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.

Comments

  1. jakeinlove says

    Although I think his intentions are genuinely good, I think the whole ‘don’t upset massa’ approach is about as outdated as the ‘girls’ running out of the shower.

  2. says

    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.

  3. nick says

    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.

  4. Fred says

    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.

  5. says

    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.

  6. JR says

    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?’ 😉

  7. James says

    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.

  8. TampaZeke says

    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.

  9. Ricardo says

    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.

  10. TANK says

    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.

  11. Hollywood, CA says

    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.

  12. TampaZeke says

    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?

  13. Maxcor says

    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.

  14. Chal says

    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.

  15. Hollywood, CA says

    @ 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?!)

    XOXO

  16. jamal49 says

    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.

  17. Bill says

    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.

  18. TANK says

    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.

  19. Chitown Kev says

    “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.

    LMAO.

    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?

  20. SFshawn says

    Another unintelligent opinion from another supposedly hetero athelete who is so afraid and insecure in his own masculinity that another man checking out his tiny meat makes him squirm. Sooner or later he’ll be coming out of the closet..3..2..1.

  21. Marty says

    Oh god, another moron like Hollywood who wants everyone to believe that all straight men can be “had” by the right gay guy given an opportune moment.

    As someone else said, how come gay men never turn to women when they need some quick sex? surely many a fag hag has made herself available, yes? You’re having sex with the Ted Haggards and Sen. Craigs of the world. gross.

    Back to the point. This guy just summed up the whole argument against DADT, which is straight men don’t want to be oogled by gay men.

    Yes, you can order someone to allow gays in the military but how does than play itself out in the actual situation? You can’t “order” someone to like or accept someone and in war-time what is more important?

    Not advocating anything, just recognizing it’s not as simple as “telling” someone you have to accept someone, especially when it comes to war and security.

  22. SFshawn says

    Marty,
    The military “ordered” the integration of African Americans and Women into their ranks(pun intended) and you can bet many didn’t like it or want to accept it(and still don’t!). Gays have been serving honorably in the military for hundreds of years. If they are “man” enough to kill strangers in strange lands in the name of patriotism,”terrorism” or whatever bullshit excuse they use to justify slaughtering their fellow humans then they can certainly handle being looked at naked. Who knew straight men entrusted to protect our country could be such pussies?

  23. Marty says

    SFShawn, yes, of course, but in neither case was their a “sexual”component. I’m sure things might have played out differently if, when integrating women, the women had to shower with the men.

    Likewise, with AA, a straight man would rather shower with a straight black man over a gay man any day. This involves sexuality which is not the same as race or gender.

    Yes, it sucks. But even from my own experience in the gym, sometimes it’s just creepy and gross to have some gay guy standing the shower or steam room oogling you. And I say this as a GAY MAN. Again, I’m not excusing anything, I’m just saying that to say “get over it” sounds great, but likely is easier said than done. Is there a reason the showers just couldn’t have curtains? or does than diminish male bonding??… more questions than answers….

  24. jaragon says

    “Straight” men who worry about gays ogling them in the locker room are probably closet cases…( and this guy at least in that photo looks more freaky than sexy)

  25. TampaZeke says

    HOLLYWOOD, I’m sorry to hear that you think that “Guys grabbing each others cocks, humping each other, groping” is SEX. Your boyfriend must really be missing out.

    If you’ll read my comment again you will see that I never referred to any of the shenanigans that you listed. My comment was that 100% straight men don’t have SEX with other men unless they are being paid or raped.

    For your information I was in a very large fraternity at one of the most Greek schools in the nation. I also played sports and spent a lot of time in locker rooms with other naked men, without once having a sexual encounter. I am still a very active athlete.

    I’m sorry if you have poor reading comprehension. I’m more sorry if you think goofing around is sex and I’m most sorry if you get turned on by the delusion that straight men are going to have sex with you. But alas, I won’t lose one second’s sleep over it.

  26. Fred says

    @Marty — The reason gay guys don’t turn to women when they are horny is because THEY DON’T HAVE TO. They just turn to one of their fellow gays, of which there is NO shortage. Jeeezus, for someone so opinionated, you sure are fucking dumb. But sometimes gay guys also have sex with women, under specific conditions and circumstances (not so much to get off, as have an experience).

    @Tampazeke (or is it Marty again LOL) — What is straight, pray tell, in your book? Let me guess — men who have never had sex with other men? By definition, of course they aren’t having sex with other men willingly! (That is, UNTIL THEY DO.) There is no fantasy here, my friend. Straight guys are sluts, just like gay guys, and I have my personal experience to prove it. Oh wait, they aren’t straight unless you say so.

    There was a gay guy in my neighborhood who, for TWENTY YEARS, dispensed free blowjobs to male joggers, mostly straight married types. Hundreds of men, lots of whom reciprocated.

    No one is saying straight guys are hot for cock all day long. But they cross the line all the time, and that’s a fact, my sad deluded friend.

  27. Marty says

    Fred, get real. So all these “straight” men in your neighborhood all knew of this mystery “hole” where some guy is sucking other guys off…because they couldn’t find anywhere else to get off…no other women around…but this lone guy?? and this was “hundreds” of men?…in your neighborhood that ALL got their dicks sucked by this one person?

    I won’t even bother to tell you how ridiculous that sounds..because I think you are one of “those” gays who desperately wants to believe he’s having sex with a straight man. Sad, but you are not alone.

    Did this person have a job by chance? no, I’m guessing he spent his waking days and nights “perched” at this mystery hole awaiting all this straight cock. Yeah, that’s it. Must have been a real tight nit neighborhood. Sounds like fun.

  28. says

    …and here I thought that the Aussie clubs and players were being “revolutionary” by being such vocal supporters of equal rights, and squashing homophobia. Clearly, it’s just a select few.

  29. John in Boston says

    Under certain conditions it is undesirable for males and females to co-habitate such as locker-rooms,because…guess what? There’s a BIG issue around sexuality, drama and tension. Other examples are various situations in the armed forces, such as ships where men and woman serve and the pregnancy rate goes through the roof causing many serious problems.

    Homosexuals should recognize there is legit concerns/issues with gay men under close,intimate circumstances with heterosexual males. Ditto lesbians and heterosexual females. MOST people recognize the problems with having males and females showering together, etc., under similar circumstances. Males and females have separate bathrooms/restrooms for obvious reasons.

    I’m not in anyway saying there shouldn’t be any gay/bi athletes or that they shouldn’t be open about it But I do see the shower,locker-room,sexual attraction/tension issue. I think well paid pros should have decent locker-rooms and showers where this issue can be mitigated, I also think they should just suck it up….they’re getting well compensated for playing a game. But under lesser circumstances there are legit issues.

  30. Fred says

    Oh, that guy was a degenerate, not me. And yes, hundreds over 20 years, in an upscale part of LA.

    As for desperation, who is repeatedly banging his head against the wall trying to convince people there are STRAIGHT and GAY categories ONLY. You’re just wrong.

    As for Tank, how’s trolldom these days?

  31. Phil Listrom says

    I am reminded of a time in high school when a “straight” guy told me that the worst thing for a man to be called was gay. That it is simply the most terrifying thing in their life. That is what this is about.

  32. TampaZeke says

    FRED, nice way to completely change what you said and then attack me for disagreeing with something that you didn’t say. Ever heard of a strawman argument?

    I NEVER said that there was no other category for men but gay and straight. In fact, if you read what I actually said, my point was EXACTLY the opposite.

    YOU said that men who are “straight in every way” have sex with men voluntarily and enjoy it. My contention was that they, by definition, can’t be straight in EVERY way. They aren’t 100% straight. They must have some bisexual tendencies. SOMEHOW you twisted my point that they must be somewhere along the continuum of sexuality between totally straight and totally gay into an accusation that I believe that men can only be gay or straight.

    What color is the sky in your world?

    Your “friend” who supposedly sucked off all of these “straight” men sounds like a compulsive liar with exceedingly low self-esteem and you sound like an idiot for believing him. I guess it’s easy to believe someone’s ridiculous stories when they tweak your fantasies and fill some void in your life.

    But hey, whatever lifts your luggage!

  33. TampaZeke says

    JOHN IN BOSTON, I definitely see the point you are making. I think it is a valid concern for discussion. What I don’t understand is why it’s the STRAIGHT men who seem most disagreeable to the idea of private showers.

  34. John in Boston says

    Look folks: MOST people really are straight heterosexual. Some are gay, some are Bi…….but most are only attracted to the opposite sex. It is what it is. Everyone stop kidding yourselves.

  35. TANK says

    Shaddup, fred. You’re not even worth dignifying with a response.

    The argument presented against integration of lesbians and gays in the military is as follows.

    Some men are uncomfortable showering with gay men because they believe that they are being objectified sexually, and don’t want to be.

    If some men are uncomfortable with being objectified sexually by gay men, their concerns should be taken into account in integrating the military.

    Therefore…

    This line of thought is unsound for many reasons. First, it doesn’t posit that those uncomfortable are uncomfortable with being objectified period, just by gay men, so it is rooted in some form of homophobia. How many of those men objectify women? Probably quite a few given the strong link between homophobia and sexism. Second, it’s not a crime to have a sexual fantasy, and barring any sexually inappropriate behavior (e.g., unwanted advances, etc), I don’t see a reason to accomodate their insecurities as it’s essentially their problem (in a purely abstract hypothetical). Third, not many gay men serving are going to sexually objectify his fellow soldiers in a inappropriate manner (a lot less than straight soldiers rape and otherwise sexually harass their female counterparts); not in that environment. And in that case, it’s just a person with psyho-sexual deficiency, like it would be for everyone else gay, straight, bi whatever. First, they aren’t there for fun, but want to serve their country–and likely aren’t interested in their fellow servicemen in that capacity. Second, who’s to say that gay men would find those men insecure sexually appealing? Homophobia is not sexy…and these guys are fooling themselves if they think that they’re in any way appealing to gay men who would serve. Third, the very real fear of being assaulted or killed as a result would serve to supress these inappropriate behaviors from manifesting against someone who was so insecure…as they do in just about every other context…because self preservation trumps momentary fantasies.

    And it is not like females showering with males at all, as gay men aren’t women. And to suggest that gay men are incapable of controlling themselves is one step away from labeling gays deviant perverts because they’re same sex oriented. Does it create the potential for actual harm to occur? No more than allowing a racist to serve, or women who could be victimized by men who serve (and they are victimized). So this a nonstarter, and an embarrassment of reasoning. Yeah, not many people like to be oggled, and I highly doubt that in those contexts, they would be for the many reasons provided (gay men don’t find all men attractive…for another)…but is this a valid concern? I think I’ve demonstrated it’s not. Interesting insight into the people who think it is, though…

  36. New Jersey Girl says

    Do I get this straight:

    This homophobe wants Gays to stay in the closet because he’s afraid someone will look at his Wee-Wee?

    What ever will he do when those FAA Full-body scanners comes to an airport near him?

    Demand that straight people examine his ‘screening’?

    Pathetic. And Hollywood: You’re a moron.

  37. Jimmy Jessex says

    I’ve always been puzzled by the fact that so many ‘straight’ men are so afraid of male desire. It truly does perplex me. Makes me think that if anything the armed forces in the USA should be asking for MORE gay men to fight as apparently the most fearful things would be a bunch of gay men coming after you ;).

    With this story. Really? The very fabric of your team’s society would break? Seems to me that the person(s) who have the problem are not the gay players but the misogynistic idiots who are playing with you.

    Another poster made a good point.. I never see–in the public media–any discussion of the fact that homophobic behavior is deeply misogynistic. Afterall when you denigrate the gay man you are basically putting him down by comparing him to a woman.

  38. Yeek says

    In a weird way I give this guy credit for openly discussing his discomfort and giving his honest assessment of the situation (even though I don’t agree with it). I think many people just sort of keep their mouths shut and are unwilling to admit that they have some ugly feelings inside. Well, we all do, and I think we all know it. The problem is going to be there whether people admit it or not.

    On some matters, he’s correct: yes, an openly gay player would generate a huge amount of publicity, yes, that publicity might be a strain on the team, and yes, a lot of players would be uncomfortable. The fact is, though, that treating someone fairly outweighs all these other hassles. I hope he figures that out.

  39. Steve says

    We have a very technical term for people like Jason here in Australia. He’s a dickhead. The trouble is that there is a small part of the population who “think” the same way he does.

  40. Steve says

    By the way, gays have been serving OPENLY is the military in Australia, the UK and a number of other countries for decades without any problem whatsoever. Why not just get on with it?

  41. SCV Malcolm says

    Just as I’m convinced that there IS a real difference between being gay and being homosexual, so do I believe that there’s a difference between being homophobic and being bigoted. In this instance, the straight “footies” are fearful that the gay guy in the shower would eyeball them the same way that they look at women!

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