During the recent World Outgames in Copenhagen (a biannual sporting event for queer and transgendered athletes from all over the world), a runner was badly injured when a man from the crowd began throwing what has been described as “powerful explosives” onto the racetrack.
The attacker, a 31 year-old Danish man, was able to throw two explosives onto the track before being detained; but police sources say that he had at least another ten left waiting to be thrown in his backpack.
In the end, the injured runner had to have a large piece of shrapnel removed from one of his hands, and those in attendance were left in an understandably frightened state, especially since several other athletes had also been assaulted earlier on in the week during the opening ceremonies.
If this news story comes as a surprise to you, don’t feel bad. Outside of the queer media outlets on this side of the globe, this story has gone virtually unreported. It’s an oversight that is almost as disturbing as the attacks themselves.
Imagine if an explosive device had gone off during the Beijing Olympics; and then imagine if CNN had decided not to report on it. Or, imagine if someone had set off an explosive during the recent Tour de France with no report from the CBC. Both scenarios are completely preposterous of course, especially when one considers that fake bomb scares are enough to merit international headlines as was the recent case at New York City’s La Guardia Airport.
Yet, several explosives being set off during an event celebrating diversity and global camaraderie –comprised of almost as many athletes as the Summer and Winter Olympic Games put together –is completely ignored by the North American media circuit.
Emma Ruby-Sachs – an American online columnist, who writes for 365gay.com – has since asked “What is it about gay athletes that is so threatening?” and, while we may never have a definitive answer to this question, I believe that there is another important question that this situation has brought forward: What is it about gays that is so threatening to the mainstream media?
I’ll be exploring this question in detail over the coming months.
Craig Mazerolle is a member of the NB Media Co-op.