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Fighting Homophobia in Sports – A Champion Coach Takes a Stand

Fighting Homophobia in Sports – A Champion Coach Takes a Stand

Three-time All American wrestler and current Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor has decided to fight homophobia in sports through Athlete Allies – an advocacy and education organization.  Here’s why.

In a single month in 2010, nine LGBT teens, who lived in disparate communities from New Jersey to California, ended their lives. Common to all was the experience of being bullied in school.

As an athlete and coach, I am confident that the athletic community can help prevent similar tragedies. I believe in our potential as athlete allies to define 21st century sportsmanship by actions and words that reject homophobia and value respect and diversity.

Historically, athletics have brought people together and inspired leadership. When the Brooklyn Dodgers drafted Jackie Robinson in 1947, making him the first African-American in Major League Baseball, sports led the nation in the fight for racial integration.

Today more than ever, members of the sports community have the power to affirm, connect and inspire people around the country. By taking small steps based on simple ideas at the heart of sportsmanship — like treating others as you want to be treated — athletes, coaches, parents, fans and administrators can unite a team where each player has unique talents, traits and preferences.

I am convinced that what we say and do will spread further than we can imagine — beyond locker rooms and playing fields — and change the national environment for all people.

I encourage you to learn what you can do to become an athlete ally and to contact me so that we can do more together than any single athlete can do alone.

Here’s his YouTube message: 

This post first appeared as part of Athlete Ally’s website.

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photo by Lewis Payton courtesy of Athlete Ally
written by Hudson Taylor

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6:18AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

I salute you, Hudson Taylor! May you be the first in a long line of athletes with the same goal.

12:27AM PDT on Mar 28, 2011

Thank you to this coach. We will end discrimination--all forms--with persistence.

4:33AM PDT on Mar 27, 2011

kudos to this guy. the more people who object to homophobia & take a stand against it, the sooner it will fade into the shameful history of the human race.

3:45PM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

Homophobia is a part of everyday life worldwide, LGBT hate must stop.

2:59PM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

Homophobia seems to dominate the world of sports. This is about human beings competing as athletes.

2:23AM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

Thanks for the article.

7:47PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Bravo. How we treat others has a profound affect which effect their lives.

2:50PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

It is very important that our sports project a positive image .. and that the participants provide a positive role model for our youngsters. Kudos to this young man for recognizing this and working to make it a reality.

2:18PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Thank you for taking a stand against ignorance, and stupidity!

2:14PM PDT on Mar 25, 2011

Wow! He should be asked to head up every sports group in America, from the smallest sand lot league to the NFL. Hope he gets a fraction of the media exposure wasted on which baseball player is dating which actress and the latest doping scandal in cycling. Kind of makes me proud to be an American again. And Roberto A., it might be a non issue to you, but for the thousands of closeted athletes who are too afraid to come out, it's a big issue. But thanks for supporting him anyway.

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