Statistics on Homophobic and

Transphobic behaviours and attitudes in Sport

Two large international studies, backed by governments, have been conducted recently on the discrimination LGBTQ+ people experience in sport. They reported identical results. 


Out on the Fields was the first with 9494 participants (7000 LGB) from six countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland). In 2017, the European Union supported the OutSports study which surveyed 5524 participants from ALL European countries. Combined, the two studies surveyed over 12,000 participants from 36 countries.


You'll find links to both studies and a range of summaries of the results below. You'll also find links to other research that provides statistics on the discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in sport.  

Males, females, and trans/gender diverse people all experience unique forms of discrimination in sport that will require different solutions. 
One-sized-fits-all diversity programs do not work. 


80% of LGB/Straight people have witness or experienced homophobic behaviour in sport (link)


Nearly half of fans have heard homophobia language at games (and 82% of LGB people feel offended/discriminated against when they hear this language.


Only 20% of LGB adolescents are 'out to everyone' on their team; those who do come out are more likely to be the target of homophobic behaviour.


LGB New Zealand and Canadian teens are least likely to be 'out' in sport, while those in the UK are the most likely to be out AND most likely to report abuse. 


More than a quarter of male athletes would be uncomfortable with a gay teammate and nearly half of males & females would be uncomfortable with a trans teammate


54% of males admit using homophobic slurs (fag) in the past two weeks and 69% have heard teammates use this language


1% of LGB people think they are "completely accepted in sport" and nearly 90% of LGBT people believe homo/transphobia are current problems 


91% of male athletes believe a gay person would feel "very welcome" on their team despite their frequent use of homophobic language.

More than a thousand studies and articles have been published  on homophobia and transphobia in sport over the last 50 years. 

Research on discrimination and attitudes

Out on the Fields Study (USA, UK, Can, Aus, IRL, NZ)

  • Download the full report (link)
  • Detailed participant demographic data (link)
  • Detailed information on methodology (link)
  • Infographics for full report and six countries (USA, UK, Can, Aus, IRL, NZ) (link)
  • Summaries for main countries
  • Citation (link)

Out Sport (EU)

The Out Sport study was backed by the European Union and released in 2019. It is the first study to collect data from LGBTQ+ people (5524) about sport from all European countries.

  • Full report (link)
  • Press release (link)
  • Summaries for Germany,

Reviews of all research conducted

  • Peer-reviewed paper (2020) from the top sport industry science journal which provides a comprehensive review of all quantitative (statistical) studies
  • Peer-reviewed paper (2018) focused on research on American college sports ( link)
  • Peer-reviewed (2020) review by the American Medical Society for Sport Medicine (link)
  • Review of global research (2020) for an Australian public health agency ( link)
  • UK Parliament (2017) Inquiry into Homophobia in Sport ( link)

Discrimination experienced by LGBTQ+ people

  • Out on the Fields study (see above)
  • OutSport (see above)
  • Peer-reviewed study (2020) on discrimination experienced by youth who 'come out' ( link)
  • Peer-reviewed study comparing differences in bullying gay vs. straight - Italy (link)
  • Equal Play Study - Victimization experiences in youth sport - Aus ( link)
  • Research brief for Sport England ( link)
  • Research Brief (2020) from the Trevor Project - USA ( link)

Discriminatory behaviours by others

  • Study of randomly selected UK rugby clubs on homophobic language (link)
  • Study of Canadian teenage ice hockey teams ( link)
  • Study examining homophobic and transphobic language in Australian sport ( link)
  • Study examining the behaviour of American college athletes ( link)
  • Study examining homophobic behaviours in cricket ( link)

Research on other topics

50 years of Evidence.  20 years of Pledges.  Time for Action.

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