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Aussie Rules star Jason Akermanis suspended for gay comments

PinkNews Staff Writer June 2, 2010
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Jason Akermanis, the Aussie Rules Football star who said gay players should stay in the closet, has been suspended.

The Western Bulldogs player wrote in a newspaper that gay team members could “break the fabric” of clubs and that the macho sport is not ready for them to come out.

His club has now banned him for two games and said it would not have approved the column if it had seen it before publication.

Akermanis wrote in his Herald-Sun newspaper column last month: “If a player wants to out himself, then I say good luck.

“But I believe the world of AFL (Australian Football League) footy is not ready for it. To come out is unnecessary for a lot of reasons.

“Imagine the publicity associated with a current player admitting he’s gay. It would be international news and could break the fabric of a club.”

His own remarks made international news and he was criticised by a number of straight and gay sporting figures, while his house and car were also pelted with eggs.

Akermanis told AFP he accepted his punishment.

“At the end of the day I want to play in this team so I’ll do what it takes to play in that team,” he said.

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