Homophobia in Sport: Bi too?

The government is running a consultation on homophobia in sport – and no surprise that we’d like to encourage people to send their experiences in to it, including of biphobia!

Culture, Media & Sport Committee Chair Jesse Norman MP says:

“Sport is hugely important to many people, but it is clear that homophobia remains a serious issue across a wide range of British sports.

The Committee intends to examine why this is so and what can be done to address it.

We are particularly interested in looking at the possible differences between sports, and sports governing bodies, and between the experiences of sportsmen and sportswomen.”

The review follows on from the findings of an inquiry into racism in football, which was published in 2013. A key conclusion of that inquiry was that homophobia was identified as emerging as a bigger problem than other forms of discrimination.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is holding an inquiry to examine the issue of homophobia specifically, and to take into account a broader range of sports beyond football. They note that there are currently no openly gay footballers in Scotland and England’s professional divisions and homophobic abuse remains commonplace at matches and online. Further, that research shows abusive posts are sent to football players on social media once every 2.6 minutes.

The Committee would also like to hear opinions on why sportspeople – often lauded as role models – are fearful of being open about their sexuality.

The Committee is interested in receiving written submissions on the subject, taking into consideration both personal experiences and general views or concerns. Those might include:

 

  • Looking at the experiences of gay (and, we infer, bisexual) sportsmen and sportswomen; what do these tell us about different sports and the progression of attitudes in general?
  • The approach of governance bodies throughout sport; how does homophobic abuse compare to other forms of harassment? How successful have governing bodies been in tackling this issue?
  • How is homophobia being tackled at school? What actions are taken by teachers and coaches involved in youth and amateur sport to ensure homophobia is challenged at any early stage?
  • Does football have a particular problem with homophobia in comparison to other sports?

 

Submissions close on Friday 6th May, and you can put your thoughts in writing to them here. If you’d care to copy them to BCN we’d love to hear from you.

ParliamentTop tips for submissions:

From here on the Parliament website:

Each submission should:

  • State clearly who the submission is from, i.e. whether from yourself in a personal capacity or sent on behalf of an organisation, for example the submission could be headed ‘Written evidence submitted by xxxxxx’
  • Be concise – we recommend no more than 3,000 words in length, unless otherwise stated in the inquiry terms of reference
  • Begin with an executive summary in bullet point form of the main points made in the submission
  • Include a brief introduction about yourself/your organisation and your reason for submitting evidence
  • Have numbered paragraphs
  • Include any factual information you have to offer from which the committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses for their reactions
  • Include any recommendations for action by the Government or others which you would like the committee to consider.

Finally remember that written submissions, and who they were from, may be published including online as part of the inquiry process.