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Continental Drift

Gavinhensongillette_1Gillette is snatching up metrosexual European athletes faster than a San Francisco 49er runs from a poof in the locker room. Gold and silver-booted Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson, fond of shaving his legs before matches, will follow in David Beckham's footsteps as a male grooming spokesmodel for the company.

European athletes are reaping the benefits of their comfort with activities like grooming, stepping into the limelight while the Americans (particularly the football players) are stuck in an image quagmire.

The recent 49ers diversity video scandal has inspired hundreds of op-ed pieces questioning the "boys-will-be-boys mentality" present in the locker rooms of professional sports and caused the resignation of PR director Kirk Reynolds.

While the Americans are busy worrying about gay athletes boning up in the locker room at the sight of naked male flesh, a worry as homophobic as it is unfounded, European athletes like footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and the French rugby players are making bank off their comfort with disrobing for the cameras.

When will the masculinity-challenged Americans realize that tolerance is good for the wallet?

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  1. Corporations will do whatever it takes to make a buck, whether by exploiting animals, third-world countries, women, or people in the fringe. Tolerance is a human rights issue, not a line item to be included in a corporate annual report because it is good for the bottom line. Therefore, there are dangers inherent in allowing the private sector dictate what's good or bad. Sadly, we've reached that point with Bush, Inc. and his junta herding us all into economic, cultural, and physical slaughter mostly because it is "good" for the proverbial wallet. If the picture of a naked rugby player is enough to make you buy an overpriced piece of plastic, then we’ve already lost the battle. The revolution will not be televised, or advertised for that matter.

    Posted by: Gabe | Jun 7, 2005 11:08:15 PM

  2. Andy;
    Maybe if the PR flacks did not have to have focus groups and catered lunches over every step their "investment" was taking, these (US) players would be free to be themselves. Becham, I am sure answers to no one, and lets face it, he knows he is good looking and he is marketing that dollar no matter who buys the product. And Gillette knows that gay guys with crushes on athletes shave, it's a win win.

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 7, 2005 11:13:33 PM

  3. Didn't you just blog about Johnny Damon as Puma eye candy? I'm not sure the Americans and the Europeans are that far apart.

    Posted by: alan | Jun 8, 2005 12:39:29 AM

  4. Gabe, i don't like your statement: "If the picture of a naked rugby player is enough to make you buy an overpriced piece of plastic, then we’ve already lost the battle". If you don't like to see "naked rugby player" then don't buy! And, don't attack the other who buy or the product itself by saying "overpriced piece of plastic", it sounds synistic you know!

    But Andy, i agree with some statements of Gabe. You can not use tolerance as a "gun" to make money. Tolerance is one of the most important value to make humans live side by side peacefully.

    Anyway, European and American have different culture, Andy, at least for today. Perhaps somehow in the future, American athletes can also show all what they have, not for the money but for showing the society that they can express their true feeling without being insecure of what negative comments people may give.

    Posted by: Sayed | Jun 8, 2005 9:11:24 AM

  5. Andy, i like Andy Roddick-an american athlete-. He doesn't have to be naked to impress me (shirtless is fine...haha),the main things is just he is a nice person and has charisma.

    Posted by: Sayed | Jun 8, 2005 9:30:38 AM

  6. Remember, we're only 200 and some odd years old and our culture was based on puritanical crap, we've enslaved many cultures, Africans, Japanese, Natives, in addition to killing many cultures, in the name of God. We've come a long way but by no means are we near the openess that Europe offers. As silly as it may be but shows like Queer Eye making over 5 professional baseball players help. Middle America seeing Carson Kressley interact with young boys, not in a sexual manner, helps. I can't believe I said that but I think it's true. Living in the Castro, I see more and more young kids, of both gay and straight parents, small steps but at least going a little bit forward and not backward. Although, it's quite disturbing and funny, watching a Mom, button up her kids jacket, in front of a store window, ROCK HARD, that has a poster of manholes, odd...

    Posted by: Eddy | Jun 8, 2005 12:46:35 PM

  7. By nature rugby is a "fruity" sport, compared to soccer. Look at all the guys grabbing each others' packages during a scrum. They all seem to be gay...and loving it! Just like we love watching them... and loving them!

    Posted by: Danny | Jun 9, 2005 6:12:52 PM

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