Today at Sweetgrass they have a Football Party. For Americans it will be a Soccer Party.
What Americans call soccer is called football everywhere else in the world (football in British English and French, futbol in Spanish, fussball in German, voetbal in Dutch etc.). There is in an international body governing this sport, so it's safe to say that American soccer and British football are exactly the same sport.
The official name of the sport is associative football. The international governing body that I mentioned above is referred to as FIFA, from the French "Federation Internationale de Football Associatif" (International Federation of Associative Football). It seems that at some point, "associative football" was abbreviated as "assoc," from which we somehow got the American version "soccer."
All this is complicated by the fact that America has its own game called "football," with helmets and touchdowns and such. This game is completely American, although the rest of the world is beginning to learn about it. To distinguish it from soccer, other countries refer to it specifically as "American football".
Yesterday Argentina lost from Germany. Argentina coach Diego Maradona watches his team go down 4-0 to Germany. Not long before that the once-great Maradona wants everyone in the world to know, just in case there was any doubt, that he’s not gay.
No serious, he certainly is not. He likes women. He really likes women. He’s fucking pretty Veronica. And now we know that Diego Maradona is not gay we better check his team.
Can gay footballers ever come out?Watch the 'Kick Homophobia Out of Football' ad. Made in conjunction with The FA and produced by Ogilvy. But the Football Association delayed the launch of this film, aimed at tackling homophobia on the terraces, to the anger of gay rights groups. They'll probably never launch it.
Hardly surprising, then, that football remains an intensely homophobic society. We live in a society in which respected public figures and entertainers are stand-up-and-be-counted gays, but football remains a world almost untouched by the seismic advances in tolerance that have shaken society across the past four decades.
Most male sports, though, are homophobic. Rumours that an athlete is gay can be destructive; Carl Lewis was hounded by such tales and was nicknamed “the Flying Faggot”. He wasn’t, isn’t gay, but he was also rightly keen to say, so what if he was?
Very few males have come out in any sports. The sole British footballer to have done so was Justin Fashanu, whose desperate, short and tragic life ended in suicide. This is not the sort of story that makes a modern footballer think, “Well, what’s to lose by coming out?”