Thursday, 20 May 2010

Jason Akermanis - A Point For Missing

Western Bulldogs footballer Jason Akermanis is bit of a bigmouth, isn't he? Not a Bigmouthery kind of bigmouth, though.

Akermanis today used the bullypulpit of his Herald Sun column to warn gay AFL players to keep their sexuality to themselves. Why? Because some of his footy buddies (not him, though, he's cool about it) might feel threatened by the presence of an openly gay man in the shower.

Aker says it could 'break the fabric' of a football club. He himself admitted feeling uncomfortable once when an openly gay footballer in a local comp walked into the showers after a match. Oo er, Jase. Unwanted tumescence?

Seriously, Akermanis went to great pains to suggest that he is not homophobic and that he supports events like IDAHO. So it can be reasonably assumed that, while the man has no personal beef with homosexuality, he does not rate the liberty of the individual as highly as he does the 'pack' culture of a football team. And that's where he's screwed the pooch.

Simply, if footballers cannot handle homosexuality in general and the homosexuality of colleagues in particular, then they should catch the fucking team bus to the 21st fucking Century. I know it's difficult for some footballers, what with all that time they spend beating the shit out of their girlfriends, shagging their team-mates' girlfriends and dropping naked shits in hotel corridors, but surely there's enough time left in the day to concentrate on that lonely brain cell that might want to help them evolve.

Hear the core of their thinking: 'Jeez, Davo kicked a fucking ripper from 55m today...he's a top player...if he keeps his dick away from me we might win the flag!'

Comments like 'homosexuals should keep it to themselves' are akin to saying that 'Catholics should not reveal their faith' or 'black players should white up so the other players don't see their skin'. Sounds ludicrous? That's because it is.

Akermanis might be wrongheaded but at least (perhaps, at most) he's honest. That's no excuse for thick thinking, but compare it to the AFL. In response to Aker's column, the head of the AFL Andrew Demetriou has said 'I don't believe [Akermanis' view] reflects the views of clubs, players and officials involved in the AFL and the broader football community.' He adds, 'We live in a diverse society and I believe the football community reflects that.'

Really Andy? Then answer me this: if the AFL is non-discriminatory and inclusive, how come no AFL footballer has ever felt comfortable enough to 'come out'? Where's your Ian Roberts or Justin Fashanu? Where's your advocacy for gay players? They are there...why haven't they been encouraged to come out so we can finally move past another of our stupid, petty, unevolved little bits of human bullshit and not give a damn about a person's sexuality?

Right, with that said I can go back to ignoring a stupid bloody game that rewards people by giving them a point for missing.