Poll Finds Most Soccer Fans Support Gay Players, Though U.S. Scores Lowest

There’s never been an openly gay soccer player in the World Cup, but a new poll suggests fans in Europe and North America have no problem with it

Racist and homophobic chants are common at soccer games across Europe and some other parts of the world, but a new survey has found that a majority of fans in Europe and North America would support openly gay players.

The study was conducted by the British LGBT equality group Stonewall and Swedish online developer Football Addicts. In the poll, Swedish and Danish fans scored highest, with 79 percent saying they would support an openly gay player on the national team. Mexican fans came in at 56 percent.

Most surprisingly, the United States scored lowest, with only 52 percent saying they would be comfortable if a member of the national team came out as homosexual.

Stonewall survey

More than 30,000 people responded to the survey and the report includes results from 11 different countries. The report, which was originally by the Guardian, is the largest survey of its kind, according to Football Addicts.

There will be no openly gay soccer player at this year’s World Cup, but a new campaign launched by YouTube on Tuesday encourages athletes to “support a world where every athlete can be #ProudtoPlay.”

The video features several gay athletes, including NBA player Jason Collins, NFL draft pick Michael Sam, and the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers, as well as athletes who are on the record supporting people of all sexual orientations, including Kobe Bryant.

“We have to be brave and step forward and declare to the rest of the world, this is who I am,” Bryant says in the video.

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