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This closet showering in a locker room is The Netherlands’ way of fighting homophobia in soccer (video)

Nov 8, 2012, 6:25 PM EDT

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Promoting equal rights for gay and lesbian athletes has been a tough sell in European soccer, as you may know. One former German pro player said the pressure was so great to conform that he quit the game rather than reveal that he was gay. (Not that the attitude in U.S. sports is really any better). But little by little, attitudes seem to be changing.

Take the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), for example. The KNVB has developed an 11-point plan to battle homophobia in their organization, and one of those points is a pretty creative commercial (seen below) featuring, well, a closet playing soccer.

Set to a jaunty piece of music, the closet plays with delightful abandon, showers with the other players, but doesn’t look particularly talented at soccer — until someone kicks a ball off him, which then ricochets into the open net. Assist. Well played, closet!

Michael van Praag, Federal President of the KNVB, said in his speech about the campaign:

We appeal to all clubs and players in the Netherlands. The union cannot unilaterally change the climate. Everyone – from coaches to players – must be aware of their own responsibility. Working for gay acceptance means discussing the subject and correcting each other where necessary. Because let’s face it: Gay or straight, it really does not matter.


Next I’d like to see some bookshelves play goalie.