opposing sides

It’s Blake Skjellerup v. Ursula Holl On Athletes Coming Out

If I had the opportunity to ask Miss Holl a question, I’d ask her whether she believes cowards make good athletes. In the world of sport you cannot lack the courage to endure dangerous or unpleasant things. Pressure, pain and defeat are just some of the many characteristics one most overcome to be a successful athlete. Adversity motivates. The world of sport is full of heckling, sledging, and abuse. I doubt when Gareth Thomas takes to the field and hears the word “faggot” or “homo” he runs back to the locker room crying. I am sure the comments only spur him to want to obliterate the opposing team even more.

—Blake Skjellerup, the Olympic speed skater from New Zealand, countering comments made by Germany’s national soccer team goalie Ursula Holl, who is married to a woman, and who told reporters, “I think it is problematic that gay players should come out. The more you disclose about your personal life, the more vulnerable you are. And the fans in the stadium can be very, very cruel. These public hostilities would be difficult to bear…I would not advise any football player to come out.”