Test stars support anti-homophobia
Cricket Australia declares the game a sport for all
9 April 2014, 10:05 PM AEST
Cricket Australia has joined other sporting codes around the country in agreeing to implement anti-homophobia and inclusion policies, with Test pacemen Mitch Johnson and Ryan Harris supporting the initiative by appearing in a related commercial.
Along with CA, the Australian Football League, Australia Rugby Union, National Rugby League and Football Federation of Australia have committed to creating inclusive sporting cultures and eliminating homophobia in sport.
The relevant policies will be created by the end of August 2014 to coincide with The Bingham Cup 2014, the World Cup of Gay Rugby.
Along with the support of Johnson and Harris, Australia men’s coach Darren Lehmann and Southern Stars vice-captain Alex Blackwell have also signed up as ambassadors to support the framework.
“It’s a really significant day to see sport unite on this important issue,” said Blackwell.
“I’m proud that my sport, cricket, is taking a leadership position in stamping out homophobia in sport. It’s about cricket creating a welcoming environment for all sections of our community regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs or sexuality. It’s a really positive step.”
CA Executive General Manager Media, Communications & Marketing Ben Amarfio said all athletes deserved to be treated equally and judged on their performances and contribution to their sport, not their sexual orientation
“We aspire for cricket to be a sport for all Australians. That means creating an environment that recognises, accepts and celebrates our differences,” said Amarfio, at an event in Sydney which brought together Australia’s sporting codes.
“Cricket’s playing conditions state cricket should not only be played within the laws but also the Spirit of the Game including respect for teammates and opponents alike.”
“At grassroots level Australian Cricket endorses the Play By The Rules education program which, amongst other things, seeks to stamp out homophobic attitudes and behaviours within cricket clubs.
“It should go without saying that all athletes deserve to be treated equally and judged on their performances and contribution to their sport, not their sexual orientation.”
Test spinner Nathan Lyon also joined the chorus, saying sport should be a place where everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or otherwise, feels supported and encouraged.
“As long as a teammate has the same desire, passion and commitment to the team as I do, that’s enough for me,” added Lyon.
The TV commercial Johnson and Harris appear in (see above) also features A-League players Harry Kewell and Alessandro Del Piero along with the likes of Paul Gallen (NRL), Nate Myles (NRL), David Pocock (rugby union), Lauren Jackson (basketball), Nathan Jones (AFL), Sam Mitchell (AFL), Kim Green (netball) and Libby Trickett (swimming).