A new campaign to get rid of homophobic language in Aussie Rules football is drawing attention around the world.

And other groups from soccer to hockey are picking up the ball in an effort to end anti-gay slurs. How are sports stars taking a stand?

Linguist Daniel Midgley tackles the issue on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Last Friday, 17 May, was International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), and I noticed a story about AFL stars speaking out against gay slurs. We’re always up for a story about language change, especially on LGBT issues, so here it is.

There’s also some trivia about Ben, and about the show. And if you listen carefully, you can hear the thumping sound of the music from the Full Frequency show, which was going on next door. It’s all going on!


Show notes

The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) is 17 May every year.
http://www.homophobiaday.org/default.aspx?scheme=1207

And Australian Football League players are on board.
http://www.aflpa.com.au/beyond_the_jumper/players_tv_video/footy4idaho
http://www.outsports.com/2013/5/14/4331784/aussie-rules-football-players-take-stand-against-anti-gay-language

Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League are also taking a stand.
http://powerforwardinsports.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/major-league-soccers-zero-tolerance-on-homophobic-language/

We still have a way to go, though. Here are some high profile slurs in recent history.
http://www.advocate.com/sports/2013/04/15/pro-soccer-player-responds-antigay-slur-winning-game
http://tensport.com.au/news/theroar/Basketball-Kobe-Bryant-fined-100000-over-anti-gay-slur.htm
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/09/17/blue-jays-yunel-escobar-triggers-online-uproar-over-anti-gay-slur/

Here’s one list of LGBT athletes who have come out.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/27-openly-lgbt-athletes_n_3178973.html#slide=2391400

Homophobic language is prevalent in schools and sports clubs
http://www.scienceomega.com/article/1049/homophobia-is-common-in-schools-and-sports-clubs

and it has an impact on young people.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202114957.htm

For the very interested, here’s a PhD thesis on the topic by Zobiah Akhtar. (PDF)
http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3157/1/Ahktar_11_App_ed_psy_Vol1.pdf

And the short paper by Crispin Thurlow. (PDF)
http://faculty.washington.edu/thurlow/papers/Thurlow(2001)-JofA.pdf

Justin Katz’s TED talk on violence against women is required viewing — there’s some applicability to this issue.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8

So what can you do? Here’s a guide from Rugby League in Canada. (PDF)
http://www.caaws-homophobiainsport.ca/e/resources_caaws/pdfs/Guide_for_Addressing_Homophobic_Language_in_Sport_Eng.pdf


Show tunes

‘Fight for Everyone’ by The Leisure Society
from the album Alone Aboard the Ark

‘Children Play Well Together’ by Caribou
from the album Start Breaking My Heart