Sport can help reduce anti-gay bullying says Cohen

St Stephen's TowerStraight Rugby player Ben Cohen has told parliamentary LGBT equality groupĀ ParliOut that more action is needed in order to reduce anti-gay bullying in sport.

ParliOut, with Parliament Speaker John Bercrow as its president, is the first equality network group to be active in parliament. At a meeting this week 34-year-old Cohen said sport could positively help in the reduction of anti-gay bulling noting the work done by the Charter for Action to kick homophobia and transphobia out sport campaign which was launched two years ago.

However he believes more is required from sporting bodies to make games more inclusive for gay and lesbian people, starting in schools where Cohen suggests teachers need to be trained to deal with homophobia in schools. Some religious-run schools may need some persuading to carry out such moves however.

The formerĀ  England rugby union international player added that multi-national sports companies also should take a role in supporting the LGBT positive message.

At the event the Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson added, “There is an awful lot more that remains to be done, and we will absolutely do everything we can to make sure it happens.”

Robertson also noted that he was slightly appalled that there wasn’t more openly gay sporting stars. Earlier this month former Leeds United player Robbie Rogers announced he was gay, however quit the sport in the same statement.

[Reported by Mike Watkins]