The now-infamous Donald Trump recording (a 2005 tape of Trump making numerous lewd and misogynistic comments) that threatens to derail his entire US presidential campaign has - slightly bizarrely - seen sport thrown into the spotlight. This is because of Trump's later assertion (in the second presidential debate) that his comments were no more than "locker room talk".
Chris Kluwe, the former punter for the Minnesota Vikings and a commentator on Deadspin, wrote a sensational reply to Donald Trump that basically outlined how unlike typical 'locker room talk' Trump's language had been.
Then LeBron James responded to Trump just as emphatically, saying that what Trump had said wasn't locker room talk but "trash talk" and that within his Cleveland Cavaliers side they "don't disrespect women in no shape or fashion".
LeBron on Donald Trump: "That's not locker room talk. That's trash talk." pic.twitter.com/3optkXraM3
— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) October 12, 2016
And now an interesting perspective has been given by an ex-sportsperson in this part of the world.
Graeme Le Saux, the former Chelsea left-back and a man who during his career had question marks raised over his sexuality simply for reading 'The Guardian', has penned an interesting take (in the same publication) on Trump's comments from the perspective of a former professional footballer.
The full piece here is well worth a read, but here is a bit of a taster:
The locker room is an extreme environment – you have stress, testosterone and nervous energy. The competitive juices are flowing. There are things that are said that you wouldn’t say in public spaces. But it’s self-policing, and there’s still a line that people don’t cross – otherwise you’d be absolutely slaughtered by your teammates. Trump went way beyond that line.
Maybe 50 years ago, when Trump was young, that was the language used. But there’s been a huge shift in locker-room culture even since I started playing. Just look at the way issues around race have been tackled. A lot of that has been down to the diversity in the dressing room. But society has far less tolerance of that kind of language, and people have become much more aware of when the bounds of acceptability are crossed.
Le Saux goes on to write about the dressing-room "b****r" he was subject to during his own career regarding his sexuality.
People in the locker room weren’t saying those things because they thought I was actually gay: they knew I wasn’t. It was that put-down style of humour taken to an unpleasant extreme...that sort of thing 100% would not happen now. I’m involved with the FA working on areas of equality, and it is treated so differently today. The gay community, and players, have far more protection. And we shouldn’t forget that the locker-room is far from a male-only place. Women play sport too, Donald.
Le Saux partly tied off his piece by saying that he "never experienced in all my time in football anybody who would ever think what he said would be something to laugh at or brag about."