A study from OnePoll has found that two in five LGBTQ+ sports fans have been made to feel unwelcome when watching a live sporting event in person due to their gender or sexuality.
Nearly half (44%), of 1,000 people polled, feel that the sporting world is less accepting and progressive than society in general when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.
The worst sport for this was revealed to be football, with 53% having experienced problems at a men’s football event, and 23% at women’s football.
And of the one in three (34%) who have experienced abuse while sitting in the stands at a live sporting event, they say this has happened to them an average of four times.
The research revealed 45% of all LGBTQ+ adults polled claimed homophobic or transphobic “banter” has always been part of sporting culture.
Other sports in which homophobic or transphobic abuse has been an issue include swimming, tennis, and cricket.
It also emerged it’s not just when watching a sport – as 38% of those who have taken part in a team game have encountered abuse from their own side because of their sexuality.
Nearly half (46%) of those confronted them personally, although 32% stayed quiet – and after being confronted, three-quarters said the abuser tried to justify their comments as “banter”.
More than half (54%) have also witnessed someone directing homophobic or transphobic abuse at another person – with this occurring most in football, rugby, basketball, and Formula 1.
And while 49% said the abuse was directed at those watching the sport, 23% saw the players targeted – although 27% saw both groups abused.
The research, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed 45% of all LGBTQ+ adults polled claimed homophobic or transphobic “banter” has always been part of sporting culture.
And as a result, 85% feel sport still needs to be improved to be inclusive to everyone.