Sports teams that back LGBT players, rights get more support: study
Some professional athletes have always been open in supporting LGBT rights and players, with projects and groups like You Can Play and AthleteAlly, respectively.
So it’s good to hear that their supporters are also willing to back them up on this, according to one study.
Sports teams that are LGBT-supportive
The study, conducted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), noted that support for LGBT players and rights by professional sports franchises leads to more favorable feelings toward these teams.
The study discovered that 56 percent of respondents said they would have “a significantly or somewhat more positive opinion” of a professional sports team if it expressed support for LGBT athletes and fans.
What’s more, respondents also expressed a similar response for sports teams supporting laws that protect LGBT people.
LGBT advocacy not a burden for sports teams
The study also discovered that sports teams who have an advocacy for LGBT people don’t suffer for it with 36 percent of respondents stating that their opinion wouldn’t change at all if teams express support for LGBT fans and athletes.
Likewise, 35 percent also felt the same about sports teams that express support for LGBT-inclusive laws. In both instances, less than 8 percent answered that it would have a negative impact.
More importantly, when sports teams cite LGBT people in diversity statements, they don’t have any negative impact on their increased support but rather the opposite.
LGBT in sports and sports teams
Given the number of openly gay athletes and sports personalities like football player Michael Sam, NBA player Jason Collins, and NBA referee Bill Kennedy, the study shows how support for LGBT athletes and fans is becoming an important element for sports franchises to consider.
For example, the New York Giants recently became one of the first NFL teams to reach out to the LGBT community. Their activities range from the You Can Play Project to an event with LGBT youth at the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI).
“Sports should be an exciting, welcoming place, and this study shows that the public agrees,” said Dr. Laura Durso, Director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at CAP.
“The strong support for teams embracing LGBT athletes, fans, and inclusive laws demonstrates the potential power of athletics to help build a more inclusive country,” Dr. Durso pointed out.
“As more teams take a leadership role in supporting LGBT people and the laws that protect them, this study suggests they will have the opportunity for growth in their fan base,” she added.
In other words, it’s good for sports teams to have the LGBT on their side in any game.