Kicking homophobia out of play

LGBTIQ Newsletter - May 2016

The 2015 international study Out On The Fields highlighted just how widespread homophobia is in sport:

  • 46 per cent of participants believed that LGBTIQ identifying athletes are not accepted in sporting culture (versus 1 per cent that did).
  • 73 per cent of gay men surveyed felt that homophobia is more common in team sports than other parts of society.
  • 84 per cent of people who took part said homophobic jokes occur “all the time”, “often” or “sometimes”.

In response, an initiative against homophobia in sport, Rainbow Laces, has been promoted in Australia by Pride in Diversity. Focused on a week of action, sporting clubs and codes were encouraged to participate in a rainbow round was held between March 31 and April 4. The initiative encouraged people to wear rainbow shoelaces as a way of saying no to homophobia in sport and was supported by high profile clubs such as the AFL’s Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane Lions, ANL’s Sydney Swifts and The A-Leagues Sydney FC. High profile sports people including Jonathon Thurston and David Pocock supported the initiative with messages of support online.

There was also a huge response on a community level with 100,000 rainbow laces distributed to local sporting clubs to enable them to show their support for ending homophobic language on the sporting field.

Check out #RainbowLaces and #KnotMe on social media to see some of the amazing pictures of support.

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