Student-Athlete Attitudes Toward Gay, Ally, and Anti-LGBT+ Prospective Coaches

Travis R. Scheadler – The Ohio State University
Ninah A. Bertrand – University of Kentucky
Abby Snowden – Louisiana State University
Marc L. Cormier – University of Kentucky

The purpose of the present study was to explore the attitudes of student-athletes toward gay, ally, and anti-LGBT+ coaches. A total of 143 National Collegiate Athletic Association student-athletes completed surveys that contained a randomly assigned cover letter from either a gay coach, ally coach, anti-LGBT+ coach, or a non-identified coach (i.e., control). Results from a one-way Multivariate Analysis of Variance revealed student-athletes rated gay, ally, and nonidentified coaches statistically significantly higher than anti-LGBT+ coaches. Opportunities to share thoughts in open-ended responses also revealed several strengths and weaknesses of each of the coaches. Namely, participants valued the ally coach for having an inclusive philosophy, whereas the homonegativite values from the anti-LGBT+ coach and the sexual orientation of the gay coach were viewed as major weaknesses. Findings from this research may help us further understand the degree to which sexual prejudice is present within the elite sport community.