Scotland’s Equality Network, building on the success of its Equal Marriage campaign is now setting about tackling homophobia and transphobia in sport.
It pains me to think that there are some LGBT people who feel that they either can’t participate in sport, or don’t reveal their sexuality because they are worried that everyone, from their team-mates to fans or sponsors would give them grief for being who they are.
Stephen Glenn has written about homophobia in sport, including this post about comments made by an agent after the last World Cup. Football has done itself no favours by giving the 2018 World Cup to Qatar, not a place that’s friendly to LGBT people. FIFA head Sepp Blatter then carried on digging by suggesting that gay people could “refrain from sexual activity” while they were there.
I have no idea how my favourite sport of Formula One would cope with an out gay driver. I’d like to think that no sponsors would throw hissy fits and that the teams would all be fine about it and I’ll assume that would be the case until I have evidence to the contrary. And if that contrary happens, whoever is responsible will face my wrath. And that’s not pretty.
There’s no doubt that there are barriers for LGBT people who want to take part in competitive sport at all levels so it’s good that the Equality Network is aiming to break these down. The first stage of their campaign is to gather information by way of a massive research project, by way of a survey which can be completed here at Out for Sport. Now, they managed to channel over 20,000 responses to the Equal Marriage consultation. How good would it be for them to have as many responses to this.
It will literally take you 10 minutes to complete. They’re calling it the “most expansive research project to date on homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport.” Go on – do it now before you forget.