Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sport's First Gay Superstar

Last week, one of rugby’s biggest stars came out of the closet. Could an American athlete be far behind? Alex Massie on sports’ first gay superstar.

BS Top - Massie Rugby

We ask a lot of sports. It's not enough that sports entertain and enthrall us; we insist upon freighting them with baggage they can sometimes barely sustain. The games become a mirror for society at large. Which is another way of saying that you may measure a society by the games it plays and the way it plays them. The journey from the Negro leagues to Jackie Robinson or from Joe Louis to Muhammad Ali to, more recently, Michael Jordan and, despite his recent disgrace, Tiger Woods, is, in one sense, a voyage along the path of racial reconciliation in American society as a whole.

But if sport has sometimes led the way in matters of race, when it comes to sexuality, it has been outpaced by developments in wider society. The locker-room may be a post-racial environment, but it is not a post-sexual one.

Recent developments in Britain and Ireland, however, suggest that this may be changing. Last week, Gareth Thomas, the most capped Welshman of all time and the man who led Wales in 2005 to its first Grand Slam triumph in more than 25 years, went public with his sexuality, announcing that he is gay.

Full article at The Daily Beast

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

No comments: