I tuned in briefly last night to watch a taped game between the US national softball team and team Australia. I probably watched only 2-3 innings total but in that time I found out about half of the team's marriage/dating status. Every time a married or dating USA player came up to bat, we were informed of their heterosexuality in various ways: anniversaries, famous male partners (one who plays for the White Sox), fabulous weddings, etc.
We all know the stereotypes surrounding softball players, but most of us also know that straight women make excellent softball players too. But USA softball and the media that cover it seem very concerned that softball become just as heteronormative as the rest of the world and they are doing so by highlighting the love lives of their stars, most notably pitcher Jennie Finch. Are they trying to give softball an image overhaul like the LPGA did a while back when they had some their prominent golfers pose in bathing suits on a golf course? Trying to lose some kind of perceived homosexual stigma only further marginalizes gay athletes.