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Cricket’s signing of anti-homophobia policy sends strong message
Mar31

Cricket’s signing of anti-homophobia policy sends strong message

LAST UPDATED // Monday, 31 March 2014 20:25 Written by // Reg Domingo

Efforts by the Sydney Bingham Cup to tackle homophobia in sport have been bolstered with the recent announcement Cricket Australia will adopt an anti-homophobia policy.

In the lead up to the tournament, organisers of the Bingham Cup have developed a draft framework addressing anti-homophobia and inclusion in sport.

After initially refusing to sign a letter agreeing to incorporate an anti-homophobia policy earlier this month, cricket officials later changed their position to become signatories of the letter.

“Australian cricket has a long-standing, zero-tolerance approach to homophobic attitudes and behaviour within our sport,” a spokesperson for Cricket Australia told SX.

“We have our own codes and policies in place that serve to stamp out acts of discrimination and victimisation, including Cricket Australia’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Code of Behaviour, as we are committed to providing a sport environment free of harassment and discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation.

“After reviewing the new framework in detail, we believe it will complement our existing efforts in this area, including the work undertaken by our newly-formed Australian Cricket Diversity Council that is sharpening our focus on diversity and inclusion across all levels of our sport.

“It demonstrates our commitment to making cricket a welcoming environment for all sections of our community regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or sexuality.

“It is a game for everyone.”

Four major sporting codes have already agreed in principle to sign up to the framework, including the Australian Rugby Union, National Rugby League, Australian Football League and Football Federation of Australia, and the policy has been endorsed by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Sports Commission, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the Australian Human Rights Centre.

Andrew Purchas, President of the Bingham Cup Sydney, said the adoption of an anti-homopohiba policy by Cricket Australia sends a strong message to the broader community.

“This is a big deal,” Purchas told SX.

“They’re saying anti-gay sledging is not okay – and they’re backing it up. They’re going to make the game more open and welcoming to gay and lesbian cricketers, and more people playing cricket will be great for the game.”

Purchas highlighted the significance of an anti-homophobia policy being adopted by a sport so entrenched in the country.  

“Cricket is a big part of our life in Australia,” Purchas said. “It’s our national summer sport; it’s ingrained our culture. By joining the football codes in saying that homophobia is not acceptable, Cricket Australia will have a huge impact.”

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Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo

Reg Domingo is the editor of SX.

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