Out on the fields


The Logo Design for the 2014 Bingham Cup

Mahima Dutt, Staff Writer

It is common for professional athletes to hide their sexuality or stop playing a certain sport because they feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their environment. However, there hasn’t been any concrete evidence or statistics out there that substantiates the prejudice in sports until the Bingham Cup started the first international study on homophobia in sports this year. The Bingham Cup, was founded by the International Gay Rugby Association and Board  (IGRAB). IGRAB works with the rugby governing bodies and other partner organizations worldwide to improve tolerance and acceptance of LGBT athletes at all levels of the sport of rugby, ensuring that no individual shall be excluded from participating in rugby on the basis of sexual orientation or identification. (igrab.net) IGRAB, hosts the Bingham cup, which is an annual rugby event that is hosted in Sydney, Australia this year.

The Bingham cup also known as the Gay Rugby World Cup, launched a study known as “Out on the Fields” on May 16, 2014, the day before International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The survey is conducted in a survey format and primarily focuses on the experiences of same-sex attracted people in competitive or organized sports.  The survey can be answered by anyone, regardless of their sexuality. It also asks for a ranking of various solutions to combat the issue of lack of support of LGBT athletes. The goal of this survey is to help the community better understand the issues and problems that affect the LGBT community and academic researchers will be compiling data from this survey and releasing it sometime in August of 2014.

The study has also been extended to other sports and countries including the United States. The issue gained attention in the United States when Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, becoming the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team.

“Out on the Fields” is not only the first international study on homophobia in sports, but it also gathers data and personal stories on the lives of LGBT athletes. The study marks a huge step towards majority acceptance of gay athletes in professional sports.


Concept behind new logo of Bingham Cup 2014 in Sydney, Australia

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