Recently, our president, Jarrett Barrios, wrote an article for ESPN.com outlining the dangers of homophobia in sports. The piece began with a condensed version of the Larry Johnson saga, and then shifted into a detailed description of GLAAD’s Sports Media Program.
Barrios explains GLAAD’s zero-tolerance approach to Larry Johnson’s use of anti-gay slurs and his subsequent suspension from the Chiefs. Despite his personal punishment, we are disappointed that the NFL is not using this as an important educational tool on the dangers of anti-gay attitudes and words. The sports world remains a very hostile environment for LGBT players, coaches, fans and allies "because when anti-gay epithets go uncorrected, it sends a message that it's OK to denigrate gay people and their families."
GLAAD’s Sports Media Program will continue to address the needs of amateur and professional athletes, until “openly gay athletes will be cheered, booed and treated just the same as their teammates.”
The accessible and prominent article will reach a wide audience of readers and offers and hopefully spark conversations. The article demonstrates to LGBT readers that they have a voice within sports culture, but it also serves to change the hearts and minds of many avid fans.