HRC Blog

Anti-Gay Discrimination Has No Place in Football

Post submitted by Eric Cameron, HRC Digital Media Specialist

Two weeks ago, Outsports co-founder Cyd Zeigler published an editorial calling for the University of Nebraska to fire anti-gay assistant football coach Ron Brown.

For the past 20 years, Brown has used his position at the public university as a pulpit for his discriminatory views. He has spoken widely about practitioners of the “homosexual lifestyle” living in sin.

On March 6 the Cornhuskers coach traveled to Omaha to argue against a city ordinance banning anti-LGBT discrimination in employment and public accommodation. In his testimony, Brown claimed that those who voted in favor of LGBT protections would be “held to great accountability” by God.

The University of Nebraska’s anti-discrimination policy – which is designed to "foster a climate of inclusion and mutual respect” – prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally, has created a petition calling for the University to cut ties with Brown. It’s received more than 1,000 signatures, but two weeks later, the University has still failed to take decisive action.

"A coach's most important role is his or her place as a mentor and leader,” Taylor said in an interview with HRC this morning.  

“Coaches must be able to unite and empower their players, and they must be able to abide by school anti-discrimination policies. Given Brown's work to thwart equal rights for LGBT people, I fear that his presence on the Huskers' coaching staff will undermine the well being of his athletes regardless of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."

HRC readers are encouraged to sign the petition, sending a clear message that Brown’s anti-LGBT rhetoric is harmful to the entire community.

You can watch Brown's Omaha testimony below.

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