LGBT Resource Center
USC Student Affairs

What Can Athletes Do To Make Sports Safe For All?

  • Stop using anti-gay or other slurs or comments that demean other groups
  • Speak out against prejudiced comments and slurs made by others
  • Do not let others intimidate you by calling you gay or lesbian
  • Judge teammates and coaches on the basis of their character and personality, not their sexual orientation or gender expression
  • Support teammates who are targeted by anti-gay harassment or violence
  • If you are targeted by anti-gay discrimination, harassment, or violence, tell someone who can help
  • Support lesbian, gay or bisexual teammates who choose to identify themselves to others
  • Respect the rights of all teammates to safety
  • Respect the rights of all teammates to set boundaries on relationships with other teammates
  • Do not make assumptions about teammates’ or coaches’ sexual orientation based on appearance
  • Do not make assumptions about teammates or coaches based on their sexual orientation or gender expression
  • Assume that every team is a mixed group of gay/lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual people
  • If a teammate is depressed or afraid about sexuality or gender issues, encourage them to seek help (counselors, coaches, trained peer support groups)
  • Do not tolerate anti-gay harassment directed at individuals or teams from spectators, opponents, coaches, or teammates
  • Encourage your athletic department or coach to schedule seminars on homophobia, racism, sexual harassment in sport
  • Understand that when someone uses anti-gay slurs or harasses lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people, they are expressing prejudice and fear
  • Take classes or seminars that will help you to better understand prejudice and discrimination based on gender, race, sexual orientation, and religion
  • Understand the important role that heterosexual allies can play in making athletics safe and welcoming for everyone