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Rugby Star Ben Cohen Quits the Game to Focus on Fighting Homophobia

Rugby Star Ben Cohen Quits the Game to Focus on Fighting Homophobia

British rugby star Ben Coehn, 32, has announced that he is retiring from the game. The England World Cup winner goes out on top, being Sales Shark’s player of the season. Why is he giving up playing, then? Married with kids, the straight ruby star has long been an advocate for LGBT rights and wants to concentrate on his work fighting homophobia and bullying with the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation.

From the statement on the Ben Cohen Official Fan Site:

To be honest, I would never have imagined my career was going to  move in this direction after my professional rugby career, but here we are — it’s happening. It is incredibly exciting and we have so many plans in the pipeline to be able to make a difference.

In my view, rugby is a very inclusive sport. Everyone can get involved in one way or another, so I will be using it as a vehicle to drive my message of acceptance out to people from  all walks of life, everywhere. There is a lot of work to be done. Attitudes need to change. Young people should not be bullied into taking their own lives. That is what is happening and it needs to stop.’

[...]

‘I have reached the top in my sport. It has been an incredible journey and has put me in the privileged position I am in today to be able to work on these exciting new projects through the StandUp Brand. As athletes, it is not enough just to have strong bodies. We must have strong characters and use our voices to support those who need and deserve it.’

The website quotes Cohen as also saying: “I see this as the beginning of my new career and I have much work to do. The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation is being officially launched at the beginning of our Acceptance Tour this coming week. I look forward to keeping in touch with everybody and am excited about standing up for equality and making a difference.”

Cohen is currently touring the USA with his Acceptance Tour. From the 19th through to the 29th May he will be working with gay friendly rugby clubs in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC and Seattle, and running training sessions, giving university and school talks and engaging in other fund raising activities all to promote an anti-bullying, pro-LGBT message.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to Darren LC Ford

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42 comments

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12:43PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

There has to be more to this story. It's too honest to be true...

7:12PM PDT on May 29, 2011

very cool

1:16PM PDT on May 21, 2011

Way to go, Ben...has Kobe called you for any advice?

7:59AM PDT on May 21, 2011

To Nanette P, the self-proclaimed church-lady: Where in the 10 commandments do you find God condemming people who are gay? America needs prayers for those like you!

2:43PM PDT on May 19, 2011

HE IS DEFINITELY GAY! LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS!

2:42PM PDT on May 19, 2011

He's CUTE!!!

5:20AM PDT on May 19, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:33PM PDT on May 18, 2011

CONGRATULATION Ben Cohen you are an example of human being!!!! A big hug for you! :)

6:25PM PDT on May 18, 2011

nanette p.,
Read your history, if you can. There is no sense in arguing with people like you of a limited brain functions. You choose to remain ignorant and will not believe anyone who has a different opinion than you.

6:03PM PDT on May 18, 2011

What a great guy! Hope others will follow his lead, by StandingUp, whether they continue in their sport or not.

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