“We are waiting for new measures against discrimination linked to sexual orientation in sport”

Tribune. The bill “Democratizing sport in France” was adopted in first reading by the National Assembly on March 19. This law could have made it possible to advance quickly and concretely the fight against LGBTphobias on sports grounds. However, we can only be disappointed by what could be the last opportunity to initiate transformations in this direction during this five-year term.

During parliamentary debates, many ambitious amendments were rejected or ruled inadmissible. A strong symbol: the harmonization of the sports code, by mentioning homophobia in the same way as xenophobia or racism as discrimination to be condemned and combated, has for example been ruled out.

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We recognize the few advances made in the fight against discrimination and the commitments made in this area by the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, the Minister Delegate in charge of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, and the Minister Delegate in charge of Equality between women and men, diversity and equal opportunities, Elisabeth Moreno. However, we must radically change mentalities and act more quickly, more strongly.

Acts committed that go unpunished

On May 5, Ouissem Belgacem, a former young hopeful from the Toulouse FC training center, published a book, Goodbye my shame (Fayard), in which he describes how his homosexuality deprived him of a professional career in football. This story is an example from the history of many sportswomen and sportsmen who hide their sexual orientation in an attempt to succeed in their sport. Currently, how many athletes can consider coming out during their athletic career without risking ending it?

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Like Ouissem Belgacem, thousands of young people in France suffer from homophobia which plagues the sports world. Thousands of young people hide their sexual orientation for fear of being excluded or rejected by their partners and peers. Thousands of young people are attacked when homophobic slurs are used in stadiums. Even today, the sports world is affected by discrimination and hatred against LGBT + people.

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In all areas, such acts are committed and go unpunished. At the dawn of Euro football 2021, the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games and with a view to Paris 2024, each citizen of the Republic must be allowed to believe in their dreams while not being excluded from the because of their sexual orientation, to have the same chances of success and to be able to fully enjoy the same freedoms.

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