Homosexuality in sport: A critical analysis of the prevalence of homophobia within elite male football Introduction
This essay will offer a critical evaluation regarding the prevalence of homophobia within the field of male professional football, as well as discussing what is being done to combat this issue. This paper will look to provide the argument that homophobic attitudes remain within modern day elite football despite how the issue is being challenged. This claim will look to be substantiated through use of academic literature. To achieve this successfully, this paper will be structured into a logical sequence to effectively develop the argument. Primarily, it is important to provide an insight on homophobia.
The term ‘Homophobia’…show more content… Connell, was built upon the concept of ‘hegemony’. ‘Hegemony’, made popular by Gramsci (1971) was defined as a ‘particular form of dominance in which a ruling class legitimatises its position’ (p.156).Connell (1990, p.83) defined the concept of Hegemonic Masculinity as ‘the culturally idealised form of masculine character that emphasizes the subordination of women, as well as the marginalisation of gay men’. According to Anderson (2007) it is within team sports that characteristics of hegemonic masculinity are most prevalent, with attributes such as strength and hyper masculine image on display. As a result of this, it can be suggested team sports are a major contributing factor to the continued prevalence of hegemonic masculinity, as these ideals are demonstrated. This theory demonstrates how the dominant demographic in society express their ideology to maintain power. However, opposition to this framework exists, leading to the discussion of inclusive…show more content… This concept, developed by Anderson, provides the framework to provide an explanation for the changing nature of how young male individuals view and enact masculinity (Anderson, 2009, p.1). Anderson (2007)’s inclusive masculinity explains the decreasing nature of homophobia in society, that challenges the prevalence of hegemonic masculinity. According to Anderson (2007) many male university students are displaying more inclusive forms of masculinity (p.7). It is argued by Anderson that in a society of ‘diminishing homohysteria’, which can be defined as a ‘fear of homosexualisation’ (p.7), men who comply with the ideals of inclusive masculinity allow gay men to acquire a masculine identity, as well as allow straight men to display characteristics of femininity.
This theory therefore suggests that with the increasing nature of inclusivity shown within a sporting environment, an increasing number of individuals are able to display their own personality without fear, as a result of this, the balance of power of both straight and gay athletes becomes equal. The next section will evaluate the prevalence of modern day homophobia in elite football, through use of a wide range of