Rugby Hub




London School of Economics Disbands Rugby Team Following Homophobic Display

4774116173_b67cb0d528_z

The London School of Economics has disbanded its men’s rugby club following the digital publication of a misogynistic, homophobic leaflet that the team passed out during a fair welcoming this semester’s fall freshman. The incendiary flyers triggered swift backlash from the LSE student body that quickly organized protests and reached out to university officials about the circulating slurs.

In response to the public’s outcry the LSE student union took to its Tumblr to announce its intentions of launching a full scale investigation into the circumstances leading up to the flyers creation.

“This investigation will be thorough,” the statement reads. “It will hear from both individuals that complained and the Club itself. This will allow us to determine any appropriate action.”

The rugby club expressed its regret through the university’s student newspaper, The Beaver, assuring students that it had every intention of cooperating with the student union’s investigation.

“LSE Men’s Rugby does not tolerate misogyny, racism, homophobia or prejudice of any description and the Club remains committed to the LSE’s equal opportunities policy. Clearly, on this occasion we not only failed ourselves, but the university which we are so proud to represent.”

Michael Etheridge, an openly gay administrator at the university wrote an impassioned open letter rejecting the rugby club’s apology as lip service and belying the much larger issue of homophobia within the world of sports.

“The pathetic statement from the Men’s Rugby Team shows no engagement with the issues, apologising not for their misogyny and homophobia, but for the decision to publish it.” he said. “The leaflet’s authors not only excluded gay people from their society, but went further in employing homophobia as a promotional tool.

The school’s women’s rugby team, a separate, unaffiliated organization, also issued its own condemnation of their male counterparts, stating that inclusion and diversity were key elements to the overall success of all of LSE’s sports teams.


New Zealand Gay Rights Proponents Angered By Heterosexual Pair's 'Gay Wedding'

ZackTravisNZ

New Zealanders Travis McIntosh and Matt McCormick are jumping the broom and getting hitched this week. The "aww"-inducing announcement has been tampered, however, by the two friends' status as heterosexual pals out to win a trip.

The Edge radio station in New Zealand recently hosted a contest to see which bromance could make the ultimate cut. The prize? An all-expenses paid excursion to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. The catch? Travis and Matt have to get married. Since same-sex marriage was legalized in New Zealand just last year, many gay rights groups see the heterosexual union as a mockery of what they spent so long trying to achieve.

News.com.au reports:

LegaliseLove Aotearoa Wellington co-chairman Joseph Habgood told the Otago Daily Times that the competition attacked the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

“The point of this competition is that men marrying each other is still something they think is worth having a laugh at ...

“Maybe on the day that statistics around mental health for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people are better, when high schools are safe places for LGBTI youth, we can look back on all this and laugh.

“But competitions like this don’t bring that day any closer.”

Though Zack and Travis likely support same-sex marriages, and are apparently quite confident in their heterosexuality, their statements about the ceremony are admittedly lacking in sympathy or nuance.

“We are not here to insult anyone. We are here to do our own thing and travel our own path,” McCormick told the Otago Daily Times.

McIntosh said the wedding was not mocking the institution of marriage.

“It’s just seeing how far two good mates would go to win a trip to the Rugby World Cup."

As one gay rights group commentator noted, the language of "how far" the pair are willing to go seems to suggest that same-sex marriage on the whole is "something outrageous that you'd never consider." Of course Zack and Travis's ceremony can also be chalked up to a lark and an occasion to celebrate their friendship.

What do you think of the wedding? Sound off in the comments below.


British Rugby Star Zak Hardaker Faces Second Allegation of Anti-Gay Slur

Hardaker

British rugby star Zak Hardaker, who was given a five-match ban and fined £300 in June of this year for calling a player a "f--king fag" during the live broadcast of a match, is under investigation again for alleged homophobic abuse, The Guardian reports:

The Rugby Football League has confirmed it has launched an inquiry into allegations that the 22-year-old used inappropriate language during the Rhinos’ 13-12 defeat by St Helens on Friday night...

...“We are investigating an incident during the Super League match against St Helens,” said an RFL spokesman.

If Hardaker is charged and found guilty he may face a suspension of up to eight matches, which would not only end his season with Leeds but would cast a doubt over his availability for England’s Four Nations tour to Australia.

Hardaker, who met with members of Manchester's LGBT community and trained with a gay rugby team following his previous infraction, objected to the allegations in a series of tweets which he later deleted:

Hardakertweets

Tweeted Hardaker:

"People don't know the consequences this has on myself and my family and it's pissing me right off!!!...And the fact that people are saying iv said a homeaphobic (sic) comment or that I'm homeaphobic (sic) is a load of rubbish!! Iv had ENOUGH...Well this is the last straw for me.. Sick of the crap that's coming out about me, nobody knows anything so why would you comment in it"

Hardaker's latest alleged remarks ("f--king poof"), which were captured on a Vine video circulated on social media, were thought to be directed at St Helens second-row Mark Flanagan.


Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO

Bingham cup

Sporting history was made last week at the launch of The Bingham Cup - the World Cup of gay rugby - in Sydney, Australia.

Two Rugby World Cup-winning Wallabies captains joined senior federal politicians from every major Australian party, the International Rugby Board (IRB) publicly endorsed the event and the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) adopted a range of policies aimed at eliminating homophobia.

Bingham cup 2

The IRB is believed to be the first major international sporting federation to publicly endorse a gay sporting event.

Other international sporting organisations including world soccer governing body FIFA - which came under pressure following homophobic incidents at this year’s World Cup - were challenged to follow rugby’s lead.

John Eales, the most successful captain in Australian rugby history and a board member of the ARU, said:

“We should commend and celebrate the support around the world to address homophobia and discrimination in sport. There is still a great deal of work to do, but I’m hopefully we’ll soon see a time when athletes at all levels feel comfortable being open about their sexuality and playing the sports they love without fear of discrimination.”

IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said:

“Rugby recognises sport’s wider responsibility to society and its ability to drive social change. Sport can cross barriers. Sport boosts self-esteem and Sport promotes inclusivity and celebrates diversity. We are proud as Rugby grows across every continent that the sport’s strong values of solidarity, integrity, discipline, respect and passion still make a real difference in modern society.”

Senior Australian federal cabinet minister Malcolm Turnbull, a long-time advocate for LGBT equality, added:

“A person’s sexuality should be completely irrelevant whether they are playing sports or doing anything else in life.  I’m proud Australians are playing such a significant role in highlighting the need for change. We need to continue working proactively to find effective approaches to address homophobia and change sporting culture.”

The tournament, which was won by the Sydney Convicts, is named in honor of rugby player Mark Bingham who is known internationally as one of the heroes of 9/11.

Watch a report on the tournament launch and the official tournament video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sporting History Made At Gay Rugby's Bingham Cup - VIDEO" »


British Rugby Star Zak Hardaker Says He’s Now 'A Better Person' After 5 Game Ban for Anti-gay Slur

Zak hardaker

British Rugby Player Zak Hardaker, who was punished with a five-match ban for calling a player a “f—king fag” in late May, says that his suspension and subsequent work with the LGBT community has made him “a better person now.”

Attitude reports:

Hardaker recently asked to train with the LGBT rugby team The Manchester Canalsiders, and says he has “learned what you can and can’t say” from the experience.

“I try to enjoy myself and live life to the full,” said the 22-year-old player. “Along the way you learn new things and this is one of the lessons I have learned. The Canalsiders have been terrific and at least some good has come out of what happened.”

He continued: “They recognised it was just a heat of the moment comment and I am really thankful for their support. I think it has helped to raise certain issues, including the profile of the club, so that’s great. I have learned what you can and can’t say and how it affects different people.”

Earlier this week, Hardaker also met with other members of Manchester's LGBT community to learn about the impact of homophobia.


Rugby Player Voted Out Of His Club For Being Gay: VIDEO

Bingham cup 2014

A rugby club in New Zealand has denied claims that a former gay player was voted out because of his sexuality, reports The Sydney Morning Herald.

ClaydonNow based in Sydney, Australia, Jay Claydon says that when his teammates found out that he was gay, they held a vote behind his back to remove him from the club.

Both clubs that Claydon played for at senior level in 2006 and 2007 have refuted the player's claims.  Sources close to Claydon’s family have also backed up one of the club’s assertions and Don Fisher, a former coach at Claydon’s second club, said that there were no issues with the player who was ”a valued member of our club."

Speaking to Fairfax Media, Claydon said he discovered when he moved to Australia in 2008 that homophobic slurs were an accepted part of sporting culture and that he felt compelled to keep his sexuality secret for fear of being ostracised.

"It's such a stereotype, but at most clubs they see a gay guy and think you can't be sporty or masculine. They think that you're weak or you're not as tough as them. Even when they didn't know I was gay I'd hear the word 'faggot' all the time."

The Fairfax Media article also cited a new study, Out On The Fields, which was commissioned by organisers of the Bingham Cup, the gay rugby World Cup, which will be held in Sydney in August.

The reports revealed that 85% of gay athletes had experienced or witnessed homophobic abuse.

Last year, Claydon joined the Sydney Convicts, Australia's first gay rugby union club.

Watch the official Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Rugby Player Voted Out Of His Club For Being Gay: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged