We’ve covered homophobia in professional sports many times before. While there are finally more and more out athletes, the world of pro sports can still be homophobic. The new AT&T Audience documentary, Alone In the Game, talks with a number of people, from commentators, to out athletes and higher-ups in pro sporting organizations about their experiences.
Through interviews with such figures as Chris Mosier, the first openly trans man to join a U.S. National team, Olympic skiier Gus Kenworthy and former NFL lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, the audience finds out what its like to be LGBTQ in the field of sports — and it’s not always pretty. Soccer champion Robbie Rogers and Kenworthy both talk about not having any gay role models in their chosen fields to look up to.
The topic of suicide also comes up. Layana White, who previously played basketball for Pepperdine Christian University until she fell in love with her teammate Haley Videckis and both women lost their scholarships, describes her time on the team as a “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment.
When she came out and lost her scholarship, she says that she felt her only option was to kill herself. She attempted suicide the night she found out. (Thankfully, she did not succeed.) Similarly, O’Callaghan says his plan after retiring from the New England Patriots was to kill himself. He says, “I’d rather be dead than an out gay man.”
Alone In the Game airs June 28 at 8 p.m. on the AT&T Audience network. AT&T Audience is channel 239 on DirecTV, and channel 1114 on AT&T U-verse. It will also be available for streaming. If you’re in Washington, D.C., you can see it at the AFI Docs festival on June 15.