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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Dave Zirin asks, "Why is homophobia so prevalent in pro football?" He then rattles off lots of plausible factors. I have one more to add from my experience growing up in the '80s. I found football to be boring. As a result, I was labeled "gay." Being labeled gay in high school in the '80s meant, of course, that I was frequently beaten up. (I also recall the irony of my tormentors pulling down my pants. Pointing this out only brought more beatings, of course. Later in college, I would learn that male rapists consider themselves to be straight and label their victims "gay.")

Let's face it. We live in a terrorist culture. Conform--including the consumption of the proper entertainment products--or suffer the violent consequences.

People should be free to marry and/or have sex with any consenting adult. But we should also be free to not have to pretend to like whatever is popular. Would so many men be into football if they didn't feel a need to prove their masculinity? If not, isn't it in the interest of the NFL and other sports organizations to encourage fear of appearing "gay"?

Larry Ladutke

Nutley, NJ

Oct 1 2009 - 3:29pm

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