The sports world has not always been considered the most inviting place for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Yet, college athletes can make powerful allies for the LGBT community, given their visibility and status on campus, says University of Arizona researcher Russell Toomey.
Toomey, a UA assistant professor of family and consumer sciences, has developed a scale to measure the ally behaviors of college athletes in an effort to better understand how often they engage in ally behaviors and what those behaviors look like.
He examines the effectiveness of his Engagement in LGBTQ Ally Actions in Sports scale in a new study published in the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport.
Toomey hopes college athletic departments nationwide might use the scale to help start a conversation about LGBT ally behaviors among college athletes.
"We believe that this could be a good scale to understand and assess where athletic departments are in terms of players' engagement in anti-bias behaviors," said Toomey, who developed the scale with collaborators Christi McGeorge and Thomas Carlson at North Dakota State University.