Thursday, 17 March 2011

Out in Sport: Football Adopts Gay-rights Charter

There are at present no openly gay players in the top ranks of British football - unlike rugby and cricket, where things are beginning to change, and some individual sporting codes, where the circumstances are easier. (The last time a British footballer was known to be gay ended tragically in the man's suicide, after intense hostility and gay-baiting from the stands. Some other modern players are not out, but receive similar taunting just on the suspicion).

In a welcome new development, the Football Association has agreed to join other sporting codes in supporting the UK government's charter for action, to stamp out homophobia in sport. Young boys often idolize their sporting heroes, and seek to emulate them. When they see the leading players engaging in homophobic taunting of opponents, this too easily becomes repeated on playing fields and playgrounds of British schools. If the charter can succeed in changing the behaviour of top players, it could potentially help to counter the homophobic bullying that so many young boys encounter.

This, from Politics UK:

Football accepts gay-rights charter

Efforts to wipe out homophobia in sport have received a significant boost as the country's major sports leagues put their weight behind a government campaign.
The organising bodies for football, tennis, cricket, rugby league, rugby union and the Olympics have all signed the government's charter for action.
The charter aims to create a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in sport.
Activists welcomed the move as a sign that sport - often considered the last bastion of homophobia in the UK - was pressured to modernise in line with other industries.
(Full report at Politics UK)


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