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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > August 2016 > Homophobia in sport

Homophobia in sport

EVERY 2.6 MINUTES AN ABUSIVE COMMENT IS MADE TO A FOOTBALLER ON SOCIAL MEDIA. AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, IT’S A COMMENT ROOTED IN HOMOPHOBIA. BUT FOR WHAT REASON? HATE? AS WE SIT DOWN TO WATCH THE OLYMPICS, WE ASK FOUR LGBT+ ATHLETES ABOUT THEIR OWN EXPERIENCES OF HOMOPHOBIA AND THEIR JOURNEY OF ACCEPTANCE...

A Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry from 2012 identified homophobia in sport as a greater problem than any other form of discrimination. But why? And why are some sports deemed as more accepting to LGBT+ athletes than others? As the 2016 Olympics in Rio arrive, we asked four LGBT+ athletes about their coming out stories, the change their brave and honest revelations had on their career, how we can kick homophobia out of sport forever, and if the International Olympic Committee [ICC] does enough to protect LGBT+ athletes from harm.

01 JOHN AMAECHI

OBE PSYCHOLOGIST AND FORMER NBA PLAYER

I came out publicly after I retired, and when I did, it was more of a political statement than anything else. I was out to my family and friends and I was out to some of my teammates for a long, long time before — I just simply wasn’t out to random strangers. I was more trying to draw attention to the fact gay people don’t just look like one stereotype. They have a bit more diversity than what is implied by what you see in the media. The vast majority of men that have come out in sport are black — that’s not a suggestion, it’s just a fact.

The intersectional minorities in the LGBT+ community that have done a good job of raising the flag for those parts. But if people are really concerned about sport and having more LGBT+ sport role models that are active, you have to start asking why, in major sports, there hasn’t been any. It’s not down to the individual, myself or other LGBT+ athletes, but issues that are still at the heart of many sports. I had a really positive experience with many of my teammates; most were interested if I was diligent and good at my job, and only interested in my life to a limited extent. I experienced a lot of support with a small amount of problems.

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About Gay Times

Brit export Gregg Sulkin shows us what he's got in the new issue of GT. The star of MTV's Faking It dazzles us with a stunning exclusive photo shoot and tells us all about his new film Status Update. Also in this issue Ellen Degenres. Zachary Quinto. Out sportsmen talk about homophobia in sport. Charlie Condu. Sarah Harding. Edinburgh fringe guide. WWE's Pat Patterson. Edmund White. Robin Lord Taylor. The problem with PREP. Bethany Black. And don't forget all the regular features: Fitness with Charlie King with Chris Jones. Date night dining with Edd Kimber and the Gastro Gays. The Guyliner. Ask Aled. Benjamin Cohen. Modern Family. PJ Brennan. Sex with Josh Sabarra. Property tips. GT Boyfriend. 21st Century Boys. Plus much more...
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