Sport’s inaction on discrimination sends public wrong message, says UK committee

14 February 2017

Sport must give a clear public message that it is dealing with racism, homophobia and discrimination, says a report by the UK’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The parliamentary committee report recommends tough sanctions for fans engaging in homophobic abuse, including stadium bans.

The report says the problem remains widespread in UK sport and that football clubs, in particular, are not doing enough to combat the issue.

Committee Chair Damian Collins MP said: “Sanctions appear to be left to the discretion of the club or governing body involved:  a zero-tolerance approach to the use of all homophobic language and behaviours must be implemented with standardised sanctions across all sports.” He added: “This tougher approach across the board would go some way towards sending a clear message that the issue will no longer be ignored.”

Sponsors also have a role, he said: “The main corporate sponsors also have a duty to assure sportspeople that they will not lose their sponsorship as a result of coming out. Major sponsors should come together to launch an initiative in the UK to make clear that, should any sportsperson wish to come out, they will have their support.”

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