Is it news or not news that U.S. soccer coach Pia Sundhage is a lesbian? Scandinavians say she came out in her local Swedish newspaper a long time ago, and the soccer community just shrugs their shoulders, but apparently the United States wasn’t listening the first time so she came out again on Lasse Bentsson’s show. She did it with more fanfare this time, opening with singing a song and playing the guitar. I kid you not:
"There has been no problem for me to be openly gay as Head Coach in the USA team and Marie [her partner] and I have had a wonderful reception.”
So why the big deal all of a sudden? Is it more acceptable and we’ve finally evolved as a nation? Probably not. Europe is light years ahead of us in regard to out political figures, and I’d put that distance down for sports figures also. Face it, the Puritans left the Motherland for a reason-to come here and be closeted. But enough about that bug up my butt. Here are some stats on the first out lesbian head coach.
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Sundhage, 49, scored 71 goals in 146 caps for Sweden in a 22-year national team career that began in 1975 at age 15 but the US job was her first as a coach. She will lead the Women’s Team in the 2012 London games.
Old news or not, it’s still good to see the gay and lesbian athletes and coaches visible, but this next spotlight might be a little bright. TMZ has announced that it will launch a new sports-focused gossip blog. What does this mean? Everybody better keep their private lives very private, because nothing sells like gay rumors.
Interestingly enough, TMZ’s managing editor Harvey Levin is gay so maybe closeted athletes might get a break, but I have a feeling that’s not going to be the case. Look for lots of stories about athletes that have nothing to do with sports.
And to that Pia Sundhage says: Inga problem, Bög för förmiddag I.
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