A new study by the International Centre for the Study of Homosexuality (ICSH) and the University of Melbourne has revealed a range of new findings on the abuse of players by gay and bisexual footballers.
The researchers found that gay men are sexually abused at an alarming rate by other men, particularly in professional football.
“We have a lot of data from the sport of football showing that homophobic and bisexual abuse of gay players is common, but we don’t know what the rates are,” said ICSH director Dr Daniela Carcassini.
“This is a big step forward because we now have good data to tell us what the prevalence is and what the consequences of that abuse are.”
We’ve found that homophobia and bisexual bullying is very common in football, but in football it’s a much bigger problem.
‘It’s really sad’: ‘I don’t have a choice’ ‘A lot of the abuse I’ve experienced was physical. “
The homophobic and gay bullying is much more prevalent than we thought.”
‘It’s really sad’: ‘I don’t have a choice’ ‘A lot of the abuse I’ve experienced was physical.
It’s really hard to put into words the feeling of being humiliated, being degraded, being abused in such a public way, being sexually assaulted.
I don’t want to get my life in danger because I just want to go on playing football. “
So the only option I have is to hide.
I don’t want to get my life in danger because I just want to go on playing football.
The abuse was just endless. “
You had to just keep going.
The abuse was just endless.
It was an absolute hell to be in.
It wasn’t a problem that you could just move past because you were so afraid of what might happen.”
The study, which looked at more than 12,000 gay men, also found that players are not the only victims of homophobia in football.
A majority of victims said they had been sexually abused by their coaches, teammates or other members of the footballing community.
“It’s very sad,” one of the researchers said.
“Because it’s just such a huge problem that is so endemic in football.”
Another researcher, Dr Francesco Sannino, said: “I think that the most important thing is to realise that this is happening in the world, that it happens in every sport, that the players are suffering from it.”
But if you take a step back and look at the players as human beings, you can see that there are huge problems with homophobia and there are problems with bullying.
“That’s why I think it’s so important to have a dialogue about how we can get a better understanding of what is happening, to make a better solution, and to give the perpetrators of these abuses a chance to go to prison.”