#Football

British Athlete Ruben Loftus-Cheek Denies Gay Rumors

British soccer player Ruben Loftus-Cheek is tired of gay rumors.

The Chelsea F.C. midfielder has heard several reports and rumors that he came out to his teammates as gay, according to Towleroad. But, he says that is simply not true.

The rumor apparently started on Twitter. According to UK news site JOE, a Twitter account under the name “Eye Sports News” spread the rumor around. It even created fake quotes from teammate Eden Hazard saying the team was surprised by the news.

The professional athlete then tweeted out that he fully supports any player that’s considering coming out, but confirmed that he’s not one of them.

Currently, there are only two openly gay soccer/football players.  Minnesota United’s Collin Martin who came out last year, and Sweden’s Anton Hysen.

In addition, two other athletes came out but are no longer actively playing. Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsper, who came out after retiring. And former LA Galaxy player Robbie Rogers, who retired last year.

French player Olivier Giroud also shared last November that he thinks the sport is too hostile for closeted players to come out.

"In the dressing room, there is a lot of testosterone, teasing and communal showers," Giroud said. "It is delicate but that is how it is.”

"I can understand the distress and the difficulty for guys to come out -- it is a real challenge after working on yourself for years."

h/t: Towleroad, JOE

Douglas Braga, Who Came Out After Retiring, Thrives In Gay-Centric Soccer

At a time where the new president of Brazil is hostile towards LGBTQ people, an athlete being openly gay is incredibly risky and incredibly important.

According to the BBC, Douglas Braga is doing well after returning to football. Specifically, the former professional athlete joined a gay amateur club called BeesCats in Rio de Janeiro.

The club was founded by André Machado, a gay footballer and former teammate to Braga. Machado also started an LGBTQ tournament called Champions LiGay last year.

Hearing of this, the BBC Radio 4 and journalist David Baker rushed to interview Braga. Now, they are releasing The Brazilian Footballer Who Never Was. The audio program focuses on the life and career of Deouglas Braga so far. If you are too anxious to wait for Braga's story, we have some info for you down below.

 

Braga first moved to Rio de Janeiro when he was 12 in order to pursue football. He played for the third division club Madureira for six years before signing onto top football club Rotafogo at the age of 18.

Eventually though, Braga started to realize his sexually and that scared him.

“I started discovering my sexuality,” he told the BBC. “I started seeing that I had desires and that it was for men.”

“It was a choice that either you’re yourself, or you’re a footballer. It just wasn’t possible to be both.”

Sadly, the hostile environment in both Brazil and in the world of football led to Braga’s decision to retire from professional play.

“That day that I decided not to play, I cried so much,” he told the BBC. “I walked around for hours crying.”

But again, things are changing as Douglas Braga, now 36, has returned to the sport. We hope the best for him.

h/t: The BBC and BBC Radio 4

These Football Players Took Hazing Too Far

Four sophomores from Damascus High School in Montgomery County, Maryland are being charged as adults and one other as a juvenile after a horrible hazing ritual gone wrong that occurred on October 31st in the Football team’s locker room. According to The Washington Post, The group of 15-year-olds used a broom stick to violate four freshman team members as they tried to escape.

The suspects being tried as adults are Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Daniel Smith, and Caleb Thorpe. The attackers went from one victim to the next, laughing, while the victims screamed for help. The suspects are currently charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted first-degree rape, and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape, according to the Montgomery County District Court.

Montgomery Deputy State Attorney Peter Feeney said in court:

The defendants’ conduct was astonishingly cruel. These crimes were intended to inflict pain, degrade and humiliate the weaker members of the football team.

Each defendant played a significant role in carrying out their plan to sexually assault the victims in this case. Whether it was pushing, punching, stomping, holding down, tackling or wielding the broom. The crimes could only have been committed with the active participation of each defendant.

When one of the victims asked the attackers to stop, they responded that it was ‘tradition’.

This case is still underway and no verdict has been reached.

h/t: The Washington Post

French Footballer Olivier Giroud Says The Sport Is Too Hostile For Openly Gay Players

French Footballer Olivier Giroud says it's near impossible come out as an openly gay player in the world of football.

Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, the athlete says that he thinks the sport is not ready for an openly gay player.

"When I saw the German Thomas Hitzlsperger come out in 2014, it was very emotional," he said. "That was when I said to myself it's impossible to display homosexuality in football."

To this date, we only have two openly gay professional football (soccer for our American readers) players who are actively playing. Minnesota United’s Collin Martin who came out earlier this year, and Sweden’s Anton Hysen.

That said, we have a small history of football players coming out after retirement or around the times of their deaths. This includes Hitzlsperger who came out a year into his retirement and famous British player Justin Fashanu who came out in 1990 and later committed suicide in 1998.

As Giroud sees it, the sport of football is too based on displays of hyper testosterone and toxic masculinity.

"In the dressing room, there is a lot of testosterone, teasing and communal showers," Giroud said. "It is delicate but that is how it is.

"I can understand the distress and the difficulty for guys to come out -- it is a real challenge after working on yourself for years."

That said, there are advocates within the world of football who are looking to change that the atmosphere from within. This includes Giroud who was involved with multiple LGBTQ-inclusive campaigns while playing for former clubs Arsenal and Montepellier.

"I am ultra tolerant," Giroud said. "When I was at Montpellier, I was involved in the fight, notably doing the cover of Tetu."

"At Arsenal, when they asked me to wear the rainbow laces in support of the gay community, I did it. There is still a lot of work to do in the world of football on this subject, that's an understatement."

In addition, English clubs will be participating in a campaign later this month to raise awareness against homophobia by wearing rainbow colors on laces and captain's armbands. In addition, there have been several referees coming out as gay in the past few years.

While the sport may be very hostile towards LGBTQ players, a change is coming. It's just a matter of to what degree of size will the increments of change arrive as, and how soon until they arrive.

This Football Team is Crossing the Line from Hazing to Sexual Assault

When her 15-year-old son began acting strangely after football practice last year, Misty Cox became concerned for his well-being. Soon after, the school resource officer from Gunnison Valley High School contacted Cox to inform her that her son had sexually assaulted by a group of football players.

Cox spoke with FOX13:

He was embarrassed by what had happened and just wished it would all just go away.

Two boys held him down, a third boy pulled his own pants down and rubbed his backside and genitalia all over my son’s face.

My son did not consent to this. My son was held down against his will and was sexually assaulted. This is not a hazing incident. This is not a bullying incident. This is not a 'boys will be boys' incident. This is a sexual assault.

The school opened an investigation and all three students are facing charges of sexual assault.

During the investigation, other victims have come forward describing at least 13 other acts of sexual abuse according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

The Tribune says Sanpete County Attorney, Kevin Daniels, assures:

The first alleged assault occurred in October 2017, according to charging documents. One assault was reported in November and December 2017, with two in January. One was reported in March and another in June. Four assaults reportedly occurred on the same day: Sept. 17.

Allegations of abuse come from different social circles, says Daniels. It’s not just football players.

Since there are only 349 students at Gunnison Valley High School, the allegations make up 4 percent of the entire student body. Students who are being accused are not allowed at school until the investigation is complete.

h/t: FOX13, The Salt Lake Tribune

Wide Receiver Wyatt Pertuset Became The First Out Collegiate Football Player To Score A Touchdown

Mark this one down as another milestone for gay men in professional sports.

NFL player Wyatt Pertuset has become the first openly gay football player on the collegiate level to score a touchdown.

The 20-year-old wide receiver made the touchdown for Division III school Capital University in Columbus, Ohio during the season opener game against Mount St. Joseph. Not only did he earn points for his team in the game, but he earned points for gay men and openly gay athletes with the achievement.

 

 

Pertusets then spoke to OutSports about the accomplishment.

“It was completely overwhelming,” he recalled. “It was on a scramble and I had to get open. Next thing you know, my quarterback, Thomas Wibbeler, connected with me in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown. All of my teammates quickly came to celebrate with me in the end zone, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

Congratulations to Wyatt Pertuset, and good luck with the rest of the football season.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wyatt Pertuset (@wypert) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wyatt Pertuset (@wypert) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wyatt Pertuset (@wypert) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wyatt Pertuset (@wypert) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wyatt Pertuset (@wypert) on

 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wyatt Pertuset (@wypert) on

 

NFL Requires Players To Stand For The Flag!

NFL Requires Players To Stand For The Flag!


New Policy Enforces ‘Proper Respect’

#OhBoy! Okay, so I’m not one who pays any sort of attention to sports…unless it somehow ties into hot topics. The National Football League (NFL) has made headlines for a variety of reasons over the last few years, including Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who started a trend among Athletes by taking a knee during the National Anthem. Kaepernick taking a knee started a media frenzy regarding respect for the flag and the unfair treatment of colored Americans. The country was seemingly divided over which was the correct decision: Standing for the flag to honor veterans or kneeling to honor one’s freedom from said veterans. It turns out, the NFL players will no longer have to make a choice: They are being forced to stand.


According to Sports Illustrated, NFL owners have voted on a resolution for said National Anthem controversy. All players on the field must stand, but there is an option for players to wait in the locker room until the Anthem in over. If players standing on the field are not ‘respectful’, they will be fined. The new policy reads:

"All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem. The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the Anthem. Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed."


I think a smart decision would’ve been to have added that no matter what – standing, kneeling, sitting, smoking a cigarette, standing like a flamingo, jeez – anything – was still acceptable and deemed respecting the flag during the National Anthem. But, what do I know? I’m anticipating to see how this will play out for the future of NFL games in the upcoming season. Only time will tell.


Are you pleased with the end result of the NFL National Anthem protests?


This post is the opinion of this contributing writer to Instinct Magazine. Opinion pieces do not always reflect the stance of the magazine or the other contributing writers. 

Former UK Footballer John Fashanu Says He Paid His Late Brother To Not Come Out

A former soccer player says he regrets paying his brother to keep him in the closet.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, brothers John and Justin Fashanu were two professional soccer players in Europe. While Justin Fashanu was performing wonderfully at the sport, he had a dark secret that both men kept close to the chest.

You see, Justin Fashanu was a closeted gay man who was deeply troubled by having to hide his sexuality. Sadly, his brother John was no help at all.

"It was a lack of education," the John Fashanu, a former Wimbledon and Aston Villa striker, told ITV's Good Morning Britain.

"I make it very clear I was a monster to Justin then. I paid him £75,000 not to say that he was gay."

"I was looking at the situation around us and my mother had cancer and was dying, and the rest of the family couldn't understand the situation."

"We didn't know what to do, the best thing I thought to do was to keep it quiet."

While Justin Fashanu was doing well in the Football Association, enough to become the first black player to successfully demand £1 million transfer fee when he moved from Norwich to Forest in 1981, staying in the closet haunted him.

Then in 1990, Justin Fashanu came out and continued to play for almost 20 clubs until he retired in 1997. Sadly, he then committed suicide in 1998.

Now, John Fashanu is committed to righting the wrongs he did to his brother by speaking out for the closeted players currently in the league.

"We have a number of well-known footballers who are gay and they don't feel comfortable with the environment," he said.

"They know their empires will be destroyed. It is supporters, administrators ... not so much the players, because they know who is gay and who is not gay.

"They give each other support, but it is quite gentle support.

"We are pushing the FA needs to create an environment where gay footballers are comfortable to come out and say: 'I'm gay.'"