Portland had long been accused of discriminating against lesbian players, and Penn State had long been accused of inappropriately tolerating her behavior.
It certainly affects their comfort levels.”The Chatman Case While no experts on women's athletics defend the conduct described in the allegations against Chatman, many see a real double standard at work.
Yet, more hopefully, they say the incident is galvanizing discussion around issues of homophobia in women's sports that have long been silently suppressed, and has cast light on the double standard that surrounds player-coach relationships.“It does have implications for a backlash,” says Helen Carroll, who, as sports project director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, has experienced an uptick in calls from lesbian coaches fearful for their jobs since Chatman’s high-profile March 7 resignation.
She’s received two to three calls every week since then, she says, while she typically receives that number in a month.
Just Wednesday, news broke that Boston College's (male) coach of the women's ice hockey team had resigned after allegations surfaced of inappropriate conduct with an athlete.
But as Mary Jo Kane, a professor of kinesiology and director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota, points out, when male coaches are accused of such indiscretions, their actions are usually perceived as isolated, unfortunate incidents that don't reflect on other male coaches as a group.