Book Chapter

Exploring the attitudes towards homosexuality of a semi-professional Swedish football team with an openly gay teammate


Men’s contact teamsports, such as football, have historically been understood as a hostile environment for sexual minorities (Hekma, 1998; Parker, 1996; Pronger, 1990). In recent years, however, academic research has documented how teamsports have become increasingly progressive for gay athletes (Anderson, 2011; Anderson & McGuire, 2010; Magrath, Anderson & Roberts, 2015). As has been argued elsewhere in this collection (see Chapter 1 & Magrath & Cleland, Chapter XYZ), high levels of inclusivity have been especially evident in research on football (e.g. Adams, 2011; Adams & Anderson, 2012; Gaston, Magrath & Anderson, 2018; Magrath, 2017a, 2017b, 2018; Magrath, Anderson & Roberts, 2015; Roberts, Anderson & Magrath, 2017). In this chapter, we aim to investigate the inclusive nature of the teammates of the second active professional footballer to come out, Anton Hysèn. This was a unique opportunity as, historically, the majority of professional athletes wait until their retirement to announce their sexuality (e.g. Cleland, Magrath & Kian, 2018). Hysèn is one of the few professional athletes who has ‘come out’ whilst still playing professional sport, thus allowing the data to present a current reflection of acceptance rather than a historical account of how team members recall their level of acceptance. In this endeavor, we employed surveys to collect data from Hysèn’s teammates, measuring the team’s overall attitudes toward homosexuality; whilst also investigating if there were any socio-negative issues with having an openly gay athlete on the team. This chapter will focus on the male homosexuality and homophobia towards male athletes due the participants in this research being only men.

Attached files


Humphries, Connor
Gaston, Lindsey
Magrath, Rory
White, Adam J.

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-09-20

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Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Exploring the attitudes towards homosexuality of a semi-professional Swedish football team with an openly gay teammate
This RADAR resource is Part of The Palgrave handbook of masculinity and sport [ISBN: 9783030197988] / edited by Rory Magrath, Jamie Cleland, and Eric Anderson (Palgrave, 2020).


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