Nearly five years after the publication of Jocks, Woog, a journalist, educator, and soccer coach, reexamines the lives of gay athletes willing to come out publicly to their sport. Not surprisingly, there are no professional athletes yet to take the step, but the book does include several Olympic competitors and, perhaps bravest of all, high school athletes. Not content to sit around and wait for the professionals to come out of the closet, the author describes the lives of other gay athletes, holding them up as role models and heroes young men who routinely brave the taunts of an intolerant few and others who enjoy the surprising support and encouragement from their straight teammates. The essays include an eyeopening account of the life of professional wrestler Rafael Cruz Rivera, a look at the gay athletes in rugby, and, in a sign that things really do change, a piece on Jim Buzinski, founder of Outsports. com, a web site devoted to the gay sports fan. Jocks 2 is a pleasant surprise, an affirming book that illustrates the broad diversity of experiences within the stereotypically straight world of men's athletics. Recommended for most larger collections. Jeffery Ingram, Newport P.L., OR
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Woog's second helping of gay athletes' lives covers fewer soccer players than Jocks (1998) did. Because Woog has coached soccer for 20-plus years, that imbalance was perfectly understandable, as was the predominance of quite young subjects, which continues in this book, because, after all, most people are the most athletic when they're young. Still absent are any active professionals. For pros in midcareer, coming out is still too risky, Woog explains. He who does may not lose his job, but he well may lose the extra income from endorsing sports equipment and other products, which is what enables some athletes to train and compete. Woog does, however, tell the story of a snowboarder who still got endorsement income, though that crucially included money from gay-owned businesses. As in the earlier collection, Woog profiles some nonplayers--a sports Web-site developer, a college athletic director, an ESPN staffer, a sports-management professor, and a soccer manager--and several athletes in lesser-known sports, such as dressage, rowing crew, adventure racing, and rugby. Ray Olson
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