Sports Gay Men Don’t Win Gold Medals, Do They?
posted by August 25 at 8:02 AMon
Not if NBC can help it.
According to OutSports.com, of the 10,708 athletes at the Olympics this year, just 10 have identified themselves publicly as being gay. Of the 10, Australian diver Matthew Mitcham is the only male gay athlete.
Yesterday, Mitcham won the gold in the in the 10m platform diving event, scoring an upset over the Chinese team, which was heavily favored to win. But as Maggie Hendricks at Yahoo’s Olympics blog notes, NBC never mentioned Mitcham’s orientation.
Here’s an interview where Mitcham thanks his mother and his partner…
But his sexual orientation wasn’t mentioned by NBC, which went out of its way to point out the boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives of heterosexual athletes. Mitcham credits his partner, Lachlan, with getting him through a rough patch; a patch that included depression and a decision to quit the sport. It’s the kind of human interest angle that NBC can’t resist—except, of course, when the person standing by a male athlete’s side and helping him work toward gold is the athlete’s boyfriend.