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Wed Nov 20, 2019, 05:44 AM

For gay African athletes, even rumors can end their careers and cause them great pain

For all the progress LGBTQ people have seen in sports in Western countries, despite the still-formidable obstacles, the situation is different in most of Africa, where same-sex relations are often illegal and athletes labeled as gay see their careers ended.

This is illustrated in a powerful Thompson-Reuters report showing how two athletes in Cameroon saw their careers end by reports that they were gay, with one man contemplating suicide after losing his family and friends.

For Thierry Essamba, it all came crashing down as he was preparing to train in track and field for the 2014 Commonwealth Games when an official told the media that Essamba was gay.


“I felt as if my body was being torn apart from the inside,” Essamba told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he sat on the bleachers after finishing his daily solitary training in a dilapidated stadium in Yaounde.

“That day I saw all the people in the stadium who used to look up to me with admiration, with respect. Now they regarded me with contempt.”

Reuters notes that in Cameroon, “sexual relations between persons of the same sex” are punishable by up to five years in prison.

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Reply For gay African athletes, even rumors can end their careers and cause them great pain (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Nov 2019 OP
Saviolo Nov 2019 #1

Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Wed Nov 20, 2019, 11:16 AM

1. This was why Nico Hines got in trouble.

Nico Hines (if you've forgotten) used to write for Daily Beast. He was embedded in the Olympic Village during the Rio Olympics in 2016. His initial article talked about how easily he was able to get hook-ups through dating apps, and the one he used is the gay hook-up app Grindr.

Setting aside how much of a non-story it was that a bunch of beautiful young men and women in peak physical condition meeting a bunch of diverse and fascinating people are going to have a bunch of sex, the problem with Hines' article was that he gave a physical description of some of the people who reached out to him on Grindr, as well as their sports, as well as their nation of origin, some of which outlaw homosexuality. So, they article was rapidly redacted to remove any descriptors that might out someone, but the damage had already been done. Hines disappeared from the public eye and didn't emerge until a weak apology something like 6 months later.

https://www.outsports.com/2017/1/25/14381116/daily-beast-nico-hines-grindr-gay-olympics-update

https://www.advocate.com/media/2017/3/22/internet-responds-daily-beast-writers-apology-too-little-too-late

So you know, same old same old. They don't care about putting queer people in danger if they get the story.

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