SASKATOON – The longest-running anti-homophobia conference in Canada began tackling issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in sports at the University of Saskatchewan yesterday.
This year’s theme ‘removing homophobia from the locker room and beyond’ – aims to change a certain stigma often found in sports.
Calgary Stampeder running back Jon Cornish was on the “Breaking the Silence’ panel to speak on behalf of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Cornish’s mother came out just after he returned home from college and he’s been a proud supporter of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.
“Football locker rooms have been allowed to sort of stay the way they’ve been for a long time, and there’s a lot of change happening of late, and I think locker rooms will slowly but surely accommodate that change,” said Cornish.
He says as more people are become educated, there is less homophobia in sports.
The conference also looked at hate speech and how people of all ages can take a stand against it.
“In a free and democratic society we should be able to argue points politically in any issue without resorting to hate speech – there’s no room for hate speech in that kind of dialogue of that nature,” said David Arnot, commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
Many at the discussion said they hope it won’t be long before high school, university, professional and Olympic teams are openly inclusive.