A new survey published by ESPN The Magazine has revealed the fact that almost half of all US college football players believe that they have at least one gay teammate.
Eighty five players were asked the question, “Do you have any gay teammates?”, and 49.4% replied in the affirmative.
The poll asked a variety of questions, ranging from what teams would have winning seasons to whether or not players should be paid.
According to GLAADblog.org, the poll is unscientific, so it’s difficult to gauge the validity of the responses.
Additionally, Outsports.com points out other flaws: “What the poll question does not answer, though, is whether those surveyed personally know a gay teammate or whether there are players on their team they suspect are gay. It also does not answer whether these respondents perceive having a gay teammate as a positive or negative thing.”
American Football has been dogged by claims of intense homophobia leaving gay athletes afraid of how coming out will affect their career.
“The media should take this as a stepping off point and start delving into the subject more deeply. Is there so much homophobia in the locker room that players are afraid to have conversations about their true sexual orientation? Are players comfortable confiding in their teammates but don’t want to be publicly out?,” asked GLAADblog.org.