Former NBA player John Amaechi says that sport and gay sex have a lot in common.
“Sport has been gay since Homer,” says Amaechi. “It is all about setting a context that allows the suspension of that understanding; that’s what sports does – especially elite professional sports.”
Amaechi came out of the closet in 2007, after his retirement from the NBA. He wrote about his experiences in the autobiography Man in the Middle. He is now a member of the diversity board for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Amaechi goes on to draw a parallel between football (aka soccer, here in North America) and gay porn.
“In Britain, football celebrations – you take away the grass on the ground and the fans in the stands and you put some bad ’70s music to it – football celebrations are porn.”
Below is a previously unreleased video interview from the 2009 Copenhagen World Outgames, in which Amaechi talks to Xtra about homophobia in sport, what it was like being gay in the NBA and what goes on in the locker rooms.