Sporting governing bodies support charter to eradicate homophobia
A host of sporting governing bodies have signed a charter which aims to create a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Committees from football, tennis, cricket, rugby league, rugby union and the Olympics have all shown their support as they look to eradicate homophobia.
The document has four key points: everyone should be able to participate, sport is about fairness, equality, respect and dignity, a commitment to making these values a reality for LGBT people, and a pledge to challenge unacceptable behaviour.
The Football Association recently joined forces with Kick It Out to host a debate in Manchester around homophobia in the game as part of LGBT History Month. Alex Horne, General Secretary of The FA, said football was working to combat all forms of discrimination:
“The FA and its stakeholders have worked hard over the years in providing football for all and ensuring that football stadia are open to everyone and are both family and LGBT friendly,” he said.
“We’ve seen real progress over the last 20 years when it comes to tackling racism and that’s something football should be proud of.
“We remain committed to our long-term goal of removing all forms of discrimination, such as homophobia, out of the game.”
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said the charter was an important step towards a sporting environment free from discrimination:
“Sport should be about what you can do, not who you are.
“But too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feel that the sports field is not somewhere they can be themselves, and that prejudice and discrimination will mean their sexuality is always talked about more than their ability with a ball, bat or racket.
“Homophobia and transphobia has no place in sport and I’m delighted that so many sporting bodies are backing our campaign to stamp it out at all levels, from local parks to Olympic stadiums.”