Are Johnathan Vilma’s concerns valid as a straight man?
Jonathan Vilma Afraid To Shower With Gay Teammates
Homophobia needs to stop in 2014.
According to Rolling Out:
Gay players in sports has been a hot topic in the public for the past year and many heterosexual athletes have given their take on what it would mean to have a gay player as a teammate.
Recently, the NFL Network sat down for an interview with players from both past and present to discuss the locker room culture and how gay players would fit in with the teammates and Jonathan Vilma of the New Orleans saints let it be known that he’s afraid of taking showers with a gay man.
“There’s such a stigma with gay and homosexuals within male sports,” said London Fletcher, Washington Redskins linebacker, acknowledging the sports homophobic atmosphere. “It would be very difficult for that first person to come out.”
And that point was ironically and painfully made clear when Vilma commented on his fear of showering with gay men.
“I think that he would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted,” Vilma added. “I don’t want people to just naturally assume, like, ‘Oh, we’re all homophobic.’ That’s really not the case. Imagine if he’s the guy next to me and, you know, I get dressed, [bare], taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me. How am I supposed to respond?”
If you were a straight man taking a shower with gay teammates present, would you worry about another grown man checking you out?