openly gay and lesbian athletes?


Normally open July 4th only---the one day a year when partisan politics, religion, etc. are acceptable topics on this Board (within reason). The forum is now closed.

Postby bad hammy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:17 pm

That this subject exists shows how far we have to go . . .
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Postby paulthefan » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:02 pm

again I want to stand, along with badhammy and mennisco, tall and proud with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender elite athlete communities whose numbers and size swells every time an elite athlete comes out of the closet to proclaim their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender identity! If we keep up the pressure hot pink spikes will be as natural as a spandex clad athlete traipsing down the runway with that long thick pole into the vault pit. The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities are here and they are here to stay once the real numbers are known the media will have to give this vibrant community the positive coverage that it deserves.
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Postby richxx87 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:37 pm

Further to the economic side of it that Eldrick accurately pointed out, is the interest/support level among the GLBT community. They may well be interested in Ford vehicles, but are they interested in T&F enough to follow it or care about it?? Far better than a march, would be to demonstrate to advertisers that the "pink dollar" strongly supports track meets on TV and at the stadium.
It's basic economics. If the companies see that they have a substantial number of people in a given community to warrant the expense of adverts directed at them, they will.
In the expat community I dwell amongst in a 3rd world country, there are probably a dozen openly gay and lesbians who are fully accepted and an integral part of our diverse crew of folks. Of those, there is VERY little interest in any sport. One guy likes Moto GP, but aside from him, there is a real disdain for sports and when the subject at the pub turns to sports, there is always moaning and groaning.

To sum up, rather than marching to effectively force companies to sponsor openly GLBT athletes, it would be better to "vote with your feet" -- get to the track meets bring a bunch of friends, build critical mass and demonstrate to the companies/tv networks and athletes that there is money to be made and a keenly interested market to tap. Win-win situation.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:50 pm

richxx87 wrote:Further to the economic side of it that Eldrick accurately pointed out, is the interest/support level among the GLBT community. They may well be interested in Ford vehicles, but are they interested in T&F enough to follow it or care about it?? Far better than a march, would be to demonstrate to advertisers that the "pink dollar" strongly supports track meets on TV and at the stadium.
It's basic economics. If the companies see that they have a substantial number of people in a given community to warrant the expense of adverts directed at them, they will.
In the expat community I dwell amongst in a 3rd world country, there are probably a dozen openly gay and lesbians who are fully accepted and an integral part of our diverse crew of folks. Of those, there is VERY little interest in any sport. One guy likes Moto GP, but aside from him, there is a real disdain for sports and when the subject at the pub turns to sports, there is always moaning and groaning.

To sum up, rather than marching to effectively force companies to sponsor openly GLBT athletes, it would be better to "vote with your feet" -- get to the track meets bring a bunch of friends, build critical mass and demonstrate to the companies/tv networks and athletes that there is money to be made and a keenly interested market to tap. Win-win situation.


I'm gay and I'm an avid T&F fan. The problem is that I often forget to bring my rainbow flag or pink heels when I go out. You'll probably not realize I'm gay until we're already heading toward the bedroom... I doubt an elite level athlete who chooses to come out will lack sponsors completely. They may miss out on some deals, but if they're top level competitors, they are actually likely to gain some additional endorsements for being gay. This wil be the case for the first handful or so. After that I believe sexual orientation will become more of a non-issue and endorsements will be based on performance and personality in general.
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Postby Dutra » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:23 pm

Seeksreal wrote:[
I'm gay and I'm an avid T&F fan. The problem is that I often forget to bring my rainbow flag or pink heels when I go out. You'll probably not realize I'm gay until we're already heading toward the bedroom... I doubt an elite level athlete who chooses to come out will lack sponsors completely. They may miss out on some deals, but if they're top level competitors, they are actually likely to gain some additional endorsements for being gay. This wil be the case for the first handful or so. After that I believe sexual orientation will become more of a non-issue and endorsements will be based on performance and personality in general.


There's still enough people who exist who are generally turned off by homosexuality to the point where they are outspoken about it and, in a much bigger sense, there are the organizations which reject homosexuality outright due to morals or religious issues.

My experience is that the religious folks can be amongst the most intolerant of folks.....as odd as that may sound....or at least that is my experience.

So...that may hold back sponsorship.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:27 pm

Perhaps it is time to start a foundation to give out sponsorships to openly GBLT athletes so as to ease the fear of economic repercussions against coming out?
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Postby richxx87 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:51 pm

Seeksreal wrote:
I'm gay and I'm an avid T&F fan. The problem is that I often forget to bring my rainbow flag or pink heels when I go out. You'll probably not realize I'm gay ...


Well that's the point isn't it. Advertisers probably don't know you exist and/or how big the market is. You might want to leave the pink heels at home -- just not practical for traipsing around the stadium. But I was at a big int'l track meet in Italy a couple years ago and someone had discreetly hung a little rainbow flag over the wall in front of their section. It attracted a big group of enthusiastic supporters each day and nobody, it seemed, even raised an eyebrow... If those who are already supportive of T&F can bring thousands of friends on board and get them interested in the sport it's a win-win situation and marketers will take notice.

Then again, Italy is not the USA. Each culture/country has a whole different set of things that society generally deems acceptable. I haven't lived in the US for many years, so I couldn't even take a wild guess as to how the general population would react to such a flag, but it could be a starting point.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:01 pm

richxx87 wrote: I was at a big int'l track meet in Italy a couple years ago and someone had discreetly hung a little rainbow flag over the wall in front of their section. It attracted a big group of enthusiastic supporters each day and nobody, it seemed, even raised an eyebrow... If those who are already supportive of T&F can bring thousands of friends on board and get them interested in the sport it's a win-win situation and marketers will take notice.

So any other gay T&F fans on the forum who want to meet up and fly the rainbow flag and cheer for our GLB brothers and sisters at a meet? Pick one meet and make an event out of it--in Europe or the U.S.!!! I volunteer to serve on an "organizing committee" if there is enough interest. September in Stuttgart, perhaps??
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Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:40 pm

[/quote]
So any other gay T&F fans on the forum who want to meet up and fly the rainbow flag and cheer for our GLB brothers and sisters at a meet? Pick one meet and make an event out of it--in Europe or the U.S.!!! I volunteer to serve on an "organizing committee" if there is enough interest. September in Stuttgart, perhaps??[/quote]

i can't think of anything worse, i'm as out as it is possible to be but why would i want to wave a flag at an athletics meet. wouldn't even do that at pride march.

of course there is every need for campaigning on equality issues and in uk we now have equal age of concent, marriage, adoption rights and transgender people can change their birth certificates and there is new legislation to ban discrimination in the workplace so politically we have come a long way even if there is still some social predjudice. the only flag you should wav at a track meet is the Union Jack :lol:

it's up to individual athletes to have the courage (i'm not sure it actually takes courage) to just be themselves, there is no need to make an issue of it. if other people want to let them. i know it would be easier in womens tennis but Amelie Mauresmo would be a perfect example of this.
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Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:45 pm

Flumpy wrote:
Everyone seems to know we're gay and as Mump says above it's very rare for anyone to make any kind of negative comment. A couple of British athletes have made negative reference to it in the past and I was once called a 'faggot' or something like that by Michael Blackwood at the World Cup in Madrid. I found itkinda funny as it was the middle of the day and I wasn't even speaking to him at the time. He just said it straight at me as he walked past. Weirdo!!!


then there was the uk sprinter who's name escaped me coz he was only in the team once who felt the need to walk up to me and shout "i love p***y" in my face !??!?!?!?

i was like "you're welcome to it mate, i won't fight you"
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Postby eldrick » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:15 am

rainbow flag ?

what have south africans got to do with any of this ?
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Postby peach » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:27 am

Flumpy wrote:I'm always surprised by the amount of gay supporters around. There are loads on this board and even more who used to regularly post in IAAF. It goes to say that there must be plenty of gay athletes competing but I certainly don't know of any. Rob was the only one in the British team certainly.


This was what I was going to post. Amazes me just how many fans there always are who are gay in such a seemingly "gay-free" sport! Then again, most sport is...well probably bar the likes of figure skating, but hey ho, I digress into stereotypes and move on...

I remember having a wonderful argument on the IAAF boards with some imbecile who wanted to "have me shot" a few years ago in a similar discussion to this. Thing is, I seem to recall a few people agreeing with him...nice to see things have moved on I suppose...
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Postby peach » Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:28 am

Though I have to say I'm really not sure why this, which is quite a valid and sensible discussion if you ask me, has been shunted in here...

It;s about as controversial as all the "white sprinter" debates is it not, and all those seem to survive untouched...
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Postby Flumpy » Thu Jul 05, 2007 1:21 am

peach wrote:
Flumpy wrote:I remember having a wonderful argument on the IAAF boards with some imbecile who wanted to "have me shot" a few years ago in a similar discussion to this. Thing is, I seem to recall a few people agreeing with him...nice to see things have moved on I suppose...


His name was Blind Dawg. I think he ran Sub 10 forum or something. Complete dick.
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Postby Andrea_T » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:38 am

I would imagine there are probably lots of 'out' elite gay athletes, it just comes down to how 'out' they are! I mean, if their friends and family know, they're out, right? Do they need to bring it to the attention of the media in an interview after a race? I understand if it's for a non-athletics related publication where they're asked questions about lifestyle, but other than that I dont see why the sexuality question should/would come about in an interview trackside with Sally Gunnell!

Now, just because someone is gay it doesnt mean they have something in common with someone else who is gay. I'm not one for all this All Gays Together stuff. I can see events such as Pride are a celebration and are great events, but after that I want to walk away from the event and hang out with my own friends, not with Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, just because Priscilla is gay too. 'Gay' is what I do and what I am inbetween the sheets. It is occasionally what I am on the streets, when there is a need for it. I am not hiding it, it's just something I am, if you dont like it, I dont give a damn!

I understand Jean Galfione has been spotted in Le Queen many a time. Now, he's a great example of masculinity and looks, so is a good role model if he is gay. Andrea/s Kreiger probably isnt a good example..... :twisted:
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Postby peach » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:45 am

Don't read too much into attendance at "Le Queen"...last time I went there it was mainly straight. The crowd has changed VERY much as it became a "hip" place to be when the gays were there. Though it's still "gay" officially, it's really rather more mixed nowadays...
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Postby Dutra » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:12 am

eldrick wrote:if any gay athletes want sponsorship from companies, then it probably is in their best interests to keep their sexuality quiet

i've just been watching wimbledon & yesterday in the rain delays they had a profile of navratilova & had an agent talking about how companies were very reluctant to offer her endorsements due to fear of what he called :

"the conservative element protesting & advising people to boycott the companies' products for associating with a gay person - the conservative element may be small, but unfortunately, they shout with a big voice"


if you are a gay athlete & don't want to shoot yourself in the foot in terms of your earning potential, then you are probably better off keeping quiet


What's scary about the Navratilova issue is that she seems to be a very well respected person and athlete and if anyone would be able to "get around" these types of issues you would think she'd be at the top of the list.
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Postby Mennisco » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:03 am

Dutra wrote:
"the conservative element protesting & advising people to boycott the companies' products for associating with a gay person - the conservative element may be small, but unfortunately, they shout with a big voice"


Indeed they do. Perhaps the worst offender is that little piece of filth known as Ann Coulter, a media slut worse than Madonna. I should know better than to stoop to her level of language - I made the mistake of reading about her today and went for a 30 minute run, then threw up in the toilet from excess lactic acid. Sometimes it is just best to get it out of your system. She's damn lucky that the people she attacks in the name of Jesus Christ are so forgiving of her proclivity to use a microphone as an uzzi.

My new book is gonna be called "If Republicans Had Souls, They'd Be Human Beings".

Image
Last edited by Mennisco on Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Flumpy » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:41 am

Mennisco wrote: Perhaps the worst offender is that little piece of filth known as Ann Coulter, a media slut worse than Madonna.


She's hideous. Luckily we just don't get such specimens on TV over here (Although Melanie Phillips is vile in her own way).

As Chris Rock once succinctly put it to her "You're one mean bitch"!!!
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Postby Half Miler » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:58 am

My post was deleted on Free Speech Day! Big Brother is alive and well. :x
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Postby Mennisco » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:24 pm

Flumpy wrote:
Mennisco wrote: Perhaps the worst offender is that little piece of filth known as Ann Coulter, a media slut worse than Madonna.


She's hideous. Luckily we just don't get such specimens on TV over here (Although Melanie Phillips is vile in her own way).

As Chris Rock once succinctly put it to her "You're one mean bitch"!!!


She's also thick as two short planks and could hardly hit sand if she fell off a camel during a hump. Has the audacity to say she has brains, then calls evolution "bogus science". I'm not sure what the speed of light is in her universe, but it must come to a grinding halt in that black hole between her ears.
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Postby Mennisco » Fri Jul 04, 2008 9:13 pm

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Postby Seeksreal » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:51 pm

I'm still looking for an international top-level gay or lesbian athlete who is out. We need a poster child for the GayLesbianBi IAAF Fantasy buddy league!!! :)
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Re:

Postby mump boy » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:35 pm

Seeksreal wrote:I'm still looking for an international top-level gay or lesbian athlete who is out. We need a poster child for the GayLesbianBi IAAF Fantasy buddy league!!! :)


there's one US world champion who i thought it was common knowledge was gay. God forbid i actually name him but everyone knows it.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Flumpy » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:15 pm

I was just going to say the same thing. He's not 'in the closet' it's just not been publicised.

If he decided to announce it to the world I doubt anyone would raise and eyebrow but it's not really relevant to his sporting career so wwhy would he bother.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby kuha » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:01 am

Flumpy wrote:If he decided to announce it to the world I doubt anyone would raise and eyebrow


And I think it's a very good sign that many of us are so little concerned about this that we don't even have the energy to ask "who is it?" That fact isn't relevant to the activity on the track, and is just another reminder that ALL athletes are three-dimensional human beings, with personal lives, a variety of interests and talents, etc., etc.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:20 am

I saw a great interview with Billie Jean King yesterday and she said something that seems to make her unique among homosexuals. She said that knowing everything she knows now, if she had to do her whole life over again, she would have still married Lawrence King because she was not a homosexual when she married him, and at the time, she wanted the typical American family including house with white picket fence and three kids. She basically said that she never thought about girls growing up and was always attracted to boys, and that she evolved into a homosexual but was born a heterosexual. I've also read some place else that one of her biggest regrets was getting an abortion, which she did largely because she didn't want to take a year off from the prime of her tennis career, and thought there would be plenty of time to make babies after she retired, not realizing that she would be divorcing her husband and abandoning her heterosexual lifestyle in the future.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Seeksreal » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:04 pm

kuha wrote:
Flumpy wrote:If he decided to announce it to the world I doubt anyone would raise and eyebrow


And I think it's a very good sign that many of us are so little concerned about this that we don't even have the energy to ask "who is it?" That fact isn't relevant to the activity on the track, and is just another reminder that ALL athletes are three-dimensional human beings, with personal lives, a variety of interests and talents, etc., etc.

Which is why it is important that some gay and lesbian athletes come out and show that it is OK to be gay and a top-level athlete. Most straight people still don't understand what it is like to be considered second-class. As much progress as have been made, we are still FAR away from true equality!
Mump and Flump: If you don't want to say the name, can you at least say the event?
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Flumpy » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:21 pm

No. It's not our place to out anybody on T&FN.

I completely agree with your premise that it's important to have gay role models but that is entirely dependent on them wanting to be so. Whilst I would have huge respect for anybody who decides to make the matter know to a wider public, I'm not going to do it for them and I'm surprised that you would ask.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Pego » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:55 pm

Flumpy wrote:No. It's not our place to out anybody on T&FN.

I completely agree with your premise that it's important to have gay role models but that is entirely dependent on them wanting to be so. Whilst I would have huge respect for anybody who decides to make the matter know to a wider public, I'm not going to do it for them and I'm surprised that you would ask.


Absolutely correct. An individual's sexual orientation is nobody's business.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby mump boy » Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:05 am

i'm not naming names but i also find it rather annoying that it would be a big deal if i did, as if there is still something wrong with being gay and it's a brave decision to tell people. i don't think it's brave to be out i think it's cowardly not to be.

For all i know there are many athletes who are openly gay but nobody has bothered to ask them about it in an interview and they haven't felt the need to talk about their personal life in what is ultimately a work environment. i don't know anything about the personal lives of many athletes i presume to be straight, so what's the difference. it seems common knowledge the athlete i was refering to is gay (although i have no personal knowledge of the fact) i wasn't told as gossip just as an accepted fact, they may very well have no problem with the wider public knowing or discussing it.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:11 pm

Apropos of nothing (except gayness), but I almost bought a t-shirt the other day that said,

Sorry girls - I'm gay

which I thought my wife would appreciate (!), but she gave me that frowny look, and I put it back in the rack. :twisted:
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby kuha » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:24 pm

Marlow wrote:Apropos of nothing (except gayness), but I almost bought a t-shirt the other day that said,

Sorry girls - I'm gay

which I thought my wife would appreciate (!), but she gave me that frowny look, and I put it back in the rack. :twisted:


Oh, go for it! Your wife might not enjoy it, but we sure would! :P
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Seeksreal » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:43 am

Since I started this thread (and probably helped cause the creation of this forum!) 4 years ago, no major T&F has come out publicly to date. How long will it take and what will the reaction be when it finally happens? Women tend to be a lot more courageous when it comes to revealing their sexuality, so I'm thinking several lesbians will come out before we'll see a guy do it.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:57 pm

What purpose would it serve for active (or retired) T&F athletes to "come out."? i cannot imagine a positive benefit.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Marlow » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:08 pm

lonewolf wrote:What purpose would it serve for active (or retired) T&F athletes to "come out."? i cannot imagine a positive benefit.

In today's parlance 'coming out' is seen more as 'courageous' than even addressing the gay aspect. Megan Fox 'came out', immediately got some buzz; some people saw her as more than just a "smokin' hot babe", but then she married some guy and admitted the gay statement was just about 'youthful experimentation', so she had the best of both worlds. She managed to garner sympathy and 'cred' as a 'real' person, but then keep her straight (men) following.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:20 pm

Marlow wrote:
lonewolf wrote:What purpose would it serve for active (or retired) T&F athletes to "come out."? i cannot imagine a positive benefit.

Megan Fox 'came out', immediately got some buzz; some people saw her as more than just a "smokin' hot babe", .

Uhhh??? Yeah, makes sense but who is Megan Fox and what T&F event does she compete in? :? .
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby mump boy » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:43 pm

In this day and age in the western world it is not courageous to come out, it is something most people do in their teens !!
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby kuha » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:46 pm

Exactly. Some folks I knew in the mid-1970s were courageous for not hiding who they were. Nowadays, who cares? The world has changed completely since then.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby gh » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:09 pm

The sports world hasn't changed much.
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