Within the first interview, in relation to Stephen Fry the interviewee explained to us that Fry is a “really intelligent man” with a “good sense of humor”. Further into the interview however, the interviewee stated that Stephen Fry is homosexual before we even mentioned anything of it, this raises the question: why should someone’s masculinity affect our opinion on them?
When the interview turned to Balotelli the participant told us how aggressive he considers him to be, and after our reveal that Balotelli is gay he asked us three times if that was really true; conveying he is having difficulties in conceiving a non-stereotypical gay masculinity. His reluctance to believe that a footballer is homosexual represents that homosexuality in sport is generally frowned upon and is unlikely to happen, his attitude seems to be opposed to the story we told him. After his denial and shocked utterances he starting talking about how “physical appearance doesn’t really matter” and that “being a good footballer is not about being straight or gay”, which opposes the dialogue and facial expressions he used just before as they reflected negative connotations; this could be because he is trying to conform to good social standard.
Upon revealing that Balotelli is homosexual in the second interview, the interviewee began arguing, “he is not” and said “mario balotelli gay? is he really? Stop it!” which is just like the denial from the participant in the first interview. His whole opinion of Balotelli appeared to change when we told him this, as at the start of the conversation he stated he liked him (unlike all other interviews), but now that balotelli is being addressed as homosexual he is perplexed and cant come to terms with the fact that a sportsmen is gay. Homosexuality in sports seems to be a major issue in terms of Connells theory of hierarchy in masculinity. As shown by these two participants, masculinity in football appears to threaten social order as both interviewees were extremely shocked and appeared to find it negative that Balotelli was gay, thus distancing themselves from homosexuality and conforming to the “masculine male” at the top of the hierarchy.
Alike the third interview, interviewee number four also found Stephen Fry respectable and acted composed when talking about his masculinity. His attitude towards Balotelli was juxtaposed beside Fry on the other hand when he described Balotelli as “a bit of an idiot”, which could represent Armstrong and Young’s theory that football is often characterized by homophobic banter; this could also be why Fry has received such a positive representation and Balotelli a somewhat homophobic one. When we mentioned that Balotelli was homosexual he appeared to be extremely shocked and replied to our statement with “Balotelli is gay!”. In one sense, his attitude towards Stephen Fry contradicts Connell’s theory of the hierarchy of masculinity. In the theory he states that a heterosexual male stands at the top of the hierarchy, which isn’t presented here as he respects Fry (of which he knew to be gay) more than he respects Balotelli (which he thought was masculine), overall defying the theory. It does however confirm an idea from Stasi and Evans that “individualism may work to locate homophobia in the psyches of particular men” as it has done for these individuals, seen as they have lowered their opinions towards Balotelli because he is homosexual.