Proud David Testo was a Vancouver Whitecaps playerNovember 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2011 | 2 Comments
Today it made sports news that former Vancouver Whitecap, David Testo, announced he is gay.
We Southsiders watched David Testo play for years at Swangard Stadium, first when he was with the Minnesota Thunder, then with the Vancouver Whitecaps and finally with the Montreal Impact. Such was his skill as a midfielder that while he was with Minnesota, many of us watching him play nursed the hope he would come to play for the Whitecaps one day.
In 2006 our hopes were realised and Testo joined the Whitecaps; he was a key player in the run to the 2006 USL-1 Championship win. He was a classy player with fine skills. He was also tough, courageous and did not shy away from the rough part of the game.
David’s announcement that he is gay should give us all pause to think about the stereotypes we all hold about professional athletes. We assume all male athletes are heterosexual. We assume gay men simply can’t have the courage and toughness to compete in the hyper competitive world of professional sports. All of these stereotypes are just wrong, as David Testo’s excellent football career attests.
In his statement Testo says he feels badly that he did not make his sexuality public earlier, in part so that he could thank his partner for supporting him when he had success in his career. To David I say stop beating yourself up, it is not your fault that such prejudice exists in society and in the game we love.
For the rest of us it is time to draw a line in the sand and demand that homophobic hate speech be banned from the game for good. If we fans demanded this change in football, the clubs and leagues would have to follow suit. If we accomplished this, great players like David Testo would not have to hide a fundamental part of their identity from us all.
I, for one, am proud that David Testo played for the Vancouver Whitecaps. I want to thank him for bringing success to our club. It was a pleasure to watch him play for all those years, because he is a fine footballer. David won us a championship, played with courage, and fought for our team and its jersey.
What more can we ask from a player, whether they are gay or straight?