World’s First Study Finds Homophobia Common in American Sports: U.S. Scores Worst of English Speaking Countries

Out On The Fields, the world’s first international study on homophobia in sports, has revealed widespread discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans, ranking the United States the worst English-speaking country for homophobia in sports.

The report, which included interviews from 9,494 participants of all sexualities, including 2,064 from the U.S, found that 84 percent of Americans have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports, including heterosexual men and women. The report also found that Americans were most likely to fear discrimination from sports and officials.

The research was conducted on behalf of a coalition of LGBTI sports groups, including the Bingham Cup (world cup of gay rugby) and the Federation of Gay Games. The data was collected and analyzed by global sports market research firm Repucom which was overseen by a panel of seven international experts from six universities.

Dr. Sue Rankin, a member of the Campus Pride Speakers Bureau, sat on the study’s expert review panel. Dr. Rankin served for 17 years as the Head Coach for Women’s Softball and Lecturer in Kinesiology at Penn State. She has presented and published widely on the impact of sexism, racism and heterosexism in the academy and in intercollegiate athletics. Dr. Rankin’s current research focuses on the assessment of institutional climate and providing program planners and policy makers with recommended strategies to improve the campus climate for under-served communities.

An infographic by Out On The Fields of the key findings for their American report is below. For more information on the Out On The Fields American report, visit here.


Allison Marie Turner is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and mass communication and women’s and gender studies. She is a 2015 Summer Fellow for Campus Pride. Follow her on Twitter @amturner1993.

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