Brit electro band Hot Chip just released a video for their single “Don’t Deny Your Heart,” and the soccer-themed video sends a powerful message about homophobia in the athletic world. The music video -- which is modeled after a video game -- centers around two players on opposing teams whose tension runs a litttttle deeper than the field.
+ Watch Hot Chip’s “Don’t Deny Your Heart”
Hot Chip’s video is controversial -- not simply because it features men kissing men, but because it features male athletes kissing male athletes. On top of that, the players are members of two of the bitterest rivals in the soccer world: Manchester United and Manchester City. As the video goes on, it becomes clear that the players’ tension is less about the game and more about their feelings for each other. When they can’t resist any longer, they begin kissing on the field…then suddenly everyone’s makin’ out!
The “Don’t Deny Your Heart” video makes a bold and daring statement against homophobia in sports, which many athletes have been speaking up about lately. “The mechanisms are primitive. [There is] a classic stereotype notion that a real man should be brave, strong, aggressive and loyal…and it is not the image that a football supporter associates with a gay person,” said Manchester United goalie Anders Lindegaard in a recent interview. But Anders -- and Hot Chip -- want people to know that gay men are strong, brave, aggressive, loyal, and damn good athletes!
Whether it be for fear of being treated differently by their teammates or fear of being viewed differently by their fans, it can be particularly hard for athletes to come out. However, sexuality has nothing to do with one’s ability to play sports, eh. As illustrated in the video, it can take one athlete's coming out to make an impact -- but attitudes within the sport have to change to create a safe environment in which that can happen.
The MLS is def taking steps to diminish homophobia and spread love on the field -- and you can, too. If you’re all for hot soccer player lovin’, take action below to help the You Can Play foundation combat homophobia in athletics.