Homophobic and Sexist yet Uncontested: Examining Football Fan Postings on Internet Message Boards

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Although a homophobic and sexist archetype of heterosexual masculinity has been thought to permeate competitive teamsport, matters have been rapidly changing. This is evident in research on openly gay athletes, attitudes among heterosexual athletes, and recent studies on decreasing homophobia among sport media content. In this research, however, we examine how some men still adhere to a homophobic and sexist masculine deposition when discussing sport on the Internet. A textual analysis was used to analyze hegemonic masculinity from a popular American football message board. Although posts related to hegemonic masculinity did not permeate the data, we found that this traditional form of masculinity was upheld through misogyny, homophobia, and the objectification of women. Thus, whereas mainstream sport media is increasingly policed for homophobia and sexism, this research shows that the anonymity of the Internet permits hegemonic masculinity to flourish in specific locations, without contestation.