Straight athletes work to combat bullying, homophobia in sports

Hudson Taylor (left) and Ben Cohen

Hudson Taylor (left) and Ben Cohen The New York Times

In case you missed it, The New York Times on Friday ran an excellent profile of two straight athletes who have have gained notoriety for their efforts in combating anti-gay attitudes in the world of sports.

“In a world where no active American athletes in a major male team sport has declared his homosexuality, it remains rare for athletes to chime in on the issue of gay rights,” reported the Times. These two are:

The New York Times

Hudson Taylor (left) and Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen is a world-class English rugby star, and Hudson Taylor is a three-time college all-American wrestler. They live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They barely know each other.

But they have something quite unusual in common. They may be the only two high-profile heterosexual athletes dedicating their lives to the issues of bullying and homophobia in sports.

Cohen, 32, who is married with twin daughters, recently retired from a rugby career that included a World Cup title for England in 2003. Cohen started this year what he believes is the first anti-bullying organization led by a straight athlete aimed at helping the LGBT community.

Taylor, 24, finished a decorated wrestling career at Maryland last year and is an assistant coach at Columbia. He attracted national attention when he wore a Human Rights Campaign sticker on his headgear, and earlier this year, launched Athlete Ally, asking athletes of all ages to sign a pledge to end homophobia in sports.

The NYT article is here.

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