Press release

Homophobia and transphobia given the red card by top sports stars

Sports stars Billie Jean King, Gareth Thomas and Ben Cohen, backed the government's charter to tackling homophobia and transphobia in sport.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Stars and sports organisations signed the government’s charter for action at the event held ahead of gay pride.

The charter commits signatories to challenge discrimination and work to rid sport of homophobic and transphobic abuse both on the stands and in the field, so that everyone can take part in and enjoy sport.
Speaking at the reception, prime minister David Cameron said:

‘I think it’s great that here in No 10 we have got representatives of the governing bodies of almost every single sport you can think of, signing the charter saying it’s time to put an end to homophobia.

‘There are a huge number of sports personalities who have not felt able to come out. We should be doing far more to make them comfortable to do that.

‘Young people look to role models, and until we have enough positive role models, it won’t change.’

Home secretary, Theresa May said:

‘There is no room for hate of any kind, anywhere in sport.

‘But too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feel that the sports field is not somewhere they can be themselves, and that prejudice and discrimination will mean their sexuality is always talked about more than their ability with a ball, bat or racket.

‘Sport should be about what you can do, not who you are. I want to see anybody and everybody who loves sport sign the charter for action and commit to kicking homophobia and transphobia out of sport for good.’

The charter for action forms part of a government plan to ensure equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The government is taking action on a range of issues from civil partnerships, to promote better recording of hate crimes and a commitment to promote rights abroad.

Notes to editors:

1.      The charter for action was launched on 13 March by government minister for equalities, Lynne Featherstone

2.      To support the campaign and sign up to the charter for action ‘like’ the ‘I love sport, but I hate homophobia and transphobia’ Facebook page, or visit

3.      For media enquries only please contact the home office newsdesk on 020 7035 3535

4.      High resolution images can be found on our flickr page

Published 23 June 2011