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Homoeroticism in sports should be embraced for social change

Thousands of people tune in or attend games to watch UA's college gladiators out on the basketball court. They are local superheroes, doing what is considered the most masculine thing possible: excelling at sports. But laced within this seemingly completely manly activity are undeniably homoerotic elements.


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Take the simple butt pat, for example. The typical congratulatory pat on the fanny is nothing if not a homoerotic activity. While the intentions are not sexual, the act itself carries sexual connotations.


All-male sports teams create a unique fraternal bond between participants. These types of bonds create the strongest friendships. Combine that fraternal bond with constant body contact and huddles so close that you could kiss your teammates if you weren't wearing a helmet, and the underlying sexual tension is undeniable.


Sports provide an exceptional display of homoerotic eye candy. Hockey players straddle the ice to stretch before a game, thrusting their torsos into the ground. These players are expected to get into fights, which often entail one player nailing the other to the side of the rink and pounding his fists into his opponent's head. The terminology needed to describe the event is enough to get anyone excited. And what are the baseball bat and lacrosse stick if not phallic symbols?


When a complicated call is made in basketball, the referees will quickly blow their whistles and rush towards each other. Their faces almost touch in a passionate kiss as they gruffly discuss what each of them saw. It is almost like watching long lost-lovers reunite on the court, only to be forced to leave their love unconsummated.


Sportscasters are constantly speaking in a language that makes them sound like they are having phone sex. All the discussions of balls, holes, and scoring are littered with innuendo. As Icelandic musician Bjork has put it: ""Football is a fertility festival. Eleven sperm trying to get into the egg. I feel sorry for the goalkeeper.""


As political commentator and comedian Bill Maher has noted, ""No NFL player is publicly gay. That's because the culture of pro-football is decidedly homophobic."" Maher also notes that, ""Considering that there are more than 1,300 men in the NFL at any one time, it's a little hard to believe that they're all straight."" It is ironic that the sports world is generally homophobic, even though most sporting activities revolve around homoeroticism.


Sports allow for the expression of what are generally considered masculine traits, like focusing on one goal at a time. The goal is to get the ball in the hoop. The goal is to defend. It's about concentration and endurance to reach your goals. Sports are valuable in that they teach people to work together as a team. If we could harness the unity and solidarity between sports fans and use this to emphasize solidarity in the abolition of homophobia, then we would create a safer environment for those who are marginalized every day.


In 2007 there were 27 reported hate crimes in Arizona that specifically involved bias against individuals for their sexual orientations.


How would our school define itself without the legacy of Lute Olsen and our incredible sports stats? Our institution seems to spend more money on sports than on the rest of the educational colleges combined. Coaches make millions, and it seems like we are always upgrading or rebuilding a stadium or two. So why hasn't UA's Pride Alliance teamed up with our sports teams to defeat homophobia? We could be the most accepting college campus in the nation if we gave even half the funding allotted to sports and dedicated it to educating people about acceptance. Homophobic attitudes seem to be at the heart of sports, a concept that is hypocritical because they exhibit such homoerotic behaviors. In the same way that tantric sex focuses the orgasm inside the body, we should refocus our sports enthusiasm to promote LGBTQ rights; especially since it's only a small step from the homoerotic behaviors on the playing field and the people who engage in these behaviors as a way of life.


-ÿAlexandria Kassman is a creative writing and Spanish senior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (12/4)
744 14 1.9%
Total (8/2)
64,794 1,040 1.6%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated December 5, 2021