• Will Gay Athletes Be Accepted In The US

Will Gay Athletes Be Accepted In The US (Photo : REUTERS/MAX ROSSI)

While the acceptance of homosexuality may have grown in recent times,  a study suggests those engaged in the sphere of sports faced the worst rejection, with the United States ranked as the highest in terms of discrimination towards homosexuality.

Claiming to be the first study to be conducted on homophobic views in sports the report titled "Out On The Fields" was released over the weekend.

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The comprehensive study is the first international one of its kind, where findings were analysed by a panel comprising seven academics on the subject from four different countries and spanning six universities.

More than 9000 individuals participated from mainly English speaking countries (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK). The study also indicated that among the participants the composition did include heterosexual women and men who accounted for 25 percent  of the focus group.

Researchers who conducted  the study discovered that over 80 percent of those who were part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transexual community said they experienced some degree of homophobia.

The study claimed that it was common for 80 percent of gay women and men to have cruel verbal slurs directed at them.

While more than 70 percent of lesbian sports athletes under the ages of 22 during the time of the study claimed that they  completely or partially hid their sexuality from team mates while playing sports.

Amongst the study's other revelations includes the fact that the United States proved to be the country  that ranked the worst in terms of discrimination and homophobia.

Professor Pat Griffin at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who was also a member of the team advising the authors of the study told TIME that this was revealed by what they called the "inclusion score" adapted by researchers.

Professor Griffin told TIME that while the study revealed that much progress had been made, in terms of homosexuality in sport, societal views still had a long way to go.

The study was conducted by Repucom and commissioned by the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 together with LGBT and mainstream sporting organisations.