WATCH: AFL star joins Out in the Fields campaign
Carlton midfielder and avid LGBTI advocate Brock McLean is the next professional sporting personality to show their support in the ‘Out in the Fields’ campaign.
The campaign is asking people of all genders and sexualities to tell their story and opinion of homophobia in sport, and looks at whether people choose not to play team sports because of fear of discrimination as well as the prevalence of homophobia, such as slurs, among athletes and fans.
McLean told MCV he thinks the fact that more people are talking about homophobia in sport is a good step forward.
“In the past, people have been a bit scared to go there and voice their opinion [on homophobia] but now we’re starting to see everyone speak about their honest beliefs and their true feelings, and that homophobia has no place in sport or in society.
“If we can get more people speaking up on the issue and we start to create a more safe environment for anyone who is thinking of coming out – not just in sport but in society as well – then the world would be a much better place and much more inclusive and it would go a long way to show support and love for any gay person that’s out there.”
McLean said the burden of people having to hide who they are from their team mates or close friends must be “just horrific”.
“The sooner we can eradicate homophobia, the world will be a much better place and a much safer place for any gay player that’s thinking of coming out.”
Watch Brock McLean talking about homophobia in sport
McLean continues to support the LGBTI community for which the wider community has been very appreciative, he said.
“The feedback I’ve received from the general public, friends, my teammates, family, has been nothing but great and it just goes to show when you speak up on an issue like this and in a positive way, that people who might have been a little unsure about what to think and what to say really do feel the same way, and that was really heart-warming for me.”
McLean is the third professional sporting personality to get behind the ‘Out in the Fields’ campaign, after rugby league stars Sam and Thomas Burgess’s video of support went online last week.
The campaign is an initiative of Bingham Cup organisers, and Melbourne Chargers president Anton Brookes told MCV it’s great to have McLean on board the campaign.
“We’re grateful that Brock McLean has taken the time out to do this. Victoria is very AFL focused and for someone in the league to endorse the survey is great.”
The Chargers are getting ready for the cup, which kicks off in Sydney in August.
“We’re taking two teams from Melbourne to go and represent the community and we’re very excited and hopefully we’ll bring some silverware home,” Brookes said.
Fill out the survey at outonthefields.com