NZ human rghts commissioner calls for end to homophobia in sports
New Zealand Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley has told journalists homophobia and discrimination has no place in sports.
The commissioner made the comments following the release of the Out in the Fields survey which was conducted in conjunction with the organisers of the Bingham Cup (the World Cup for gay rugby to be held in Sydney next month) to discover the extent of homophobia and discrimination in sports.
The survey has revealed lesbian, gay and bisexual athletes face an alarming level of homophobia and discrimination, with the majority of those surveyed saying they had experienced or witnessed homophobia.
Speaking of the results of the study, Tankersley said: "Gay athletes have to face other powerful opponents: homophobia and discrimination.
"When a rugby player scores a try or a runner crosses the finish line first: it's their athletic excellence that counts not whether they're gay or straight."
Tankersley has called for all New Zealand’s sporting codes to bring an end to homophobia.
"Make homophobia and discrimination part of nation’s sporting history and not part of our future," he said.