yoghi06 (yoghi06) wrote in ontd_football,

"Depression and Homosexuality in Sport" TV-Show interview

Vid of interview about "depression and homosexuality" with the german ex- St. Pauli footballer Andreas Biermann and the american-english ex-NBA player John Amaechi in the german sport-show "das aktuelle Sportstudio", host Katrin Müller-Hohenstein.(7. Nov. 2010)

Just some short ramblings:

1) If I missed that it already has been posted or someone was already working on a translation pls say so ^^°.

2) I stumbled over the vid yesterday and just wanted to get it out there,so
a) sorry for cross-posting/spamming people on different comms ;)

b) I'm certainly NO translator and just made a raw translation during the night (who needs sleep ;P ) and I had some problems to understand the english over the german translator , so it's a mix of what I could understand and re-translating the german, sorry XD *headdesks* (And you see how the german translator was shortening stuff *g*)

=> so it would be really great, if somebody with real skills could look it over and point out mistakes/better phrasing, thx :)

3) The vid is posted on the "official" youtube-channel of the tv-show, so maybe you could take a few seconds, go on the youtube page (just right-click on the vid and click "watch on youtube") and give them a "thumps-up!!!", so they get some positive feed-back for taking on such topics ;)

Edit: ok people just "enjoy" this version with all my glorious phrasing/grammar/thousands of ???? and like schnubbelie posted in the comments, in a few days there'll be a subtitled version ;)

Ok enough babbling interview now:

Time: 0:20

M-H:Depression and Homosexuality are still taboo-themes in 2010, how long do you think will it still stay that way?

Biermann: I think it's difficult to talk about a specific time. You can only appeal to society, that everyone works on it, takes a step back from his prejudices, opens up for emotions and weaknesses so maybe in the future you can be more open with it.

Ameachi: No I agree with Andreas there's no point to set a date. What we really need is to open their minds and people to understand, to talk about both issues depression in athletes/man in general and homosexuality in sport, both things people don't like to talk about it, even though it would make the game better and the situation for the men.

She says thanks for being there.they'll talk more about the topics later


M-H:Do you know FC Bayern? *g*


M-H:That's the german record champion atm under big pressure and we always hear about this "fight" about the "gladiators" on the pitch. And you ask is there still space for weakness?

Amaechi: There is certainly no room for weakness on a team that's trying to be really successful.But I would challenge anyone watching or in the studio that I was weak when I played (?? in german it's more a "shouldn't think that I was weak"). I think the idea that being gay is weak is an old fashioned one. These teams are really serious about their play (??), what they would say is: I want the best no matter what. If you're willing to work hard, if you come everyday and give your whole self, for you're team, for you're fans, then we should accept you with open arms.

M-H:But you can't be strong 24 h a day, Andreas where did you go when you felt you needed to be weak at some point?

Biermann: I sadly kept it to myself. I tried to hide the weak moments and to seem strong for others. Sadly that led me to the deep fall. In hindsight it would have been better to confide in trusted people, maybe then there would have been a faster, better solution. But overall I'm glad I made it and can sit here now.

M-H:You already came out as being homosexual/ having a mental illness, you already confronted it, do you still have difficulties to talk about it?

Biermann:No it's not difficult to talk about it, but the way it went down since last year makes it difficult to draw a conclusion.It's a seesaw/I'm conflicted there are positive reactions and you see people trying to be open about it and otoh tries to ignore it that makes it difficult for me.


M-H: (Yes she interrupts him)You're story we see shortly in a video. How about you John, is it easy today to stand here and talk about it?

Amaechi: I don't feel I have much of a choice. We need to be in a position to openly talk about it, without giggling like schoolkids, I'm a role-model now, I must.

Short vid about how depression in sport is treated in 2010:
The suicide of Robert Enke nearly a year ago, great compassion once and now nearly forgotten? Or did anything change in the hard professional business football?

Theo Zwanziger: I think the impact could have been a small de-tabooization. And if that was achieved we're a small step forward. Taboos only fall very slow.

The Bochumer sport-psychologist Thomas Graw deals with the taboos Depression and homosexuality in football, he thinks nothing has changed:

Graw:It's still something talked about behind closed doors.

Andreas Biermann player at St. Pauli dares as only player the step into publicity. His fate: many injuries, compulsive gambling, tries to commit suicide, then the suicide of Robert Enke. Biermann realizes he's depressive. He starts therapy, publicizes his illness, but now he's without contract. Depression as stigma? The illness still isn't taken seriously, only 9 out of 18 Bundesliga clubs use (the offer of) sport-psychological care.
Parallel world professional football, everyone fights alone, hides alone, depression and esp. homosexuality still a taboo. Gay players don't exist. Quote from Magath (Schalke coach) : I don't know any.
Quote Pizarro (Werder Bremen): I'm in football 10 years now, never saw it.

Tatjane Eggeling (player-adviser): I know with certainty that in the Italian league exist agencies to connect players with woman as wives or as escort, if some people know they're gay, so they don't come under suspicion to be gay. I don't know about agencies in german football, but I know of sham-marriages in the Bundesliga.


Justin Fashanu: star in the EPL the first and only outing himself while still active, exactly 20 years ago. After that his live becomes hell, he can't cope with the public hostility and hangs himself 8 years later in his garage. Only another time (period)?

Graw: Atm it still would have consequences. I don't want to be a footballer having to play in-front of 20-30.000 opposing fans hearing things like "you gay pig" (ehm engl. slur?? ), there would still be such reactions.

But there are exceptions, John Amaechi is someone who took this step, after his career as NBA basketball player. And there's Gareth Thomas star in the hardest men-sport, captain of the welsh rugby national team, 9 years he leads a double life, has a wife. Last year his coming out.

Gareth Thomas: (sorry but really understood him only here and there so more re-translation ^^°...) I thought the worst would happen, but I wanted to be open about it and I never would have imagined how casual everyone takes it , my friends , my family, esp. my team-mates, it was the best thing I ever did.

And in football, in Bundesliga? They keep on playing hide and seek, still the cliché homosexuals can't play football, but maybe they're the best.

M-H:You said it was a bit difficult to draw a conclusion, but how are you doing these days, do you have the illness under control?

Biermann: It's under control, I'm stable, there are up and downs, but I think everybody has that. Overall I can say it's stable and I'm on the right way.

M-H:You said the avowal of the depression lead to losing your job, why?

Biermann: Overall yes. Because of my injuries I couldn't demand to be player in 1. Bundesliga, but I still had the hope to find a club in the 2. or 3. league. But I got the feedback, that due to my illness they were unsure if I could withstand the pressure and so on, so I didn't get a contract.

M-H:So they're saying we gladly take the player, but not the illness.

Biermann: Yes, you can phrase it like that.

M-H:Do you feel you have now the stigma "depressive = not resilient" ?

Biermann:: I hope to contribute to dispelling this. Every therapists says you can still perform to 100% competitive sports, despite the illness and therapy. The problem is that deciding people or the public don't know that, because of inexperience, insecurity,no possibility of comparison, it's difficult to get on the right track.


M-H:John Amaechi you're also a psychologist, what do you say about "depressive = not resilient" , is it even supportable?

Amaechi: I think amongst men - our culture tells us that men are strong, we don't talk about our feelings,our emotions, we don't express ourselves properly and if that's the case it can lead to different mental problems or mental problems can get worse. It's right we look at people with depressions thinking they're wounded, weak or can't execute everything with full potential and that's not true.

M-H: You're story is different you outed yourself as homosexual, why is this too still a taboo in competitive sports, hey it's 2010 ?

Amaechi:I think there are a couple of reasons for it, one is that again in sports there is a stereotype that an athlete, to be a great athlete, to be a real man, you have to be hyper-masculine, to be hyper-heterosexual. For some people it's not enough to have one woman, to be top athlete you need to have 3 or 4. To be gay is the opposite of everything what they expect of an athlete, even though sexuality doesn't really have an impact on the (way you play on the floor??)sporting achievement,there you're part of a team/a unit you just want to score.

M-H:Did you hide during your career, cause you only came out after your career-end.

Amaechi:I certainly didn't come out during my career, while I played in the US there were 30 states where you could lose your job cause you were gay. I didn't hide, but I had an advantage in the US, people were confused about the voice that came out of this big body, the americans expected of me something different. So people thought he might be a bit gay, but he's british so it's normal, which is stupid, but they thought this way.

M-H:There's talk about sham-marriages of active footballers, they get children.Andreas Bierman did you ever meet someone like that, we of course don't want any names, but I think you don't have to argue whether this phenomenon exists.

Biermann: I never met someone personally and nobody confided in me, so I'm not entitled to establish some thesis. But I heard about the one or other, or heard from different sources, that they're homosexual, but don't dare to out themselves, what sadly in our society is understandable.

M-H: There were reactions after your outing John Amichi, we want to take one example, there's a ex-colleague Tim Hardaway ex-professional, 5 times nominated for All-Star-games. He says: "I don't like gays and I don't want to be in the company of gays. I think homosexuality doesn't belong in this world or the US." You have to be fair and say he later apologized, but first this statement was was out. Were there also people having your back, having positive reactions or were there more negative like this one?

Amaechi: No I think Tim Hardaways response was uncommon, more an exception. 90% reacted warm and wonderful, they realized that it was nothing to worry about, when I look at someone it doesn't make them gay, they realized homosexuals aren't wild animals (???), most of my colleagues were great, I still have contact to them and they support me.


M-H: However this was still after your career. If today an active athlete no matter if a footballer, basketball player or whatever, asked for your advise if he should out himself, while still being active, what would you tell him?

Amaechi: I still think atm there are still people with great power, everyone thinks athletes have all the power in sports, but more powerful is the person who pays the athlete. There are still owner of teams and coaches of clubs who are ignorant, so old-fashioned that they could not accept that a gay player is a normal part of a team.Whilst a coming out is the best thing you can do for you're mental health, it's not always advisable, you should be authentic with your relationships/in your life (?), but I think in football here in Great Britain or the US you could still lose your job.

M-H:We saw Gareth Thomas the rugby-player, one of the hardest sports and he said the following about this topic:

Gareth Thomas: If I want to give a message to people out there, it's: it's not acceptable to hide.With that we kind of create a fear of everybody/of what people are thinking about us, that makes us introvert and weak. And I tell you actually free yourself, that's what I did and then you'll see the people actually don't really care about it much.

M-H:Well he had good experiences. What about you Andreas Biermann, if an athlete comes to you, he knows your story and says "what advise can you give me, I feel similar" ?

Biermann: I would give the advise to seek help, professional help, therapy, but if he wants to keep playing to not make it public. Cause it's simply still interpreted as permanent illness and leads to job-related disadvantage.

M-H: So it means you made a mistake one year ago?

Biermann: From a job-related perspective yes,but not in a personal/human perspective. I think this way I gained something I couldn't have gained through active football. People came to me telling me I helped them with my way to public. Exactly like Teresa Enke helped me at that time, I could now do it for other people and this makes me proud.

M-H: So maybe you're now sitting here cause you outed yourself back then?

Biermann: I'm not sitting here, cause I like seeing myself on tv or think I'm great, more the opposite, I have low self esteem and "do this to myself" (as in endure/force myself), cause I think it's important to talk openly about it and to bolster people with similar symptoms, who aren't feeling well to seek professional help.

M-H: Why do we have to fight in sports such taboo-topics, look at the rest of society,for example politics, we have a gay foreign minister in germany, that's no problem at all.In england the vice-president of the last cabinet (pls don't sue me if I'm using all the wrong political terms ;P ), George Michael from the artists, it's nearly chic/hip. By all means it's totally normal, why isn't that possible in sports?


Amaechi: I think we're still in a situation where people expect to see certain types of people in certain types of roles. There are people who expect that if you're a gay person then all you can do is make-up artist or be in a play (??? the german translation wasn't any more helpful with the 2. job for me).There are still people that stupid.They think in football because they have such power and such skill a gay couldn't exist there (??). So at lot of what we have to do is educate people,gay people don't have one look,don't have one obligation, all ?? they function just like other people.

M-H: What has to happen to change that in the future? We have to separate the topics a bit, let's start with Andres, you maybe know from your personal experience of the last year, where you could have been helped and where you missed this help. What would be your approach to a solution?

Biermann: It's difficult to find solutions, but it's important to at least start something, talk about what can be changed and not only make official speeches and then do nothing. To really actively search for solutions whatever they may be, maybe to be able to open up in your club, to be supported in your club, it's another question if you'll go public, but to at least have this possibility. It would be a first step and I hope someday we'll get there.

M-H: What about you Mr Amaechi, after your narration it seems more difficult cause it seems like you have to change a whole society to make homosexuality more normal in competitive sports.

Amaechi: I think football is (what's the word he's using?) /has a responsibility, it could do so much to change society, in both topics. You could use football to say we need to talk about the mental health of everyone, it affects everyone, whether the fans in the stadium or the top athletes.
The same thing with gay people, football (responsible persons) should say: you know what we don't care, if they want to win then we want them.That could do so much to shift the view of society. If one individual alone stands there and says I'm gay and oh what, ex-player of my fav team is gay ???
(Help with this part around 20:20 PLS cause his interrupted mumbling/the interrupted german translation are too much atm for my sleep-deprived brain XD )


M-H: You say one, what about 30 at once?Saying, hey it's like that.

Amaechi: I think ideally it's a wonderful thought, at the same time, it's not as if it can be coordinated, I mean some people imagine we have a secret handshake or all know each other. You can't coordinate something like that, not everyone in football is ready to come out like that.
In football,german,EPL, in NBA they maybe have their way they present them-self to their families, to their friends, but not to the public.

M-H: Andreas you're young, what are you're plans for the future now? You're writing a book "red-card depression" I know that, but you also want go a similar way to John and study psychology.
Would you still be open for an offer from the Bundesliga, is that still your big dream?

Biermann: Sure it's my dream, but based on my experiences so far it's unrealistic. But my goal is to become sport-psychologist. First to study psychology, will have to see how I finance that, it's a long way and later on to help affected people, like I could have used somebody in my situation.

M-H: "Red-card depression" maybe you'll write it all off your soul, when will it be published?

Biermann: Beginning 2011 and of course my experiences so far and atm will influence it, I hope it's worth reading and I can add this way to education/Aufklärung.

M-H: John are you - I don't want to say happier, but happiererere, these days compared to years ago?

Amaechi:Definitely, definitely happier now, not only because I retired from sport (which was a grueling thing to do for a long time ????), but also because people now can have proper authenticity,with my partners, my friends or whoever else, they know the real me, that's important.

M-H: Thx for visiting and talking this openly.

Tags: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, club: st. pauli, football league, interview, league: bundesliga, league: english premier league (epl), legit and awesome, not a fucking footballer, oh, oic, red card homophobia, video

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