Motomatters editor David Emmett put the following question at the pre-Jerez media conference:
“This is a question for everyone — it is quite a difficult question. Last week Jason Collins, an NBA player, admitted he was homosexual. Now there have been are no openly homosexual MotoGP riders. I want to hear your thoughts on why that is not the case. Are people afraid of coming out as gay, or are you all just more really interested in women?”
Responses and his write-up are here
, along with a bunch of impassioned comments already.
In his report, Emmett castigates himself for not having put the question better. Let me go on record as opining that he put the question bloody well, given the conditions under which he asked it. Sometimes good enough is perfect, and it seems to me this was one of those times.
Emmett says his timing was connected with the Jason Collins article but the motivation for asking the question at all came from his having known people who had left the MotoGP paddock because of discomfort with the (perceived) general level of aggressive machismo and homophobia. To some extent, I was surprised to read that. I am not convinced the atmosphere reported of MotoGP reflects that in the paddocks of less exalted motorcycle competitions. But it is a long time since I have hung around in any of those.
Only comment I would make is that MotoGP's celebration of physical risk-taking has a lot in common with the gay community's celebration of social risk-taking. Courage is on display in both arenas.