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.