So by hoping "the environment changes to a degree where coming out isn't a big deal" and then doing nothing toward making that change, Akermanis is only half of a coward. What a man.

    Also, the part of the article where he talks about all of the straight players rushing out of the shower when the gay one walks in makes him look like he's unaware of his own possible attraction to other men.

    Posted by: Chal | May 19, 2010 2:59:10 PM

  21. @ RICARDO - "I should add that the "Freds" of this world perpetuate the lie used by the religious right (George Rekers, et al) that homosexuality is a "choice"

    Let's be clear, Ricardo. Men are sort of like Sharks, they're "opportunistic" fuckers instead of feeders. Cut open a shark and you may find a car license plate. Do sharks like metal as a source of food? No. Will they eat anything in front of them? Yes. Do straight guys actively seek out gay guys for sex. Probably not. Will they turn down a blow job from a guy if they know that no one will ever find out? I'll let you know as soon as I find a straight guy that has turned one down as I have yet to find one.

    Would STRAIGHT guys in prison prefer to have sex with women? Of course. Do they settle for what's in front of them? Yes they do, HONEY! And married men these days who are in sexless relationships are realizing they have two options: 1. Find another girl and end up with Tiger Wood like drama or 2. Find a guy who knows how to keep his mouth shut (Craigslist, Hullo?!)


    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 19, 2010 3:03:06 PM

  22. The problem with this guy, as with so many ignorant, uninformed, straights, is that it is assumed that gay guys think about sex and ONLY sex. So, after a rough game, playing one's heart out, beaten up and bruised, the gay player goes into the shower and like everybody else, all he wants is the hot water to soothe the aches away. The gay guy is probably thinking about the game, what he did right or wrong, what the team did right or wrong, the officiating, the cheering fans (or the booing fans). But, all Akermanis can see is that the player is (a) gay and (b) surely only interested in ogling Aker-boy and all the other teammates and plotting in his mind how he can cop a feel or stare at Aker-boy's smooth but pliant buttocks or wait for someone to drop the soap.... disgusting how stupid straight men are. Disgusting how stupid straight people are.

    Posted by: jamal49 | May 19, 2010 3:03:23 PM

  23. Hollywood, CA is 100%.

    Heterosexual males look at each others naked bodies in the locker rooms. Heterosexuals use sex or the threat of sex as an excuse. The fact is heterosexuals want to keep whatever it is, in this case a rugby team, heterosexual-only.

    Posted by: Bill | May 19, 2010 3:09:28 PM

  24. Hey, hollywood, why don't you keep your straight fantasies and fetishes to yourself, cunt? This isn't about you and your self loathing. You're a throwback to a time that has gladly passed along.

    K, honey chiiiiild? *snap* *snap*...or however you annoying faggots talk and behave.

    Posted by: TANK | May 19, 2010 3:11:18 PM

  25. "I think men who want to dye their hair blond should only do it secretly and not expose the pubic to it."

    Love, love, LOVE the typo(?) here.


    And I can't think of the last time that someone referred to a "sexual persuasion"

    My thing is there PROBABLY (maybe most certainly) is someone in the locker room that is gay.

    And you had better believe that said gay guy has already clocked your entire body.

    So the discomfort that Blondie here is expressing would be as a result of his knowledge.

    Sounds like a personal problem to me. Straight guys that are secure in their sexuality don't think about (much less publicize) things like this.

    Perhaps the lady doth protesteth too much?

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | May 19, 2010 3:44:17 PM

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