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Racism and Homophobia


Homophobia is regarded as hatred and discrimination against people, which may lead to low self-esteem and fear of homosexuals. Despite the global understanding that social discrimination experiences can result in poor mental and physical outcomes for the minority members of society, little is known with regard to how most of the minority homosexuals in the US cope and deal with their experiences of homophobia and racism. This paper reviewed various works from previously written journals regarding the idea of racism and homophobia (James, 2020). The paper, therefore, reviewed various topics, such as the causes of racism and homophobia and how they exist in sports. The impacts of racism and homophobia have also been reviewed in this paper. The study has also critically analyzed homophobia and racism in sports and among people at large.

Keywords: Homophobia, Racism, Homosexuals


Homophobia encompasses numerous undesirable attitudes and feelings toward homosexuals like gays, bisexuals, and lesbians. It is regarded as hatred and discrimination that can cause low self-esteem and fear among homosexuals. On the other hand, racism is defined as hate regarding people due to their differences. In most instances, it is considered the enemy of freedom; therefore, it should be prohibited in societies (James, 2020). Generally, heterosexuality is presumed ethical and morally acceptable, most prominently in religion. This necessitates why homosexuals are considered a disgrace to society and are discriminated against in various community activities.

Sports have documented much information and have visible advantages to our mental health, physical health, and community development. Many studies concerning discrimination, such as gender, racism, and tribalism, have been extensively researched. However, the point of homophobia has rarely been researched since society’s presumed norm is that every person ought to be heterosexual. This issue has caused a more significant impact on the performance of many social activities like sports, as most homosexuals are not allowed to participate in sports. This paper aims to discuss the causes, impacts, and solutions to racism and homophobia in sports extensively.

Literature Review

Causes of Racism and Homophobia and how it exists in Sports

According to Kanbur (2020), racism is among the worst things in terms of how predictable it is. This notion has for years been found in European sports, and it occurs when players of different colors are put in the spotlight during major international competitions. In sports, racism is a challenging problem which is difficult to address. In essence, it encompasses issues such as discrimination, racism, vilification, and harassment of players by other players. Studies show that it has been a prevalent issue throughout the world, and more predominantly, racism towards African Americans has been severe during the entire time of history of sports in the US. Football and racism have a long history together, and political and footballing organizations have reacted. Both academic research and the media have extensively examined the subject of racism in football. The higher echelons of football in Europe are characterized by an “invisible centrality of whiteness,” according to academics. In Europe, non-white football players frequently radicalized stereotypes.

The significant cause of homophobia in sports is that heterosexuality is the model acknowledged in various places of the world that is well-defined by religion. This results in the discrimination of homosexuals when it comes to sports and other community-related issues. This issue is termed unethical; hence, it is rarely discussed in sports since it is challenging to address due to its complexity. In most cases, Liverpool (2020) asserts that complying with the issue of heterosexuality is essential to maintain a good relationship among team members and to create constant financial support like sponsorships. According to Gurung et al. (2021), homophobia exists directly in sports when the policies made by sports organizations influence homosexuals more than heterosexuals. For instance, homophobia tends to create bumpy situations for many people as they find it challenging to share with others based on a different color, age, and race.

Impact of Racism and Homophobia on Sports

Racism happens everywhere and every day, and as a result, we cannot avoid that. Racism is happening more often and is getting worse in sports. The majority of people concur that sports reflect society. This implies that since sports normally serve as a small version of society, racial concerns in sports have been and still are discharged as nothing special. Liverpool (2020) asserts that in order for the reality of racism in sports to be taken to light, shameful behavior is essential. Athletes of color and non-athletes of color experience racial discrimination, as can be seen when comparing them. Discrimination takes many different forms, and these forms have very diverse outcomes. Many individuals believe that the world of sports is a place where none of the typical issues of the “real” world could exist (McCabe et al., 2020).

There are detrimental effects of homophobia on some heterosexual women as well as on homosexuals. Since they can be perceived as homosexual, some women might be afraid to participate in sports. This is due to the widespread belief that sports like football and athletics are primarily for men in most cultures. Because most people think lesbians participate in these sporting activities, some women face unfriendly and discriminatory treatment from their teammates and coaches (Kearns et al., 2022). Most women find it unpleasant to participate in sports, which prevents them from enjoying the tremendous physical and social benefits of sports.

Additionally, homophobia hurts recruiting, particularly in schools. This occurs, for instance, when teammates or classmates persuade coaches not to choose a particular team because their coach is a homosexual or gay person. Additionally, they should not be chosen to compete against other schools or take part in any other significant events since they might have a large lesbian or gay population. This recruiting may impact how well a school performs in athletics because the team that was discriminated against may be much stronger than the team that was recruited (Kearns et al., 2022). Due to hatred, homophobia in sports can sometimes result in crimes and harassment. This occurs when a group of team members decides to stigmatize gays by assaulting them or engaging in other forms of harassment. This primarily occurs among teenagers and high school students who band together and aim to treat their classmates negatively due to their sexual orientation.

Remedies to Solve Racism and Homophobia

Homophobia, sexism, and racism are wrong. Generally, studies prove that these notions are now a sign of progress even though they seem to be competing with each other. For this reason, addressing the issue of racism among people and sports in the US is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed. Therefore, one of the essential solutions to reduce racism includes allowing people to acknowledge racism in all its forms (Ashby-Bullock, 2020). In order to deal with issues related to homophobia, team leaders in various sports ought to treat each participant equally regardless of their sexual operation. In addition, the application of language that is offensive should be reduced and avoided.

Critical Analysis

Racism and homophobia cannot be justified rationally. It is because it causes harm to the emotional and physical well-being of people, thus resulting in violation of their human rights and preserving inequality. Also, I learned that the notion of racism and homophobia shows a poor assessment of an individual, proving a lack of critical thinking. Additionally, this study showed that many people from various societal backgrounds view homosexuality as a practice of disrespect and an assault against society. I also learned that homophobia does not necessarily mean the acute fear of discrimination but also the discrimination of such kinds of people from diverse backgrounds.


This study analyzed homophobia and racism in sports, among other activities. The paper reviewed studies from various fields to better analyze homophobia in the US. The findings prove that the two issues are most prevalent and thus are associated with significant impacts on people’s well-being and mental health. Essentially, it is clear from this study that homophobia is a sociological issue that ought to be addressed accordingly if we want to create a free nation.


Ashby-Bullock, J. (2020). Bulimia: An Attempt to Solve Insoluble Problems. In Treating Black Women With Eating Disorders (pp. 177–179). Routledge.

Gurung, R. A., Stoa, R., Livingston, N., & Mather, H. (2021). Can success deflect racism? Clothing and perceptions of African American men. The Journal of Social Psychology161(1), 119–128.

James, D. (2020). The seemingly ‘protective’ effect of internalized racism on overall health among 780 Black/African Americans: The serial mediation of stigma consciousness and locus of control. Psychology & Health36(4), 427–443.

Kanbur, N. (2020). Internalized Homophobia in Adolescents: Is it really about Culture or Religion? Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry29(2), 124.

Kearns, C., Sinclair, G., Black, J., Doidge, M., Fletcher, T., Kilvington, D., … & Rosati, P. (2022). A scoping review of research on online hate and sport. Communication & Sport, 21674795221132728.

Liverpool, L. (2020). Racism in close-up. New Scientist248(3309), 41–45.

McCabe, S. E., Bostwick, W. B., Hughes, T. L., West, B. T., & Boyd, C. J. (2020). The relationship between discrimination and substance use disorders among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. American journal of public health100(10), 1946-1952.


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