Deli Novice

Discrimination in sports

Discrimination in sports

Discrimination in sports can happen in many forms and occurs when someone is treated unfairly because of their age, sex, religion, disability, race, or the group they belong to. It can be that a person is not allowed to play a sport because they HIV positive, or a person is not selected in a sporting team because of race or religion or a person is excluded from a sporting activity because he is gay, etc. International human rights law forbids all kinds of discrimination, because everyone is entitled to be treated equally.

Although many sports have now made it unacceptable to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or the spectators to vilify people with homophobic abuse at games, just as they have done for racial, gender and disability-based discrimination. The fact is homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and other gender identity-related or sexual orientation-related phobias in sport still exist at all levels and when they are allowed to exist as standard practice in sport, they marginalize lgbt+ people and tell them “you don’t belong here”.

Prejudice based on gender and sexual orientation is unfortunately still too often embedded in the legislation of many countries, where sexism and misogyny are prevalent, making sport venues less safe for women. For example, women in Iran are not allowed to watch sport games and when they try to go and cheer for their teams they risk of being arrested.

The problem of discrimination remains an issue across the continent. Intolerance continues to be a feature of some stadiums with abuse against minorities and far-right symbols being used by some supporters. Sport brings together individuals of all nations and backgrounds across communities and at the same time mostly football stadiums have become places where discrimination happens frequently.

Football, the most popular sport in the world, is watched by millions of people and the behaviour displayed in stadium is likely to be copied by many people. Therefore the game should set a positive example for society to follow.


Human Rights Commission

– Human Rights Watch

– Play by the Rules


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