Professional Rugby Players Say No to Homophobia
Wallabies and Convicts Together Against Homophobia
Professional rugby players in Australia are taking part in an advertising campaign aimed at fighting homophobia in sport (). The Wallabies, Australiaís national rugby union team, is participating in an online photo gallery called This Is Oz.
The official website states, ìPart art project, part human rights campaign, This Is Oz is all about making Australia a place where everyone belongs.î The online photo gallery depicts LGBT people and allies holding signs to express unity and support for the LGBT community.
The inclusion of Wallabies players is incredibly significant. Only the best rugby union players are selected to play for the Wallabies. The team represents Australia during Rugby World Cup competitions as well as Tri-Nations and other international competitions. Rugby players are incredibly influential in Australia and many kids (and adults) idolize them.
The Wallabies decided to take part after consulting with the Sydney Convicts, a predominately gay rugby team. The Convicts are part of the International Gay Rugby Association & Board and won last yearís Bingham Cup, an international gay rugby tournament.
This marks the second time an overseas rugby association has taken part in a campaign to fight homophobia in sports. Last year, The United Kingdomís Rugby Football League became the first national governing body of a major sport to support a campaign for LGBT equality.
Also, last year as reported on glaadBLOG, the governing body of soccer in England announced that it was working on a promotional video starring high-profile players speaking out against homophobia.
Now is the time for their American counterparts to take on a similar campaign. It would be incredibly powerful for the Shaquille O'Neals, Derek Jeters and Tom Bradys of the American sporting world to stand up and say no to homophobia in sports.