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James Child on the LGBT Sport Podcast


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I’ll try to keep this brief and then leave it at that I think, because frankly I don’t really enjoy being told my life experiences don’t count because things were worse in the 80s, or (bizarrely) that

It's about representation. Speaking as a gay rugby fan and player who is only recently 'out', it's so much tougher to be yourself when you can't see anyone you can identify with. RL isn't always the m

I'm sorry, I can't agree with this comment at all. We have someone telling us first hand that he has lived the experience and then we say is it really seriously an issue today? Why can't we

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I don’t know if it was just me but I wasn’t aware of his sexuality, not that it bothers me at all or is that important to me, though I appreciate, to others, this is different.

If talking openly like he has here helps someone in any way then that can only be a positive. 

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22 minutes ago, Dave T said:

Well I assumed he was gay when Zak Hardaker outed him during a televised match, and the authorities deemed a 5 match ban was an appropriate punishment.

I never assumed that, I just thought Zaks vocabulary was awful and that's all he could say, as he's an idiot.

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Just now, Click said:

I never assumed that, I just thought Zaks vocabulary was awful and that's all he could say, as he's an idiot.

There were comments around the discussion from various sources, maybe even in some of the RFL releases that shaped my assumption.

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7 minutes ago, Click said:

I never assumed that, I just thought Zaks vocabulary was awful and that's all he could say, as he's an idiot.

Listening to Child's very tactful discussion about "incidents in the past" it seems that he believes the people on the inside of the game who have directed homophobic comments to him knew exactly what they were saying and doing.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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57 minutes ago, Hela Wigmen said:

I don’t know if it was just me but I wasn’t aware of his sexuality, not that it bothers me at all or is that important to me, though I appreciate, to others, this is different.

If talking openly like he has here helps someone in any way then that can only be a positive. 

I didn’t know either, like you say not that it matters. Society in general needs more LGBTQ role models. People who shout homophobic abuse at him should be banned from stadiums like they are in football

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35 minutes ago, Dave T said:

There were comments around the discussion from various sources, maybe even in some of the RFL releases that shaped my assumption.

I think most of us had assumed the same. Hopefully that assumption will make it less likely anyone will find it a newsworthy insult to throw at him when the grounds re-open.

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"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Well I assumed he was gay when Zak Hardaker outed him during a televised match, and the authorities deemed a 5 match ban was an appropriate punishment.

 

52 minutes ago, Click said:

I never assumed that, I just thought Zaks vocabulary was awful and that's all he could say, as he's an idiot.

I think both of these are true.

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43 minutes ago, gingerjon said:

Listening to Child's very tactful discussion about "incidents in the past" it seems that he believes the people on the inside of the game who have directed homophobic comments to him knew exactly what they were saying and doing.

It really makes the 5 match ban pretty appalling. 

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15 minutes ago, Mr Plow said:

I didn’t know either, like you say not that it matters. Society in general needs more LGBTQ role models. People who shout homophobic abuse at him should be banned from stadiums like they are in football

How does it need more role gay role models? There's plenty around - and being gay doesn't stop you from being a total person who I hold in very low esteem anyway.

Intelligent role models in any shape or form are what is needed, not reverence based on their sexuality. 

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2 minutes ago, Dave T said:

It really makes the 5 match ban pretty appalling. 

Sadly, it shows how little I've been following sport that I was unaware of this. When it comes to Hardaker, I most certainly wouldn't give him the benefit of the doubt.

In many ways, in an age of extremely heightened identity politics, I think it is strange how little focus is given to the problem with homophobia in sport. For instance, whilst I don't deny for one second that racism exists in sport, BAME athletes are highly prominent and almost certainly over-represented on the pitch in comparison to non-BAME players. When it comes to RL, I'm struggled to think of a single racist incident I've witnessed, although I have heard horror stories from say the late-80s.

Contrast this with homophobia, and the shocking statistic that only one openly gay player has ever played in the Premier League, or that no openly gay player has ever played in the NFL. I think Super League has had one? The reality is that it is likely in the thousands that have actually played. In this day and age, when there is overwhelming support for LGBT people, the fact that they still don't feel comfortable within a sport setting is a real problem for sport.

Also, I've absolutely heard homophobic comments at RL games. When it comes to Child, the only question is whether they directed them at him knowing he was gay or not. I suspect as society as become more accepting, the out and out homophobic attacks have lessened but they are certainly still there.

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10 minutes ago, Maximus Decimus said:

I think Super League has had one? The reality is that it is likely in the thousands that have actually played. In this day and age, when there is overwhelming support for LGBT people, the fact that they still don't feel comfortable within a sport setting is a real problem for sport.

Two in SL that I know of with Gareth Thomas & Keegan Hirst

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28 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

How does it need more role gay role models? There's plenty around - and being gay doesn't stop you from being a total person who I hold in very low esteem anyway.

Intelligent role models in any shape or form are what is needed, not reverence based on their sexuality. 

How does it need them? Well, do you think it’s a total coincidence that professional football has not a single high profile, openly gay player? 

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1 hour ago, Dave T said:

Well I assumed he was gay when Zak Hardaker outed him during a televised match, and the authorities deemed a 5 match ban was an appropriate punishment.

Depending on how i'm feeling on a given day, I still find it amusing/grotesque that Wigan were going to hold their LGBT+/inclusivity day when they played Catalans (for a very obvious reason) but completely ignored the player in their ranks....irony is dead. 

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59 minutes ago, JonNgog said:

How does it need them? Well, do you think it’s a total coincidence that professional football has not a single high profile, openly gay player? 

To be honest, I think the Premier League carries some of the blame here. 

I accept that many of its campaigns are well placed but I'm convinced that the Premier League is so "desperate" for there to be an openly gay footballer that there will probably never be one active in the Premier League. 

The first one to declare it will instantly become the "poster boy" for the Premier League and LGBT in football when, frankly, all they probably want to do is carry on playing football like every other player. The fact that there is a media narrative asking "where are the gay footballers?" or "when will there be a gay player" is really rather sad. 

Whilst he never played Premier League, Robbie Rogers felt the need to wait until he was back in the MLS before talking about his sexuality, such was the intensity of the media here (even at the level Leeds United were playing at back then). 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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Richard Agar copped a ban for calling Child’s “bent” during a post match interview when he was Hull FCs coach. Agar maintained that he was referring to the one sided nature of Child’s performance during the game that night but there was also a wry smirk on Agar’s face as he defended his words.

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3 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

Richard Agar copped a ban for calling Child’s “bent” during a post match interview when he was Hull FCs coach. Agar maintained that he was referring to the one sided nature of Child’s performance during the game that night but there was also a wry smirk on Agar’s face as he defended his words.

To be fair I have heard that term loads when it comes to referee's and it has always been in a dodgy, corrupt sort of way. I'm happy to think that is exactly what Agar meant.

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9 minutes ago, OMEGA said:

Richard Agar copped a ban for calling Child’s “bent” during a post match interview when he was Hull FCs coach. Agar maintained that he was referring to the one sided nature of Child’s performance during the game that night but there was also a wry smirk on Agar’s face as he defended his words.

Yeah, I have heard that on the terraces at different levels and haven’t ever taken it as a dig at someone’s sexuality and more at their perceived performance in that game. 

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