An out gay soccer play was brought to tears by a homophobic slur during a match – his teammates responded in the best way.
Couper Gunn – defender and team captain on the Colby-Sawyer College men’s soccer team, the Chargers – was competing in a match against Rivier University Raiders on September 22 when a player from the opposing team tried to belittle him with a homophobic slur.
Gunn, who was wearing a rainbow-coloured armband for the game, recalled in a Tiktok video how a player from the opposing team yelled: “Get that f*ggot armband off of you”, in an attempt to embarrass and demean him.
“It happened just before half time, so needless to say at half-time I was pretty upset. It was 0-0 at the time”, Gunn recalls.
“We [he and his teammates] talked about what happened at half-time and I was visibly upset”, he continued.
“My teammates and I couldn’t have responded in a better way. We went on to beat them 5-0”
“I felt incredibly supported by my coach and my teammates and I wanted to share that with you guys because I don’t think there are enough stories in sports about things like this.”
Speaking to Outsports after the match, he said: “When my teammates came in, immediately to start the second half, they brought the energy and made it easier for me to get my head back into the game”.
“I was upset I’d been called that, but I was more upset because I was thinking about all the queer kids who that kid comes into contact with every day. He perpetuates that, even if he didn’t mean it, using the F word. And I was just so sad that someone like that exists, who would use that language. I was present with how unsafe and how unwelcome that made me feel for a few minutes.”
The Tiktok video (below) is captioned “Love always wins” <3