The United Nations is again showing why it's a useless, out-of-touch organization as U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay has declared that gay World Cup players should come out. From Reuters:
"I encourage players, sports people to declare their sexual orientation without fear," she told reporters in Geneva.
At Outsports we often tell athletes that they will be accepted when they come out. The fear that's inside them is the fear of the unknown, and that once they come out virtually everyone who knows them will embrace them.
For many World Cup athletes, it's a whole other issue. Take the game against Nigeria and Iran yesterday. In both countries a gay person can be punished by death. That's not some fear of the unknown, that's a real threat to their very existence. Aside from the legal persecutions, attacks on gay people are routine in World Cup participants like Russia. South Africa has seen multiple murders of lesbian soccer players.
Plus, it's always up to the athlete, not the United Nations, to decide when they should come out.
While it's lovely to sit on our perches high above everything and tell other people they should come out "without fear," it's completely irresponsible to do so outside of the Western World in a world climate that literally stones gay people to death.