When you call someone a faggot, it isn’t “just a word.” It is a degrading term that implies there is something wrong with being gay. It implies disgust in something you don’t want to be associated with. And ultimately, it pushes every young athlete who may be struggling with their identity further into the closet, where they are surrounded by their fears and insecurities.
“When you call someone a faggot, you reinforce all of the fears that I struggled with and other young gay athletes struggle with to this day. They will think that your views represent their teammates’ views and they will stay hidden and never realize their full potential as an athlete. Although it may be hard for you to understand, this kind of fear and isolation can be devastating, as it was for me for many years.”