Homophobia in sport is a problem say nine out of 10 LGBT people in EU poll

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13th June 2019 18:31 - Sport, Leisure and Tourism

Homophobia in sport is a problem say nine out of 10 LGBT people: A survey of 5,500 LGBT+ people across 28 EU countries has found that almost 90% believe homophobia and particularly transphobia in sport is a current problem.

The Relevance of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Sport in Europe poll of LGBT+ people between 16 and 78 years of age found that 16% of respondents who enjoyed playing sports had been subjected to at least one negative experience owing to their sexual orientation or gender identity in the last 12 months. Of those who had experienced negativity towards them, 82% said that they had endured verbal insults form the perpetrator, while three-quarters (75%) had experienced structural discrimination and more than a third (36%) had been physically shoved or pushed. A fifth (20%) reported that they had been physically assaulted.

The most common perpetrators were other sports participants (53%) while 49% had negative experiences at the hands of team mates.

When it comes to reactions to negative experiences, more than half (53%) said that they do not react when they experience homophobic or transphobic discrimination, while 38% report they do not know who to inform (individual or organisation) in instances of discrimination.  Just 8% said they reported the incidents.

The survey, which formed part of an EU-funded Outsport project found that 82% of respondents had witnessed homophobic or transphobic language in sport over the course of the last year.

Professor Ilse Hartmann-Tews, head of research at Outsport, said: “There is a lack of evidence about the situation and experiences of LGBTI people in sport in Europe. For this reason, we conducted an EU-wide survey to investigate their diverse experiences in a wider context.”

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