Homophobia in sport is well documented, especially within football in the UK. Studies have consistently reported overt and damaging levels of abuse at all playing levels - from grass-roots to Premier League clubs.

Such deep-rooted homophobia often alienates young players who identify as gay or transgender and acts as a barrier to participation.

The power of sport lies in its ability to unite people through a productive and stimulating activity. Regularly taking part in physical activity, particularly with and amongst other people improves happiness and decreases loneliness.

Inclusivity is therefore essential, and efforts must be made to make LGBT+ people feel welcome, comfortable and safe.

Ellie Lewis, Regional Recruitment Manager at UCFB, says "For a lot of the LGBTQ+ community, having a sense of belonging is more important than ever. Being a part of a sports team provided me with a safe and inclusive environment for me to be me, help improve health and create life-long friends."

"I know that we still have a long way to go before sport is fully inclusive across the board, but with organisations and clubs teaming up to create powerful campaigns I hope that it will always improve."

"At UCFB, we continue to strive to create a culture where students feel safe and supported to be themselves and will continue to use sport as a positive platform to kick out homophobia and transphobia."

This Pride month, we are encouraging students to explore resources such as Pride Sports. Pride Sports are committed to improving access to sport for LGBT+ people. On their website, you can discover your local LGBT+ friendly club. Both our UK campuses are in close proximity to many sports clubs, from rowing to rugby to badminton.

Below are some resources you can use to learn and tackle homophobia in sporting spaces.

  • Just a Ball Game? aims to raise the profile of LGBT+ people in sport and works with clubs and organisations to promote inclusion. 
  • Football vs Homophobia is an international initiative to encourage teams to show their alliance in various ways, on or off the pitch.
  • Out Sports is a source of inspiration, news and information for and from gay athletes.
  • Athlete Ally is an international organisation which creates a platform for straight athletes to show support for LGBT+ people.
  • You Can Play project works to create a community of allies, ensuring the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports.
  • This Stonewall Sports toolkit PDF explains stereotypes and forms of abuse, and suggests how to create an inclusive sports club.