Does orientation affect a sports career?

TOPSHOT - United States' forward Megan Rapinoe celebrates scoring her team's first goal during the France 2019 Women's World Cup quarter-final football match between France and United States, on June 28, 2019, at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

The concept that a person’s sexual orientation could negatively affect their sports career is tragic. Sports stars are often considered role models, and too many people don’t want to look up to people from the LGBT community, even adults! It should come as no surprise that the question has to be asked again and again- does orientation affect a sports career, and how can athletes deal with the discrimination?

LGBT discrimination and impacts on sport

There have been many cases when sports players have faced significant discrimination in their sports. Famous LGBT sports players like Lynn Greer, a golfer, have said many people in the sports are gay, lesbian, bi, and more.

According to Greer’s experience, people hide their sexuality not to have it talked about by their team in many cases. This happens especially at lower levels in sports such as secondary school and collegiate teams. These schools don’t want to talk about the issue or and the problems it raises for them, so they decide to leave it out of the conversation and insist that everyone is welcome to play.

Yet, there have been times when it seems as though a player has revealed themselves and has not been given a fair shake. Michael Sam was drafted and ready to play in the NFL, but his career ended before it started. He played in the CFL in 2015, though, becoming the first player to do so. The bottom line is that there is a fair amount of discrimination happening in the world of sports, and it’s causing people to hide who they are.

How athletes can deal with loneliness

Many professional athletes spend significant amounts of time on the road. As such, they don’t have the chance to meet other single people because they don’t want to be “outed.” Fortunately, people are finding new ways to deal with loneliness and connect with others around the world.

According to meetmilfy, numerous websites can help connect people with the LGBT community members. These specifically made dating websites allow everyone to meet the partners of their dreams without having to go out on the town and put themselves out there. There are other ways to cope with the loneliness that doesn’t involve romance, too. For example, people that are LGBT and looking for kinship can often find it online. Many websites are designed for people that are part of the community to meet, chat, and get to know one another using the internet. It’s a support system that is just as mobile as the lives led by LGBT athletes. It can be a great tool to help people meet, and one might even find someone that is a fellow athlete there.

Famous LGBT Athletes

They speak of famous athletes, several famous LGBT athletes who have competed at a high level throughout their careers. Here are some of the most famous people in sports who have come out during or after their careers.

  • Michael Sam: the first openly gay man to play in the CFL and almost started in the NFL as an openly gay man
  • Billie Jean King: when considering LGBT history as a whole, she was one of the first prominent sports players to come out while playing tennis
  • Jason Collins: came out as gay in 2013, making him the first to come out while playing a major team sport in the USA.
  • Glenn Burke: a baseball player that came out as gay, the first and only one in the MLB
  • Megan Rapinoe: famous US soccer (football) player that came out in 2012.

As you can see, numerous gay players have come out in all sports, and the list keeps growing.

Although LGBT people continue to face discrimination, it appears to be getting better in some respects. Now, people are more open about their position as a gay or bi person. That being said, it doesn’t mean that everyone feels supported through this process. That’s why people need to continue building up the sports communities positively, never putting down teammates with slurs, and supporting those that come out. The future of sports can be better and safer for everyone!