A message to Katie Hopkins: “This stereotype of female athletes being gay needs to stop.”

I didn’t really like Katie Hopkins before, and now I like her even less. Katie Hopkins, the controversial TV personality and Apprentice star, recently claimed that all sportswomen are gay. Although this ludicrous sweeping statement comes across as an outrageous generalisation, Hopkins is fairly renowned for giving her obnoxious opinions to just about anyone and everyone who will listen; often on live television. So, I wasn’t really surprised when I heard about Hopkin’s latest absurd theory.

katie hopkins

Previously, Hopkins has made uncompromising views on everything from working mothers to employing overweight people. Her views regarding children’s names were broadcasted around the world, as she made it clear her children would not be allowed to play with other simply judging them on their names. What was that about not judging a book by its cover? It appears to me that she’s decided to make a career out of being controversial. What an attention seeker!

In her latest statement regarding sportswomen, she explains in her column for The Sun that after hearing an unnamed father boast about how his 16 year old daughter is one of England’s best netball players, she decided to offer her deluded opinion by claiming his daughter was probably a lesbian:

“I highlighted that most hockey and netball players I knew were muscle-bound lesbians, meaning he could probably wave goodbye to any hopes of having any grandchildren.”

Not only is this statement ridiculous, to the point where you can only laugh, else you might find yourself crying, it also suggests that Hopkins doesn’t realise that gay couples can have children too. In fact, figures show the number of same-sex couples adopting children in England has doubled in the past four years. Statements like these are simply not welcome in our modern day society.

I played Netball for Kent on the BUCS team in both my first and second year at university, and whilst my maroon and navy netball dress is currently just collecting dust at the back of my wardrobe, I hate to think that young girls now have another stereotype to fight in the world of sport. Isn’t it bad enough that lots of girls quit playing sport at a competitive level just because they’re worried about looking “too muscly”? People like Katie Hopkins calling netballers and hockey players “muscle-bound lesbians” are not encouraging young people to keep playing sport.

Emma Watson recently launched a new UN campaign, HeForShe, and gave a passionate speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York stating how wrong it is that “at 15 [her] girlfriends started dropping out of their sports teams because they didn’t want to appear ‘muscly’”. With obesity reaching an all-time high, we should be advocating sport now more than ever, not creating another negative stereotype for young people to defeat.

This stereotype of female athletes being gay needs to stop. There seems to be a fear of looking too “masculine”. Why is it that if girls cuts her hair short, have muscles or speak in a deeper voice they are automatically lumped into the stereotype of gay female athlete? As girls, we seem to buy into sports commercialism by wearing ribbons in our hair, having Barbie pink gym equipment, the shortest Nike workout shorts possible and even a full face of make-up plastered on in the gym, just to present ourselves as feminine. But the point is; feminine athletes can be both gay and athletes, just as they can be masculine and straight, it doesn’t really matter.

It seems to me that (not too dissimilar to marmite) you either love or loath Katie Hopkins and her outlandish opinions. But I’m hoping everyone who’s reading this article understands the need for more female allies in the fight against homophobia in sport. Speak up and be heard.

— Published 4th October 2014. InQuire Live.


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