6th March 2013
How would you feel if you heard racist abuse next time you go to athletics? A generation ago racism was not uncommon in sport but, thankfully, now, most sport fans now believe that it’s unacceptable. Despite the progress we've made, for some people, sport is not as welcoming as it should be. Prejudice against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender still exists. Wouldn't it be great if we could also tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport as well?
We all enjoy athletics, whether you take part, coach or support. We want to provide a welcoming environment for all, and ensure people at every level can enjoy athletics without experiencing prejudice.
Sending out a clear message that homophobia and transphobia is not acceptable is good for fans and for players. It supports those playing your sport, to be themselves, which can have a positive impact on their and the team’s performance. As in any workplace we know that when people can be open about their sexual orientation, they perform at a higher standard. For fans and supporters, when we stand up to discrimination we are building more family friendly clubs, drawing in more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender fans, as well as those who simply don’t want to hear abuse on the terraces and pitches.
That is why UK Athletics, the National Governing Body for athletics in the UK, has signed up to support a new Charter against homophobia and transphobia in sport and why we’re asking for athletics clubs across the country to join us.
The Charter has a growing list of supporters such as the Football Association, the Lawn Tennis Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football League, the Rugby Football Union and the 2012 London Olympic organisers, along with all the football clubs in the Premier League and Football League and well-known names such as Billie Jean King, Ben Cohen, Martina Navratilova, Stephen Fry and David Furnish.
This is good news but we now need you to spread the word by signing up and inviting your friends, family and team mates to sign up too. To support the campaign and sign up to the Charter for Action ‘like’ the ‘I love sport, but I hate homophobia and transphobia’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lgbtsportcharter See British athletes supporting the Sports Charter on the British Athletics Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/BritishAthletics