Vardibidian notes: "Ed Gray, a sports columnist for the Boston Herald, has come out of the closet." Nice column. But one thing Gray doesn't mention is the big logic question that continues to confuse me: what exactly is a straight man in a locker room afraid that a gay teammate will do, even if they're not surrounded by straight teammates? I think the underlying fear, rarely explicitly stated, is that the gay man will be driven by lust to anally rape the straight man, and I think it's a fascinating reversal. It suggests that gay men are not weak limp-wristed girlymen, but rather so strong and powerful that they're capable of physically forcing an unwanted sex act on another athlete.
It also suggests—and I think this gets closer to the real root of this particular brand of homophobia—that what the homophobic straight men in question are really scared of is being penetrated—that is, being turned into women. (A lesser degree of the same issue may have to do with being an object of desire; men are supposed to be the active gazers, women the passive gazees.) Gay men, in this context, are frightening because their sexual acts weaken and feminize other men. Many men are told all their lives that being like a woman is bad; women are weak, men are strong, strength is good. A man who is unmanned or unmanly is shamed.
I could be wrong about all this. But if I'm right, I think it's a telling and very sad indication of how far we still have left to go with respect to gender roles and stereotypes.