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Gavin Newlands MP speaks out against homophobia in sport

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North and the SNP Spokesperson for Sport, has spoken in a debate in Westminster against the homophobia that still exists in sport.

The debate followed English Premier League players wearing rainbow laces to show their support for ridding homophobic attitudes from football.

After a BBC survey revealed that 50% of supporters have heard homophobic chanting at the football and 8% of fans would stop supporting their club if they signed an openly gay player, the issue was debated in Parliament Wednesday.

Gavin Newlands MP commented: “We should never underestimate the positive change that the power of sport can help bring about. Sport can help improve the physical and mental health of an individual, it can help lift people out of poverty and it can bring people together, but we still have a lot of work to do to eliminate homophobia from sport.

“Following research by BBC 5 Live, I contacted a range of sport governing bodies following the publication of the recent BBC Radio 5 Live survey and was pleased to find out that all organisations are doing work to eliminate homophobia from football and sport more widely. However, we cannot be complacent and we must continue to do as much as possible to rid these bigoted views from sport.

“We cannot remain silent when bigoted and unwelcoming attitudes are expressed and anyone who hears anti-LGTB remarks on the training ground, locker rooms or stands should speak out against these abhorrent views. Sport is for everyone to enjoy, without fear of abuse.

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