Jason Akermanis – a very talented AFL footballer with a ready opinion – has been getting a lot of stick over an oped he wrote during the week saying that AFL wasn’t ready for any of its players to ‘come out of the closet’.* That expression refers to talking in public about your sexual preferences. There is something to be said for the phrases ‘privacy’ and ‘mind your own business’. But be that as it may.
At the same time we’ve seen a NSW minister having to resign his job after being filmed leaving a gay sauna establishment. So he drove his government provided car to the place. So what? Nobody would complain if he drove to the milkbar, or if he had driven to the late night pharmacy, so why does anyone care that he drove to a sauna? Should transport ministers have cars at all, as opposed to having to use public transport? There are good reasons why he should have lost job.
“Whether it is the failed Sydney metro, the botched MyZone fare restructure or the monstrous new car tax on families, it is clear that David Campbell is not up to the job,” Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner told Parliament last month.
But this way is very grubby and very wrong.
* In fairness to Akermanis, I think he was trying to be more nuanced than he has been given credit for.
For some reason I felt uncomfortable, so I left. I am sure most players these days would do the same.
I know he wasn’t about to try and convert me to his way of thinking, but I was uncomfortable all the same.
What I should have done was to sit down and talk with him in an attempt to understand his life.
I know there are many who think a public AFL outing would break down homophobia, but they don’t live in football clubs. It’s not the job of the minority to make the environment safer. Not now, anyway.