Sherman Alexie, and the ‘Homoerotic Extravaganza’ of Sports

The Indian American author and basketball enthusiast names what's really scary for straight men.

By Jamilah King May 03, 2013

So what’s so scary about having an openly gay man like Jason Collins in a professional sports locker room? Straight men may have to start recognizing basketball as the "homoerotic extravaganza that it is", according to Indian writer and lifelong basketball enthusiast Sherman Alexie. In a [piece for The Stranger](, Alexie names what so many sports fans have been tip-toeing around in the aftermath of Collins’ historic coming out. > So who are the best-looking men in the USA? The answer, obviously, is professional athletes. I mean, Jesus, Google-Image Adrian Peterson. Study how cut, shredded, and jacked he is. > > Cut. Shredded. Jacked. Those are violent straight-boy adjectives that mean "beautiful." But we straight boys aren’t supposed to think of other men as beautiful. We’re supposed to think of the most physically gifted men as warrior soldiers, as dangerous demigods. > > And there’s the rub: When we’re talking about professional athletes, we are mostly talking about males passionately admiring the physical attributes and abilities of other males. It might not be homosexual, but it certainly is homoerotic. There are strict social rules governing sexuality and gender, and nowhere is that more evident than in the world of sports. [Read Alexie’s entire essay over at The Stranger](