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Hazing and Homophobia

Hazing and Homophobia is a major topic in today's sports society. I was shocked by that in the video "Training Rules", that Coach Portland was able to keep her job for so long being a blatant homophobe towards same sex relationships. It was absolutely amazing that Penn State didn't take any actions in allowing her to continue her homophobic believes and use such tactics in her recruiting. I had never realized it was such an issue in today's sports society. To have Coach Portland release a player from her team (Harris) because she believed that Harris was gay, it's absolutely ridicules and can't happen today.

In Allen & DeAngelis (2004), DeAngelis talks about his knee injury and him not wanting to lose his identity as a football player and wanted to be accepted by his teammates and coaches that he was willing to get injured even more by continuing to play. His team didn't believe he was injured and thought he was faking it until he had corrective surgery to fix two tears in his knee. He was voted "the most courageous player" by his teammates.

Hazing (also known as "initiation" in sports) is defined as a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers, regardless of the person's willingness to participate. With the lack of understanding of hazing, it will continue to happen if teams and coaches don't gain the knowledge of exactly what hazing is. New or younger athletes are so worried about being accepted as team members of their team, they are willing to give into peer pressures of team hazing. It's amazing to me what Allen & DeAngelis reported, that nearing 80% of athletes had reported that they were hazed in making the transition to a new team.

What is so great about team sports are the relationships that are built between teammates and even coaches involved, and there should be a mutual level of respect and trust between everyone. In Barber & Krane (2007), Homophobia has a trust barrier. Homonegativism and heterosexism can decrease team dynamics and decreases self-esteem, confidence, and social life. It can cause depression and injury to self by not being socially or team accepted. Having the power of a Coach, it's important to establish trust and respect among the team. Coaches need to identify this and work with their athletes to prevent this from happening and making people educated about athletic identity and gender theory.

Thinking of my own experiences and in common, it seems that there are some typical stereotypes among sports that are commonly brought up or thought of such as: typically lesbians play softball and hockey in women's sports, and gay guys typically play gymnastics and figure skating. Well you know what statistically there may be a bigger number of homosexual athletes in those sports, but who has the right to care or take actions against it? Why does it matter of one's sexual orientation?

I have an actual experience with a gay guy on my hockey team when we were 14. As a whole, the team didn't accept him as just another player on our team. There were individuals who didn't care, and there were other teammates that couldn't accept it and made him out to be a total misfit and made him believe he didn't belong on the team. After that season, not being accepted in the hockey community and society in general, he sadly committed suicide. It should never come to that; sports are supposed to create a positive environment for athletes of all levels.

Chad Georgell

Hazing and Homophobia

As much as some people would like to look the other way on these topics, hazing and homophobia exist in sports, and it needs to be addressed so athletes like Jen Harris never have to go through what she did again. The readings really helped show the detailed effects to what the victims of hazing and homophobia experience and the reasons it needs to be stopped.

In the movie "Training Rules" coach Rene Portland of the University of Penn State discriminated against lesbians for her whole tenure at the school dating back to the 1979 team and got away with it for the most part. She would not only take away their playing time, but if she suspected any lesbian intentions going on, she would ruin the persons life by threatening to take away their scholarship and making it impossible to transfer. An example was on the 1997 team where Courtney Wilks transferred to Syracuse because she felt Rene Portland was discriminating against her. Penn State then sent incomplete and inaccurate medical records so Courtney was not allowed on the Syracuse team. As much as I would love to put all of the blame on Rene Portland, there is plenty more blame to be dished out on one person in particular. The legend himself Joe Paterno is a god on the Penn State campus and whatever he says, goes. Joe Pa is not only the football coach, but also the athletic director who hired Rene Portland and stuck with her through all of these controversies. I find it extremely hard to believe that he had no idea what was going on in the women's basketball program since stories appeared in the Chicago Sun Times in 1985 and also the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1991, and yet he did nothing to solve this problem because Rene was winning games. You cannot treat these student-athletes like puzzle pieces of a team where you can just throw their life away because of who they are and what they do in their personal life. The fact that this had been going on, and still might be for all we know, is absolutely stunning to me. I am not so surprised that the discrimination of homophobia is still going on in sports today, but the fact that it was at a major University known for its athletics for that long blows my mind. The NCAA should be embarrassed, as they did nothing to help these poor young women who were terrified of losing their future even though they contacted the NCAA for help. Homophobia is not a disease or problem, and the University of Penn State needs to do a better job making sure that is known. If it were not for Jen Harris teaming up with the NCLR, Rene Portland would most likely still be the coach of the team.

Hazing is also a major problem in today's world, not just sports. For this articles sake I will focus on sports. Studies by the NCAA show that almost 80% of collegiate athletes have reported being hazed. I have been part of many sports teams and I understand tradition and all of the reasons why coaches look the other way for most of hazing, but some of it goes to far. For my team, it was little chores like the youngest players have to carry the equipment bags and fill up the water bottles. This is more tradition in my opinion and I lived with it when I was a young player and didn't really have a problem with it. Hazing that crosses the line can cause serious damage to the victims love for their sport or just overall motivation to do what they are asked if they are treated so unfairly. This is when the coach or team captain needs to step in and put an end to this before the player quits.

Overall, these topics can cause serious damage to self-esteem and damper motivation as nothing good comes from either hazing or homophobia. I hope that the NCAA will do more to create a more comfortable situation to the athletes who have to go through this.

-Trevor Maring

• Allan & DeAngelis (2004). Hazing, Masculinity, and Collision Sports: (Un)Becoming Heroes
• Barber & Krane (2007). Creating Inclusive & Positive Climates in Girls' & Women's Sport:Position Statement on Homophobia, Homonegativisim, and Heterosexism.
• Myths About Hazing Handout.pdf
• Training Rules (2008)

Hazing and Homophobia: Why is it still around?

Sports for a long time has had problems with the bullying and hazing between players. Whether it is insulting someone over their sexuality or embarrassing them by making them perform a degrading act in front of their peers, sports are littered with different kinds of hazing and . While these might be considered to be "all in good fun" in the eyes of a typical athlete, this problem has become more serious than a lot of us can actually imagine.

"Hazing is nothing new to the world of sports" (Allan, DeAngelis 2004); truer words have never been spoken. In the article written by Allan and DeAngelis, they say that 79% of people surveyed in a sample of 325,000 NCAA athletes said that they had had some form of hazing performed on them (2004). Many of the athletes said that they thought of being hazed as an initiation process to the team and that if they did then they would be closer to the team somehow. This is a common misconception of what the term "hazing" actually means. When athletes make their peers do something that is degrading or even hazardous to their health, they are creating a negative initiation climate that does not bring players closer together but actually divides them.

When we think of players hazing or bullying each other, many of us think that they are just being kids and that's what some players do in sports. Well what happens if it is the coach bullying their players and not allowing them to play for them depending on the sexual orientation of the player. Is that still considered "just sports"? The video "Training Rules" follows the Penn State basketball team's history from 1979-2007 which was when head coach Rene Portland was the head coach and during the controversy of her reign (Mosbacher, Yacker 2009). Numerous players and officials spoke in the movie about Portland would discriminate and essentially end the playing career of someone who was or was associated with any kind of homosexuality. She didn't hide her feeling about it either, saying on recruiting trips or at team meetings that if you are associated with homosexuality, "you are off my team" and that she will "guarantee that you can't transfer to play somewhere else" (2009).

Relating this video back to the readings, it is amazing how Penn State's women's basketball program could have performed so well when they were in such a negative environment all the time. Instead of coach Portland allowing her athletes to feel comfortable in their own skin, she put them outside the box and made them have to act and appear in a certain way so that they could appear more "lady-like". Coach Portland had a homonegative sport environment that alienated a lot of her players and even caused some of her players to quit before they would more than likely be let go by the coach Portland. Sports can be a great way to socialize and stay in shape, but when a homonegative environment corresponds with those elements, they negate them and install new behaviors that threaten the well-being of the athletes involved in it (Barber, Krane 2007). When there isn't a support system to get out of this environment, athletes may being to look towards drugs and alcohol in order to try and get away from it.

When I did the readings for this week's class, I wasn't shocked at all to see that hazing has affected so many athletes of all different playing levels. I wasn't even shocked to hear about the different kinds of homonegative environments that occur in sports. But I was absolutely shocked to hear about the homophobia that what went on at Penn State and with coach Portland. I think what took me back the most was the fact that Penn State is a prestigious, Big Ten school that is considered one of the best in the nation and they are having a huge problem with creating a heterosexist sports environment and nobody said anything, and those that tried, were just brushed away and were never to be heard from again. On numerous occasions the university was told about the allegations of the basketball program and they chose not to do anything about it. I can't believe that they could do such a thing and make it seem like they care more about the success of the program and not its athletes.

Something that caught my eye as an amusing coincidence from the video was when the Gulas twins were talking about coach Portland's success in big-time games. They said that she has a great regular season but when the pressure is put upon her team, they have been known to collapse and give up huge leads in very few minutes. "That's because the last 3 minutes of a close basketball game is the most trusting part of the game", the Gulas twins said. I totally agree that in a close game there is nothing better than having teammates and coaches that rely on one another in the final minutes. When this trust is taken away by a conflict between the two groups, whether apparent or not, the communication breaks down and teams struggle to win those close, competitive games.


Allan & DeAngelis. (2004). Hazing, masculinity and collision sports: (Un)Becoming heroes.Making the team: Inside the world of sport initiations and hazing. Toronto, Ontario:Canadian Scholar's Press, Inc.

Barber & Krane. (2007). Creating inclusive and positive environment in girls' and womens'sport: Position statement on homophobia, homonegativism and heterosexism Bowling Green State University.

Mosbacher, D. Yacker, F. (2007). Training Rules

Hazing, Homophobia, Trust?

Trust is an essential ingredient to the success of any team or organization. In sports, trust must exist between players, coaches, trainers, managers and anyone else directly involved with the team. To have a successful team there must be trust throughout the entire organization that each member of the team is going to do the right thing inside and outside of the playing arena. So how does a team develop trust? If you surveyed collegiate athletes on how they build trust among their teammates it is likely they would answer by saying that every new comer must go through an "initiation" process. Many athletes feel that rookies who have participated in "initiations" are less likely to pose a threat to the structure of the team because they have conformed to the group by following orders (Allan and DeAngelis 2004). So how deep does trust run if the foundation of the trust is built on the number of alcoholic beverages a person consumes before falling over and passing out? Will this type of trust hold up under pressure during crunch time at the end of the game and contribute to your team's success? Unfortunately, many collegiate athletes have misconceptions pertaining to team initiations and rituals. Additionally, homophobia is also a problem in athletics. Homophobia, whether portrayed by the head coach, assistants, players or anyone else involved with the team, will hinder the ability to build trust.

Many teams require their rookies to participate in an "initiation" process as a rite of passage to earn the trust of veteran players. The problem with most initiation processes is that they often cross over into hazing. A national study of hazing among NCAA teams revealed that 80% of collegiate athletes had experienced some form of hazing (Fields, Collins and Comstock, 2010). If an individual resists participation in initiation activities he/she is looked at as being soft, above the team or a threat to authority (Allan and DeAngelis, 2004). As a result, many athletes feel they have no choice when it comes to participating in such activities. Trust cannot be established through this forceful type action.

Homophobia is also a barrier to trust. Coach Portland (former head women's basketball coach at Penn State University), did not allow drinking, drugs or lesbians in her program (Training Rules). Over the years Coach Portland had several female players who were gay. In the movie "Training Rules," some of these former players talk about living a double life in which they had to lie and cover up their relationships. Trust cannot exist in such a program. Furthermore, homophobia leads to negative team dynamics when athletes feel they must choose sides (Barber and Krane). A team divided against itself will not possess a trusting environment inclusive of all individuals.

Trust is built over an entire season with each new team and organization. The deepest and most beneficial trust comes from knowing that your teammates and coaches are committed to giving their best effort while acting in the best interest of the team everyday both on and off the floor. When the pressure starts to build and competition gets heated your foundation of trust must run deeper than the fun you had during a night of drinking.

Dan DeWittHazing Blog.doc

Hazing and Homophobia

Hazing in athletics also known as "initiations" are thought of as team building or team unity activities. The NCAA classifies hazing as an activity where a person feels obligated to participate in that humiliates, degrades, abuses or endangers, regardless of the person's willingness (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004). Allan and DeAngelis (2004) state that one reason people in athletics partake in hazing is because they perceive a major portion of their personal identity in athletics. Athletes fear that they will lose their status or acceptance into their sporting group if they do not do the hazing activity. As many as 800,000 United States high school athletes encounter a form of hazing every year (Fields, Collins, & Comstock, 2010). This will continue to happen if not increase every year if the status quo of the myth that hazing brings a team together is not changed.
One feat that has to be overcome is creating appropriate punishments for people who haze others (Fields, Collins, & Comstock, 2010). In addition to punishments, to reduce the amount of hazing that occurs in athletics education on what is classified as hazing is needed. Hazing is much more than the typical "kidnappings" or drinking games that initiates must go through to gain acceptance into their sport group. It can extend to race, fear of femininity for males, fear of masculinity for females, homophobia, etc. Males who participate in collision sports want to live up to a vision of masculinity avoiding anything that would label them a girl or a homosexual (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004). Homophobia is not exclusive to males, females can create a homonegative environment and perpetuate negative stereotypes, victimize females who are lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or perceived as lesbian (Barber & Krane, 2007). If a team has a homonegative environment, it can cause some girls and women to leave a sport for a "feminine" one because of stereotype they have been given or because of the discrimination they are receiving.
The video we watched in class was an example of homonegativism and heterosexism. The women's basketball coach at Penn State, Rene Portland, had three training rules on her team "no drinking, no drugs, and no lesbians" (Training Rules, 2008). She drove away players who she knew to be or suspected as lesbians away from her basketball program. The Gulas twins who played for Rene Portland in the 1970s went through psychological abuse that eventually took their love of the game away and prompted them to quit the team before she could kick them off. Portland did this because of the twin's sexual orientation, not because of their basketball skills. This behavior of Portland's continued even with Penn State adding sexual orientation to a list of things including race and ethnicity where it can be discriminated against. It took Jennifer Harris, a freshman, to stop Portland from coaching at Penn State so other women would not have to endure a hostile, homophobic environment. The treatment that Harris received from Portland caused her to have depression. Barber and Kane (2007) cite depression along with low self-esteem, low confidence, frustration, and feeling of isolation to occur when faced with a heterosexist environment as Harris did.
What was apparent from the hazing and homophobia topics covered last week was the how much farther both topics need to advance. It shocked me that situation at Penn State with coach Rene Portland occurred in the 21st century. A coach should be a person that gives respect equally to all of their players regardless of the athlete's personal choices. Like we discussed in class being a coach you could possibly be the athlete's only outlet for support.

Sara Goral

-Allan & DeAngelis. (2004). Hazing, masculinity and collision sports: (Un)Becoming heroes. Making the team: Inside the world of sport initiations and hazing. Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Scholar's Press, Inc.
-Barber & Krane. (2007). Creating inclusive and positive environment in girls' and womens' sport: Position statement on homophobia, homonegativism and heterosexism. Bowling Green State University.
-Fields, Collins, & Comstock. (2010). Violence in youth sports: hazing, brawling and foul play. British Journal of Sports Medicine (44), 32-37.
-Training Day (2008).

Hazing and Homophobia

I was fascinated by the events of Coach Portland at Penn State. It was amazing to me that these types of actions were tolerated especially at such a large and successful University. Coach Portland was a prime example of how important respect is needed in an athlete coach relationship. Once a player lost coach Portland's respect they were on a nonreversible path towards the end of their basketball careers at Penn State. It would be ignorant to believe heterosexism is not part of plenty of coaches' personal beliefs. The fact that Portland was able to turn it into homonegativism was very surprising. Portland was affecting these athletes' lives in a negative way, threatening to make it difficult for them to transfer and continue playing basketball. Athletes were often warned for even associating with non heterosexual women. Barber and Krane (2007) and Demers (2006) mention the effects that can occur with actions and thoughts when dealing with heterosexism and homonegativism. They usually result in athletes dropping out of sports or moving to a more "typical" feminine sport. This takes away from the positives that sports offer to athletes along with, at times, causing further stress and negative side effects. However, these negative side effects are not simply limited to one gender.

Allan and DeAngelis (2004) explore this idea of gender in collision sports. Basketball is considered a more physically demanding sport, similar to football. Allan and DeAngelis give the example of an athlete with a hurt knee whose toughness comes into question. The player has to deal with scrutiny from coaches and teammates for his poor play due to his knee. It is not until after many weeks of playing hurt a doctor is able to find the issue in the athletes' knee. This vindicates the athlete because he finally has proof that he was hurt and is actually praised for playing through. These ideas take away from what an athlete should be and focus on what they shouldn't by society's standards. An athlete is supposed to be tough, male or female, but not too tough if a female. They need to stand out, while not standing out to much. All these things are simply distracting an athlete from focusing what they should be, their ability to compete.

Part of the beauty about team sports is the relationships that are built between teammates and coaches involved. There should be a mutual level of respect and trust between everyone. It is difficult to be a consistent quality team without those factors. A common used method to establish this respect or trust is through hazing or initiation. It is an attempt to put everyone on the same level. By making individuals stick out they only then can become part of the team. Ultimately these ideas have the ability to cause issues within a team affecting their trust and respect amongst each other. Being in a position of power as a coach it is really important to establish a level of trust and respect among the team members. Creating an atmosphere like this will prevent the negative long term effects that occur within sport (Barber and Krane, 2007).

Ultimately I feel it is part of a coach's responsibility to create a tolerant and respectful atmosphere among the team. This is part of the life lessons that sport has the ability to teach. Unfortunately it can work in the negative way also, as with coach Portland. This is why it is important for coach's to educate themselves and take this responsibility seriously.

Brian Jungwirth


"H" seems to be the letter of the week: Hazing, homophobia, homonegativism, heterosexism, heterosexuality, Harris (Jennifer). All of these terms are related to one another. The documentary on Penn State focuses on the effect of homophobia in women's athletics, but it also greatly affects male athletics.
First, the documentary, as well as Barber's position statement discuss the effect of homophobia, heterosexism and homonegativism on women in sport. It is tragic to consider that a fear of a different lifestyle can affect an athlete's ability to compete and do something that they love. A coach plays a role in perpetuating discrimination towards homosexuals. Although it is not a surprise that such discrimination happens in sport, it is frustrating because of the potential sport has to unite people despite differences. The coach has a great responsibility to remind teams of their goal to achieve at their sport. In order to achieve, the team needs to develop skills and to trust each other. The coach can emphasize the fact that no matter people's differences: race, sexual orientation, etc, it does not influence how well people can develop the necessary skills to succeed in sport. Sport's ability to unite people despite differences should be celebrated. I relate this to the recent winter Olympics. The 2010 winter Olympics was the first year in a long time that both Israel and Iran competed because of conflict. In this situation, sport plays the role of unifying people because of a common goal or interest despite other extreme differences. The influence of a fear of homosexuality appears in both male and female sports, yet in two distinct and unique manners. Although unique, both have a negative impact on the athletic experience for all athletes. It appears that women in sport have to prove their femininity. Women have a fear of appearing masculine. For this reason, women may not lift to their fullest potential, for fear of building too much muscle and being considered a lesbian. Also, some athletes may not nourish their body well enough for fear of gaining weight and again not looking feminine (Barber, 2007). Such behavior can hurt their bodies by making them more prone to injury, can limit their success in sport, and can decrease intrinsic motivation in sport. Barber argues that such a fear of losing femininity and being labeled a lesbian prevents female athletes from experiencing the healthy benefits of sports including a sense of pride, unity among female athletes, and empowerment.
In the opposite way as females, males fear being labeled as feminine. In our society, a "real man" is defined by being "tough, strong, aggressive, courageous, and able to withstand pain" (Allan, 2004). Allan discusses the interaction between such gender identity and athletic identity, "the degree to which an individual identifies with the athlete role." Male sports are part of a culture that promotes aggression and masculinity. Also, the degree of athletic identity affects how much athletes want to be accepted by a team and be considered a man. Because of such a fear of femininity and desire to be accepted, hazing and demeaning language is utilized by teammates and coaches. Although hazing is often mistaken as team building activities, it truly is a demonstration of power and control (Myths). Those that long to be viewed as a masculine and to be accepted into the sport's culture are more likely to allow hazing to occur and to comply with a team's demands.
There is no question that the culture of sports influence and perpetuate homophobia, which in turn influences how coaches and athletes motivate and intimidate athletes, which again increases homophobia. Education of the reality of hazing, the power of language (as Prettyman reminds us) and communication of the underlying goal of sports may be a start towards the elimination of the aggressive male identity and fear of being identified as homosexual, and may eliminate a female athlete's need to hide her true sexual orientation or prevent her from reaching her goal of being the best athlete possible.

Elizabeth Yetzer

Works Cited
Allan & DeAngelis (2004). Hazing, Masculinity, and Collision Sports: (Un)Becoming Heroes
Barber & Krane (2007). Creating Inclusive & Positive Climates in Girls' & Women's Sport:
Position Statement on Homophobia, Homonegativisim, and Heterosexism.
Myths About Hazing Handout.pdf
Prettyman, Sandra. (2006) If you beat him, you own him, he's your bitch. Coaches, Language &

Hazing and Homophobia: one in one with sports

Hazing and Homophobia

Watching the movie "Training Rules," I was appalled at Penn States actions or lack there of against Rene Portland. Allowing an individual, regardless of sport history, to continue to practice her homophobic beliefs and incorporating these beliefs into her recruiting campaign is beyond ridiculous. I was naïve in thinking that homophobia was a thing of the past, but this movie goes to show that homophobia is very real issue in athletics. Coach Portland dismissed Jennifer Harris because she thought that Jennifer may be gay. Why does it matter if someone is gay or not? Coach Portland never won a National title, so how can she assume that she can't win one if she has a gay individual on her team? Just by choosing the lifestyle that an individual would like to live does not make that person a good or bad player.

Stereotypes of sex orientation in sports are a fairly common thing; "mostly lesbians play softball and basketball and gay men do figure skating." This is a common statement I hear among other athletes and spectators of sports. Why does it matter that he or she is gay? What has that individual done that gives you the right to judge them based on their sex orientation? These are some of the questions I would like to ask individuals who homophobes. It is these individuals who haze the "inferior" individuals and this is why hazing is still such an issue in sports.

A basketball player decides to openly display her sex orientation in the middle of the season when there is a lot of media attention on the team. The teammates notice this and immediately 'disown' the individual; making fun of her, playing jokes and immature antics. All of these are examples of hazing. These negative sport environments decrease intrinsic motivation, decrease the enjoyment of the sport, and decrease the amount of effort the individual puts into practice and games (Barber & Krane, 2007). Barber and Krane (2007) also reports that homonegativism and heterosexism can decrease team dynamics when there is an issue like states above. Coaches need to identify this and work with their athletes to prevent this from happening and making people educated about athletic identity and gender theory.

Not only does an individual have to worry about being hazed because of their sex orientation, but also if they get injured. Gennaro DeAngelis was a football player who experienced hazing because he was injured and the medical team at the time couldn't find anything wrong. His teammates and coaches began to ignore him until something medically wrong was found and he played after the injury was resolved. After the season the team rewarded him by nominating him for "Most Courageous Player;" he called it "Most Foolhardy" (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004). Higher collision sports experience hazing due to injury because of the physical demands and the "manliness" it takes to participate in the sport (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004).

Hazing and homophobia are one in one with sports, which is a very unfortunate. Hazing is a form of control and when it is implemented, those participating individuals feels like they now belong. This exploitation has become a humiliation tool that most frequently causes bodily harm. Allowing this to exist only deteriorates team cohesion, trust, respect and enjoyment of the game. What fun is hazing anyways? Just because you were hazed doesn't make it right for you to haze the next group. Grow up and become the bigger and better person.

Molly Augustine

Barber & Krane. (2007). Creating inclusive and positive environment in girls' and womens' sport: Position statement on homophobia, homonegaivism and heterosexism. Bowling Green State University.
Allan & DeAngelis. (2004). Hazing, masculinity and collision sports: (Un)Becoming heroes. Pp. 61-82.

The most striking aspect of the hazing and homophobia discussion in class and the readings is the dynamic between gender identity and homophobia. I find it fascinating that Rene Portland was able to be blatantly homophobic and homonegative for so many years in her position as basketball coach at Penn State without consequence. I find it particularly interesting that this occurred in a basketball setting where toughness and aggressive behavior (both stereotypical masculine/lesbian traits) are desirable in a basketball player, male or female.

Femininity was rarely mentioned in Portland's argument for not allowing lesbians to participate on her team. It seemed that she was more concerned about interactions between players and the possibility of sexual relationships than she was about her team appearing more "masculine", as the lesbian stereotype would imply. This is much different than in male collision sports where the fear is that the team and/or players will appear more "feminine" and lose some of their masculine toughness.

Although homonegativism, homophobia and heterosexism are each present in male and female sport settings, the documentary and readings seem to indicate a stronger focus on homonegativism in male sports whereas heterosexism and homophobia are the focus in female sports. Rene Portland clearly displayed an "intolerance of lesbians" as well as a belief of "heterosexuality as the only normal and natural sexual orientation" (Barber & Krane, 2007). The practice of women leaving coaching because of feeling as though they need to constantly defend their heterosexuality, as mentioned in the video, is also a result of homophobia and heterosexism. They are in fear of being labeled a lesbian, and being removed from their position as a result. Negative recruiting is another example of homophobia. Coaches are instilling a fear of potential lesbians as players or coaches of other teams in order to persuade recruits in to making the right choice.

Allan and DeAngelis indicate that boys and men, particularly those in collision sports, are much more likely to be involved in hazing activities that are designed to prove their masculinity and in turn, their heterosexuality. These activities are designed to force boys and men to withstand the urge to leave the "Act Like a Man" box (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004). This helps contribute to the socialization of men to embrace negative stereotypes and prejudices associated with anything feminine and therefore homosexual (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004; Barber & Krane, 2007). Hazing, locker room behavior, socialization and athlete identity can all contribute to hypermasculine behavior in order to prove a boy or man's heterosexuality and masculinity.

In both the male and female sport settings, it is very important for coaches to work with their athletes, parents and assistant coaches to establish behavioral norms to change the culture of sport over time (Allan & DeAngelis, 2004; Fields et al, 2010). Rene Portland definitely missed out on a chance to make her mark on the world of sport as a revolutionary, and instead made her mark as someone who worked to perpetuate stereotypes and close doors to many young athletes. Had she been more accepting of diversity on her team, she would have provided an environment where young women could have flourished, driven by intrinsic motivation and a love for the game. She could have led a team that would have graduated resilient and tolerant women that had the ability to change the world of sport. Instead, she made the choice to limit those young women and cause them potential long-term physical and emotional damage (Barber & Krane, 2007).

Jessica Gust

Negative Consequences of Homophobia and Hazing

Sport provides opportunities for a diverse array of athletes and coaches to interact and achieve goals in a positive climate. Homophobia and hazing threatens this process by negatively affecting athlete self-worth and physical well-being. A documentary entitled Training Rules provides accounts of discriminatory practice occurring on the Penn State women's basketball team. Head coach, Rene Portland, emphasizes intolerance of homosexual athletes creating a culture of fear and hazing that spans multiple decades. Relating robust findings from the documentary and an author's personal narrative to theory and research details the intensity of discriminatory behavior and how it negatively affects athletes.

The text accompanying the title of Training Rules clearly indicates Rene Portland's homophobic prejudice as lesbians are not welcome within her version of the Penn State women's basketball program. According to Barber and Krane, bias against athletes who identify as homosexual occurs in the form of harassment, verbal comments, discrimination in team selection, social isolation, and loss of resources (2007). Jennifer Harris, the focal point of the film, experiences several varieties of prejudicial treatment including her unexplainable relegation to the bench by Portland after being considered an "x-factor" player and eventual removal from the team altogether. Additional players, like the Gulas twins, dealt with harassment and comments from Portland questioning their mental capacity and threatening their scholarship status and position on the team. Coping with discrimination of this magnitude leads to exhaustion and eventual burnout (Barber and Krane, 2007). Several players sight being physically tired of combating actions and comments from Portland as reason for removing themselves from the team. Several players featured in the film experience depressive states after discontinuing participation. A strong athletic identity leaves these athletes at high risk for psychological trauma as their membership to the team is jeopardized as a result of their sexual orientation (Allen & DeAngelis, 2004). Connection to athletic identity explains why some players chose to lie to conform to Rene Portland's expectations, much in the same way athletes participate in hazing rituals.

The preservation of athletic identity and gender theory drives athletes to participate in activities that they would normally avoid. Researchers estimate that over 80,000 high school athletes experience some form of hazing each year (Fields, Collins & Comstock, 2010). DeAngelis's example of hazing within a team culture contributes to the deterioration of his knee and self-worth in the interest of maintaining his manhood in the context of football (2004). Gender theory emphasizes the role of socialization in learning culturally appropriate norms for males and females (Allen & DeAngelis, 2004). The act of "toughing it out" on the field aligns with masculinity and trumps any recognition of medical recommendations or indicators of pain (Allen & DeAngelis, 2004). Another example involves the perception of Jennifer Harris's hairstyle as "manly" which calls to question her femininity and sexual orientation. Both coaches in these situations employ hazing and discrimination practices via subtle manipulation.

Popular forms of media like Training Rules draw attention to important issues that empower coaches and athletes to eliminate dangerous and prejudicial behavior. Adopting statues that establish this practice as an ineffective approach to gaining respect or team cohesion makes theoretical sense (Fields, Collins & Comstock, 2010). In addition, promoting legislation that outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation exemplifies trust and equality (Barber and Krane, 2007). Each of these actions move programs one step closer to becoming optimal sport environments.

Allan & DeAngelis. (2004). Hazing, masculinity and collision sports: (Un)Becoming heroes. Making the team: Inside the world of sport initiations and hazing. Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Scholar's Press, Inc.

Barber & Krane. (2007). Creating inclusive and positive environment in girls' and womens' sport: Position statement on homophobia, homonegativism and heterosexism. Bowling Green State University.

Fields, Collins, & Comstock. (2010). Violence in youth sports: hazing, brawling and foul play. British Journal of Sports Medicine (44), 32-37.

-Katie Wurst