Majority of Brits want to play their part to challenge anti-LGBT abuse in sport

Almost two thirds of the British public (65 per cent) believe it’s important anti-LGBT language and abuse like calling someone or something ‘gay’ in a derogatory way should be challenged at live sporting events. Only a year ago, this figure was revealed to be just over half of British people (58 per cent).

The steady rise in people wanting to help LGBT people feel included in sport highlights how attitudes are shifting, both on and off the pitch.  

Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign encourages fans, sports leaders and athletes to play their part to kick discrimination out of sport. This year, high-profile athletes like Joe Roots and Anthony Ogogo have shown how powerful and meaningful it can be to challenge anti-LGBT slurs. 

The charity’s polling also found the public wanted equality across all levels of sports, with nearly two thirds of people (65 per cent) saying local sports clubs should be welcoming to lesbian, gay, bi and trans players. Despite this, four in ten LGBT people (43 per cent) think public sporting events aren’t welcoming for them according to previous research by Stonewall.  

The research comes as sport is celebrating its biggest show of support ever for LGBT equality as part of Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. From horseracing and tennis, to gymnastics, football and rugby, sports across Britain are ‘coming out’ to make sport everyone’s game.  

Stonewall has also this year announced 11 LGBT Sports Champion to promote inclusion in sport. The list includes Corinne Humphries, GB sprinter, Ryan Atkin, the first openly gay football referee and Philippa York, a trans woman who was one of Britain’s most successful cyclists.  

Robbie de SantosStonewall’s Director of Sport, said: ‘Each year, we see more and more people taking on the message of Rainbow Laces and wanting to do more to change the culture in sport to tackle anti-LGBT attitudes. Our research shows the majority of people are ready to step up and play their part in kicking discrimination out of sport.  

‘We want more fans, players, coaches, clubs and national governing bodies to join in and step up how they support LGBT equality in their sport throughout the year. Our work won’t be finished until every lesbian, gay, bi and trans person, from fans to players, is accepted without exception.’ 

The Rainbow Laces campaign is supported by TeamPride, a group of global organisations committed to making sport everyone’s game. Rainbow Laces kicked off on Friday 22 November and will be running until Sunday 8 December. 

Find out more about Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign

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