Basketball photo by Shutterstock. Why are there so few out gay and lesbian athletes in college sports While most university campuses have become much more inclusive of LGBT students and faculty, team sports are at least a decade behind, according to several experts we interviewed. The video of former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice using homophobic slurs and bullying players is not an anomaly, they say. College sports are a space where homophobic slurs, physical and psychological abuse are not only acceptable but considered normal. While about 23 percent of high school athletes come out and play interscholastic sports, only 2 to 5 percent of college athletes are out, according to sources in the LGBT community. For college athletes, there are two major minefields in coming out: the potential to lose support and face ridicule from teammates, and the loss of financial and personal support from the coach, says Dr.
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While there are many homosexual athletes in both professional and college level sports, there are also many athletes who are struggling with their sexual identity. These athletes are often afraid to come out as homosexual because of the strict rules and regulations, and as well as how they will be treated by their teammates. Also included in this group are the coaches of these teams.