Pat Griffin has posted a great column about her thoughts on the root of homophobia in sports.
I wonder if the resistance to accepting a gay man in the locker room and on the team doesn’t have more to do with the fragility of masculinity and the illusion of superiority that being a heterosexual male athlete confers on the chosen ones who get to be part of that “band of brothers” sharing that locker room. I wonder if some guys worry that if a gay man is tough and talented enough to make the team and earns his right to be in that locker room, then the whole experience of being a pro team sport athlete is cheapened in their eyes. The whole bonding thing among male teammates becomes suspect.
It's similar to what we've said for years: Guys are afraid of what it makes them if they're okay with showering with a gay guy. They're okay with the idea of a teammate being closeted, but if they know the guy is gay suddenly more of them have a problem with it. Does it make them more feminine? And what does a slap on the ass mean if one of the guys on the team might like it a little more than others? I think these issues are a huge factor in the problem some straight athletes have with an openly gay teammate.