Rugby Star Ben Cohen Strips Down and Fights Bullying
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
July 30 2012 1:14 PM ET
Former rugby star Ben Cohen has become the poster boy for battling anti-LGBT bullying and homophobia with his Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation. Now he’s on the cover of the recent issue of Gay Times, the U.K,’s venerable 26-year-old gay magazine, talking about gay stereotypes, how to fight bullies, and, well, his new underwear line (don’t worry, you can feel good about buying his sexy briefs — the money goes back to his foundation).
Cohen told Gay Times that he choose to support the gay community after he retired because he was “in a privileged position. I had a great following in the gay community so I started breaking down those stereotypes when I was still playing rugby. And it got to a point where I decided I wanted to do something more, which is when we set up the foundation. But I didn’t realize how powerful retiring for a cause would be.”
He says that the StandUp Foudation has had a “hell of an impact” in the last year, in the U.S. and the U.K. in part because it was the first foundation of it’s kind. “We’re on a very simple mission — to create awareness and support organizations and to affect and educate that next generation,” he told Gay Times. “We need to teach people to understand that homophobic and racial slurs and bullying is not right. And to be part of the impact is fantastic.”
He thinks, too, that being straight has helped people listen to his message: “I think that the most important thing about it is that I’m straight and promoting a foundation that’s anti-homophobia. I’m bridging the gap between gay and straight. And I think straight people are more likely to listen when they see me breaking down stereotypes.”
Don’t worry, though, the rugby hottie isn’t all seriousness, telling the magazine that he’s a boxer man, except when he’s on the field (then it’s all briefs) or apparently on the cover of Gay Times, and he describes his new underwear line, which you can find at Prowler.co.uk.
You can also find the interview on Gay Times downloadable app.