Correction: Outsports previously mislabeled the above photograph, which is of LGBT supporters.
A women’s basketball team in China has weighed knee-deep into the issue of LGBT people in sports, posting the above photo on social media in hopes that they can help kept gay people “far from campus.”
What exactly did the banner say? The New York Times had a translation:
“Protect traditional Chinese morals. Defend core socialist values. Resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts. Keep homosexuality far from campus.”
A photo of the students with the banner, posted online by the team’s coach on Sunday, provoked immediate outrage, with people across China calling on the university to fire the coach and punish the students.
Social media was aflurry with the hashtag #noqueernogame over the weekend, with people calling for the coach who instigated the banner and the photo to be fired.
It’s heartening to see such a reaction in China and outside of the China within the Chinese community. China has had a tenuous relationship with the LGBTQ community for decades. While the banner isn’t helpful, the reaction to it — rejecting it outright by many — is heartening.
Still, women’s sports are rife with homophobia, and this is another example. While people continue to stereotypically believe “women’s sports are full of lesbians so it’s fine,” the reality for gay people in women’s sports carries damaging assumptions that harm LGBTQ women in the sport.