AS the domestic English Football seasons January transfer window draws to a close, a certain ‘school boy like’ and ‘snigger snigger’ joke has emerged in slightly varying forms 0n the INTERNET over the past couple of days.
This may have been half forgiven had it been confined to a playground and the environment looked at for ways of re-education around things and any resurgence of this type.
But unfortunately many adults including well respected ex-England and British Lions ‘hooker’ Brian Moore have sadly and shamefully, (IMO) posted (retweeted in Brian’s case from an original post by Alison Kervin) the following on their own personal social network outlets.
“ Apparently Gary Glitter is the new Aston Villa manager…. He heard the strikers are Young, Bent and possibly Keane, boom boom.”
Words which once again stigmatize an LGBT community with the links to homosexuality and pedophilia.
Mr. Moore may not have asked to have been put on a pedestal in his playing career and through retirement from the game of Rugby Union, but he clearly benefited over the years from it’s wealth and adoration, seen by millions world wide as a hero, idol and role model to young sports men and women who wish to follow suit.
Unfortunately there will be those in sport like many in society as a whole, who will ridicule anyone that does not match up to their talent or who identify as LGBT or who indeed are perceived to be LGBT. Likewise, many young LGBT’s who struggle at an early stage with personal understanding and acceptance of who they are in the world themselves, will only too likely then shy away from ‘coming out’ and being at least active if not fully engaged in participating in sport because of the fear of ridicule and isolation and abuse that goes with the above mentioned so called ‘banter, bit of a laugh, leg pulling, name calling, “casual homophobia.”
A hate crime or a hate incident in whatever context should not be made welcome in society, and now is the time to challenge this behavior and help eradicate it from sport.
For almost five years now I have been involved with a number of LGBT groups and organizations on a voluntary basis, most of whom who have tried to work collaboratively with those in mainstream sport from grass roots to elite, and also incorporating NGB’s.
I believe it’s now time for those sports groups and organizations and any other interested parties from the LGBT community, mainstream sport, NGB’s GEO and MP’s, police and home Office to branch out, side step, ad a new direction together as one solid unit and take action, and squeeze in one day in the immediate future to come together and be united in challenging homophobia in sport. Carrying a banner high from now until at least the start of the 2012 Olympics.
As author/ creator of blog JUST A BALL GAME, Lindsay England is an activist and campaigner working free lance around challenging homophobia in sport.
B.MOORE 01. 01-2011.