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In November 2016, the Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, said there was “absolutely no place for homophobia in sport or anywhere in society.” She referred to the Government’s sports strategy (December 2015) which places “equal emphasis on the support for LGB&T people in sport as it does for other characteristics.”

A 2016 report by Pride Sports found that “significant barriers to participation continue to exist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in sport”.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is looking at homophobia in sport. In its background to the inquiry, the Committee said that an earlier report on racism in football found that homophobia was “emerging as a bigger problem than other forms of discrimination”. The Committee also notes that there are currently no openly gay footballers in Scotland and England’s professional divisions and that homophobic abuse remains commonplace at matches and online.

What is being done?

The Football Association (FA) has published an action plan for including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in football.

There is a Football v Homophobia campaign – “an international initiative opposing homophobia in football at all levels – from grassroots to professional clubs”. The FA is supporting the campaign.

The Rugby Football League has published guidance for rugby league clubs challenging homophobic abuse and behaviour.

In March 2015, World Rugby (the international governing body of rugby union) signed an agreement with the International Gay Rugby to educate and eliminate homophobia in rugby.

Stonewall has a programme to increase the visibility of LGBT role models in sport.  There is also a “Rainbow Laces” anti-homophobia campaign.

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