Is Germany’s Soccer Captain Michael Ballack’s Camp Helping Homophobia Stay Alive?

Two months before Germany would come in third place at the World cup, the agent of handsome team captain Michael Ballack, who sat out the tournament with an injury, went after his teammates, calling them a “bunch of queers.”

The comments made by Michael Becker, who’s been Ballack’s go-to adviser for more than a decade, were reported by Der Spiegel‘s Alexander Osang, who claims Becker said he knew which German footballers are gay, relays the English-language German site The Local:

Osang […] wrote that Becker had said during a conversation two months before the World Cup at a restaurant in Luxembourg that he knew which players on the team were gay. A few days later, Becker told a group of journalists and players’ managers at a match played by Ballack’s new club Bayer Leverkusen that there was a former national player who was going to expose a “bunch of queers” within the national team. Osang wrote that others present had merely reacted with nods.

Later, when Osang asked Becker if another national team player was also homosexual, Becker answered that he was “half-gay.” Osang concluded that homosexuality was “a synonym for anything that Becker did not understand.”

Denying the report, Becker now isn’t commenting further.

Becker told daily Bild he would neither confirm nor deny making the remarks and merely said: “The colleague from Der Spiegel must clearly have misunderstood something.” He did not elaborate. Whether Becker was talking about the private lives of specific players or simply using offensive language is not clear, however the remarks are likely to intensify concerns that professional football remains an area where homosexuality is a taboo.

I’ve actually got little problem with someone in the soccer business discussing the fact that there are gay players in the league. Because, well, there are. And we should be able to talk about them, once they get their butts out of the closet. Might his use of words be a little less coarse (see: “bunch of queers”)? Sure. And it’d be nice to counter a player’s threat to out them with some reasonable discourse.

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    Bunch o’ guys who run around playin’ with their balls all day actually does seem kinda sorta Gay……… :-p

  • ktbisl32

    Part of the attempt of the queer movement is deconstructing binaries (male/female, man/woman, gay/straight, masculine/feminine). Professional sports being the epitome of “masculinity” means that they will be one of the last places where change is made. Granted, something spectacular could happen like Gareth Thomas coming out for rugby, but even with that it’s going to take a long time for queerness (and I mean this term from the academia/political slant not the degrading one) to be accepted in sports. I guess all we can do is be patient.

  • whatever

    er, that would be dennis. so flustered that i can’t type!

  • Michael

    I’d place my last dollar on a bet this soccer captain could easily be talked into it and I’d be willing to bet any spare change I had words wouldn’t even be necessary.

  • Amaturus

    To be fair, he allegedly didn’t actually say “a bunch of queers”. Orsang reported he said “Schwulen-Combo”, which is nowhere near as coarse in German as The Local’s translation makes it out to be.

  • jason

    I think most of them are bisexually oriented. However, both straight and gay culture “gurus” are trying to force them to declare themselves as one or the other (ie straight or gay). This polarizing paradigm is garbage, and simply plays into the hands of those who want to see male-male sexuality segregated both physically and conceptually.

    I’m not denying there are gay players but we mustn’t think that male-male sexuality is contained only under the “gay” category.

  • Scott

    Hmm. I certainly hope this is true. I watched some of the World Cup and couldn’t help noticing that many of the German players were very attractive.

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