A sporting chance | The Economist

ILGA will share articles from The Economist ahead of its Pride and Prejudice event throughout March 2017. Excerpts shared with kind permission of the publisher.


A sporting chance

Published on The Economist
author: Mitchell Hung

When will it be normal for professional sports stars who are LGBT to be out?

To call Brad Marchand, left-winger for the Boston Bruins ice-hockey team, aggressive would be an understatement. Mr Marchand often relentlessly and violently attacks others on the rink, recently avoiding suspension for an incident in which he repeatedly kicked at another player’s legs from behind. Off the ice, his aggression takes a decidedly different form: though straight, he has fashioned himself as a committed defender of LGBT individuals. In January, he attacked a Twitter user for using offensive and homophobic language, shaming the user into deleting his post and, later, his account.

Mr Marchand is equally vigorous in making the case for LGBT pro-athletes to come out. In a recent interview with ESPN, he argued that even ice hockey teams, which tend to project traditional images of heterosexual masculinity, “would just accept [a gay player], no question.” Yet if that is the case, why is there yet to be a single example of a current player in any professional ice hockey team to be publicly out?

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ILGA supports Pride and Prejudice, a global initiative organised by The Economist Events that will catalyse fresh debate on the economic and human costs of discrimination against the LGBTI community. The 24-hour event taking place on March 23rd will begin in Hong Kong, continue in London and end in New York. Find out more about Pride and Prejudice here.

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