Can North America school European soccer on fighting homophobia?

John Leung of SB Nation's Waking The Red blog (for Toronto FC) has written an extensive look at how North American soccer -- and Major League Soccer in particular -- is running circles around the anti-homophobia efforts of European soccer. He chronicles the incredible steps taken by MLS in the last year, along with some other story lines, and compares that to the homophobic face of European soccer. Leung writes:

So while Europe's gay footballers continue to face massive challenges in the form of continuing inaction and intolerance, at the same time those struggles are starting to make MLS and the North American sporting scene look like a welcome and accepting paradise -- a fledgling one, mind you, but one from which Europe can still take a few pages.

...

While there have been varying degrees of progress made in other leagues in the past six years, 2012 is perhaps a landmark year for soccer. In the last year alone, the progress made by the forces of acceptance made major inroads in the game, and took the driver's seat on the road towards an open and accepting environment. There was the coming out of former MLS and Montreal Impact player David Testo, and US Olympic women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who joined her fellow out teammate Lori Lindsey in the gold medal winning team. Here in Toronto, TFC became the second MLS team to get behind the You Can Play Project, a multi-sport initiative founded by the Burke family, with a multi-language video featuring many of its biggest stars -- including Torsten Frings.

Check out the entire piece. It's well-thought-out and well-argued. You can also follow Waking The Red and John Leung on Twitter.

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