HRC Blog

Rugby Superstar and Straight Ally Ben Cohen Speaks Out Against Kobe Bryant’s Remarks

As we posted earlier, LA Laker Kobe Bryant shouted a homophobic slur at a referee last night after receiving a technical foul during a game.

English rugby star Ben Cohen – a straight ally who is a staunch supporter of LGBT equality – condemned Bryant’s remarks.

"It is disappointing to see this.  As a professional athlete and rugby World Cup champion, I understand the heat and passion of competition at the highest levels.  But we must all remember that strong bodies must be balanced with strong characters, and work toward that end. Our positions as role models demand it."

Cohen is coming to the US next month to launch his “Acceptance Tour 2011,” aimed at raising awareness around LGBT equality and, in particular, youth bullying.  HRC will be hosting an event for Ben during his stop in Washington DC.

Athletes looking to advocate for equality also can get involved through HRC’s Athletes for Equality program. The initiative allows athletes to fundraise for equality through participation in sporting events.

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