Standing Up Against Homophobia
Does support from celebrities like Ben Cohen and organisations like NIKE, mean we have reached a turning point in sport? Straight Education Network’s changing the Game Sports Director Pat Griffin thinks so. ‘’We are riding the crest of a wave of attitude change about LGBTQ people in sports. We hope that the action plans that were identified at the NIKE summit will speed up this change.” The Board of the GLTA have some questions about that optimism and say your participation makes a real difference.
The world really is screwed up when sport champions want us dead, the Nazi salute is permitted in sport stadium and governments try to ‘outlaw’ even speaking about GLBT people. Just where are we safe from homophobia?
“If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” So speaketh the NIKE sponsored WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao. OK, so boxing may not be the most amenable sport to recognising diversity. But recently football’s governing body made a howler in awarding Poland and particularly Ukraine the honour of hosting the European Championships. Poland is renowned for unchecked racism during football matches. Mass Nazi salutes and monkey grunting when a black player is on the field is not uncommon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAL3YuzOshI
Ukrainian’s government is in the process of trying to pass Law 8711 would prohibit the promotion of homosexuality in the media. Understand that to mean nothing positive gets written about gays. This is the same country that had to call off Gay Pride due to neo-Nazi threats of violence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FZibKvXl7U
Meanwhile in Greece, Gay Pride marchers get pelted with eggs. No arrests made there either we might add. Talking of arrests, closer to home for Americans in San Francisco, police asked for the public's help in locating assailants who attacked men they believed were gay in incidents in Castro and Hayes Valley neighbourhoods. So, yea, just where are we safe?
Our players make a statement when they attend GLTA events. By participating in tournaments and clubs around the globe, we say we are here and we expect and deserve equality. We want respect in law, politics, employment and yes SPORT. On a happier note http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZSlfAkfQj0
Recently the GLTA Board wrote to governments asking how they could lend credibility to the European football championships held I homophobic states. We don’t intend to overly politicise the GLTA, but we do believe we have a responsibility to add our voice to protecting and promoting diversity and equality. We certainly believe sport can be a vehicle for good…or unfortunately bad.
Click Here to view the response from the European Parliament.