LGBT Athletes Share Their Stories at United Nations

A group of athletes spoke at the U.N. about the importance of combating homophobia in sports.

BY Michelle Garcia

December 17 2013 3:34 PM ET

Hida Viloria and Jason Collins

Several LGBT athletes and other notable people came together at the United Nations on Human Rights Day to talk about the importance of getting sports figures to take a stand against homophobia.

The December 10 panel at the U.N., “Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia,” marked the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly in 1948.

“When Jason Collins came out this year he got a phone call from President Obama congratulating him. 1981, President Reagan was in power, so I did not get that phone call,” said tennis legend Martina Navratilova.

U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, assistant secretary-general for human rights Ivan Šimonović, Navratilova, NBA player Jason Collins, South African activist Thandeka Mkhuma, U.S. intersex activist Hida Viloria, and Russian activist Anastasia Smirnova all spoke on the panel.

Watch a roundup of the event, by Free & Equal:

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