Professional volleyball player and Canadian national team member Chris Voth has found acceptance on various teams. Whether it was in Canada or the Netherlands, Voth has played volleyball at an elite level and been welcomed as a gay teammate with open arms by many athletes.
Now that Voth is trying to land his next gig as a volleyball player, he is coming up against a powerful set of front-office homophobia.
"I had a great offer lined up, I was pretty excited, and I had good references for this club," Voth told the Winnipeg Free Press. "My agent told me the team said they didn't want to take you because they were nervous about other teams' fans being hostile toward you because of being gay. I was just, ‘Oh.'"
It continues to reinforce the notion that the real problem for LGBT people in sports is the guys in suits, not the athletes. Voth found acceptance on his teams, but his agent told the Winnipeg Free Press that once teams find out Voth is gay, they lost interest.
"Teams seem to be really interested one minute, and the next minute I can't get them to return my calls," Voth's agent, Steve Welch, told the Free Press. "Teams do research on players, and Chris is very up front about his sexual orientation. I am sure that some of these teams have decided not to take him because of his sexual orientation but just don't want to come out and say it."
It seems these teams are located outside of North American. Sadly, neither Voth nor Welch will disclose the name of the team or the country, making it impossible to verify the story or hold the decision-makers accountable. Thus the vicious cycle continues.