Rugby pundit and former international lock, Neil Francis had some curious things to say during today’s Off the Ball show on Newstalk with his comments about homophobia in sport. When I say curious, I mean gross generalisation and remarks that could be interpreted by some as the homophobic musings of an out of touch rugby pundit. I’m not saying he is, but you can see why some people would think that. He said is opinions are based on his own experiences. Some of Neil’s quotes from today.
“What’s his motivation for coming out?” – On Micheal Sam, the first openly gay American footballer.
Did Neil miss hurling legend, Donal Og Cusack’s reasons for coming out? Here’s his story again.
“Gay people don’t play sport because it is too manly”
Let me introduce Neil to the Emerald Warriors. They are Ireland’s first rugby team that has its roots within the Irish LGBT community and commits itself to maintain these roots, although it is open to anyone with an interest in playing rugby and includes heterosexual members. Does Neil have to be reminded of former Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas? Capped 100 times for his country and a Lions player. There’s also the Bingham Cup, a biennial international, non-professional, gay rugby union tournament, 32 teams from across the globe competed when it was held in Dublin back in 2008.
Some of his other quotes from today’s interview.
“Do a survey of the hairdressing industry and find out how many heterosexuals are in that”.
Generalising about gay people and sport – “The environment they are in is not something they are very interested in”.
“If you sit down with gay people and ask them what their interests are, very often they have no interest in sport. That’s my experience”
“A rugby dressing room is a pretty homophobic environment”
Referring to gay people again – ”they have very little interest in sport” “As a sportsman you don’t like ballet. ” he added.
“I genuinely think I’m not generalising. I’m entitled to my opinion”.
Indeed Neil, you are entitled to your opinion. I think people may have a few opinions on you after listening to that interview.
Via Newstalk – Off the ball listen here.