In no great surprise, new research from sociologists at the universities of Kent and Winchester have found that young, soon-to-be professional football players (16-18 years-old, and ‘soccer’ players to Americans) are much more likely to openly accept gay players. Out of the 22 individuals interviewed, all said they supported one of their colleagues coming out.
Dr Roberts said: ‘The interview results were broadly consistent with other recent research on young British men of their age in that these men showed no overt animosity towards gay men.
‘In fact, they were more than tolerant and showed an inclusive attitude toward the hypothetical situation of having a gay teammate, best friend or roommate reveal their sexuality. The results are clear: among the 22 future footballers we interviewed, all were unbothered by the issue of gays in sport.
‘This indicated a marked shift in perception from the last study. Although there was some evidence then that attitudes were changing, there has been a generational shift over the last decade. Lads now are saying “we would openly support and accept one of our colleagues coming out”.’ – University of Kent, News Centre.
Sometimes the sport world is where we see inclusion last, but with the change towards support with the younger generation, we’re seeing attitudes rapidly change in our favor. It also helps when players like Robbie Rogers come out and let the world know ‘Hey, there are gay players!” and that doesn’t mean they can’t mesh well with the team.