PINOY MEN SOCIETY: Ben Cohen ends rugby career to fight homophobia‎

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May 19, 2011

Ben Cohen ends rugby career to fight homophobia‎

English rugby player Ben Cohen has announced his retirement from professional sport to concentrate on a new role fighting homophobia and bullying.

Cohen, married with two children, made the announcement following news he had been released by his team the Sale Shark’s - despite being the club’s player of the season.

According to reports, Cohen knocked back offers from France and other UK clubs to focus on his work as an advocate for equality.

Cohen says he could have continued playing rugby for a couple more years, but instead decided to turn his attention to his new venture, the Ben Cohen Stand-up Foundation.

The World Cup 2003 champion is in the United States for his Acceptance Tour, which is aimed at helping those in the lesbian and gay community struggling with their sexuality.

I see this as the beginning of my new career and I have much work to do,” Cohen told the UK newspaper The Guardian.

To be honest, I would never have imagined my career was going to move in this direction after my professional rugby career, but here we are – it’s happening,” he said.

In my view, rugby is a very inclusive sport. Everyone can get involved in one way or another, so I will be using it as a vehicle to drive my message of acceptance out to people from all walks of life, everywhere. There is a lot of work to be done. Attitudes need to change. Young people should not be bullied into taking their own lives. That is what is happening and it needs to stop.

Cohen is one of the first straight sport stars to dedicate his life to the benefit of LGBT people. He has spent the last fifteen years playing professional rugby and represented England 57 times and clocked up 31 goals during his career.

For more about his work visit ben-cohen.com


He’s 32.

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