Monday, May 26, 2014

Was Roger Federer's Shirtless Photo Comment Homophobic?

A longtime reader wrote to me to tell me he too was a huge Roger Federer fan, but he was disappointed about comments Fed made about photographers taking his picture when he changes his shirt on court. Here is what Roger said:
"It's not like because I like to do that, but it's because I have to. And then it's like that focus, I feel like it's a bit odd, you know, 'Who is that guy controlling the camera?' I don't know. Is he a weirdo or not? I don't know. That's probably why."
This reminds me of the Kelly Ripa-Clay Aiken situation that Rosie O'Donnell called homophic a few years ago. No, I don't think Roger meant to be anti-gay. But I also don't think he realizes how this sounds to a gay man. ('Cause you know how guys taking photos of other guys tend to be weirdos?) If tennis photographers were predominantly women would he be saying this? I think the answer is clearly no.

Words have power. I doubt he will, but I think he might want to clarify or apologize about this -- or at the very least think twice about it.


Anonymous said...

It's in keeping with his character on and off the court to not draw attention to himself. On the court he lets his game do all the talking. It is also the kind of comment you might expect from a father of four.

Did you see Nadal after his very quick match? All he needed was a box and a big disco ball - I kid but he spent an unnecessary amount of time packing while shirtless.

Anonymous said...

A male photographer who was straight and taking pictures of a woman tennis player changing her top on the court should be considered a weirdo, so why not this?

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Um, women DON'T change shirts on court, so this makes no sense!