LSU Football Team Shows Both Progress and Remaining Work in Combatting Homophobia in Sports
April 20, 2013 by Dan Rafter, Associate Director of Communications
An LSU player and coach made offensive remarks about LGBT athletes this week, with running back Alfred Blue implying a gay man wouldn’t be welcome on his team: “Football is supposed to be this violent sport — this aggressive sport that grown men are supposed to play. Ain’t no little boys out here between them lines. So if you gay, we look at you as a sissy. You know? Like, how you going to say you can do what we do and you want a man?”
Head coach Les Miles – rather than condemning Blue’s remarks – compounded them. While saying he would treat a gay player in an “appropriate” manner, Miles said he would have to “describe how I saw locker rooms and how I saw travel and how I saw staying in hotel rooms and how I saw those things. If that’s not an issue, I think things could be resolved.”
Some of Blue’s teammates disagreed with his remarks, and in the same news article showed support for anyone who could contribute to the team’s performance. A sophomore quarterback noted: “If he can play for LSU, he will play for LSU,” while a kicker stressed the importance of treating everyone with dignity: “I think the main thing is people can learn as fans, as athletes, as just people in general, just respect one another and it ends at that.”
Blue issued an apology for his remarks and said he would support anyone who could contribute to his team.
The comments from Blue and Miles come amid a sharp increase in support for equality among professional athletes. Earlier this year, NFL players Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe were among those who filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court speaking out for marriage equality. Both Ayanbadejo and Kluwe are advocates for ending homophobia in sports.
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