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Trainers laced up in Rainbow Laces

Homophobia in sport inquiry

A report by government committee set up specifically to look at homophobia in sport has today echoed many of the concerns Stonewall has raised over the past few years. 

The select committee set up to look at the issue found that in sport there’s a worrying tolerance for abuse against lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. 

Sport unites communities and helps people stay fit and happy. 

Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people should have every chance to feel welcome in sport, as fans, as players, at any age. 

Everyone – including politicians – must step up to challenge pockets of society that exclude LGBT people.   

Banter, derogatory language, abuse should not be tolerated in any part of our society.

Banter, derogatory language, abuse should not be tolerated in any part of our society.

We’re therefore pleased that the committee highlighted that Tyson Fury’s nomination for BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award sent a damaging message. 

A sportsperson who has made deeply offensive comments about LGBT people shouldn’t be celebrated, no matter how talented they are.

The committee is also right to highlight that leagues, governing bodies, players and grassroots clubs play a crucial role in changing sport.   

Education is key and the committee has recognised that if we’re to achieve real change, this can’t just be about waving a rainbow flag. 

Everyone invovled in sport -  from players and fans to coaches - has to understand how to make sport welcoming of LGBT people and to understand why this is so important.

But we need to be absolutely clear that this is about all sports, and it’s about all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. 

Football is often singled out as the biggest sport and therefore the biggest ‘problem’, but our research shows that a significant minority of fans of all major sports in Britain tolerate abuse against LGBT people and would be embarrassed if their favourite player came out.

A significant minority of fans of all major sports have heard anti LGBT language at live sport events in the last year.

It’s vital the Sports Minister and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are clear that this isn’t an isolated problem, confined to the football terraces.

The whole of sport needs to up its game. 

The whole of sport needs to up its game. 

This means that all sport governing bodies need to be involved in creating change. 

We need to work together to make British sport a world leader in LGBT equality and inclusion.