Nine out of 10 LGBTI people said that homophobia and transphobia in sport is a problem, according to an EU-wide report.

The EU-funded Outsport project, which aims to address queerphobia in sport, surveyed 5,500 queer people aged between 16-78 across the 28 EU member countries.

In the report, one in two trans women reported experiencing discrimination within sports in the last year.

Professor Ilse Hartmann-Tews, head of research at Outsport, said: ‘There is a lack of evidence about the situation and experiences of LGBTI people in sport in Europe.

‘For this reason, we conducted an EU-wide survey to investigate their diverse experiences in a wider context.’

What they detail in the 40 page report was troubling. For example, of the participants currently active in sports, 16% of them reported experiencing discrimination in the last year linked to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Moreover, the figure jumps to 46% in the case of trans women.

Of these experiences, the most common involved verbal insults or slurs (82%). While discrimination accounted for three in four, and 45% were verbal threats.

Furthermore, one in five respondents also reported experiencing psychical violence.

Just under a half (49%) said the perpetrators of the abuse or discrimination were the victims’ own team members. Thirty-six percent of the abuse cases came from members of an opposing team.

Five percent who were previously active in sports said they quite as a result of the negative experience(s).

Also, two in 10 LGBTI people said they avoid sports due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Just over 33% said they are completely closeted in their sports context.

The most popular sports that active participants are involved in are cardio-based fitness, running, swimming, and soccer.

Respondents also discussed ways to tackle discrimination in sports.

Seven out of 10 felt that famous sports stars coming out could help curb queerphobia.

As well as high-profile campaigns openly tackling discrimination may prove effective.


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