A recent international survey has revealed the truth about homophobia on the sports field, reports yahoo news.
The survey stated that only one percent of people feel that gays are “completely accepted” in the sports world, while others have been subject to verbal and physical abuse for being homosexual.
Close to 9,500 people were interviewed for the ‘Out on the Fields’ study, with respondents mostly from Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. It said:
“Even in the most promising countries, such as Canada, discrimination and homophobia were still widely experienced by both LGB and straight participants.”
In a shocking revelation, some 19 percent of gay men and nine percent of lesbians surveyed said they had been physically assaulted, while 27 percent of gay men and 16 percent of lesbians said they were subject to verbal threats of harm.
About 54 percent of gay men, 48 percent of lesbians and 28 percent of straight men said they had experienced homophobia.
Not only this, respondents were largely unanimous in the view that spectator stands were not accepting of gay people. About 78 percent said they believed LGB people would not be “very safe” if they visibly displayed their sexuality, for example by showing affection to each other.
The survey was reviewed by seven leading experts on homophobia in sport, including Caroline Symons from Melbourne’s Victoria University. She said:
“Some LGB people can thrive in sport, but many others feel compelled to remain closeted to keep playing the sport they love, monitoring every word they say to ensure they keep up the appearance of being heterosexual. All this effort to hide their identity can distract from enjoying their sport and improving their performance.”
Current LA Galaxy and former Leeds footballer Robbie Rogers, one of very few professional footballers to admit their homosexuality publicly, said:
“The change can start with every athlete or fan who decides not to use homophobic language, even if it’s meant as humour.”