Football fans are the most likely to hear homophobic abuse, with 72 per cent of fans hearing it while watching live sports in the past five years.
The research also reveals that 18- to 24-year-olds are twice as likely to say they would be embarrassed if their favourite player came out as gay (22 per cent), compared to 12 per cent overall. This age group is also twice as likely to agree that anti-LGBT language is harmless if it’s just meant as banter, (22 per cent compared to 13 per cent overall).
However, despite this, the research highlights some encouraging trends. Across the general population, 9 in 10 (88 per cent) would be either ‘proud’ or ‘neutral’ if their favourite player came out as gay (50 per cent proud, 38 per cent neutral).
The research also shows that the majority of people think that offensive language towards LGBT people in sport is a problem (59 per cent), with young people more likely to identify it as a ‘big problem’ (28 per cent compared to 13 per cent overall).
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