MSNBC – Wrestling Coach Hudson Taylor An Advocate For Gay Rights

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welcome back everybody in the world of athletics being an advocate for gay rights can put you in the minority but that didn’t stop Hudson Taylor from speaking out Taylor a one-time star wrestler at the University of Maryland and the current wrestling coach at Columbia University is ahead of a sexual athlete fighting for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community Hudson Taylor is part or is the founder that is of athlete ally calm he joins us in studio now so Hudson good to have you here thanks for why this issue why the dedication that you’ve decided to throw behind this college you know i-i’ve been wrestling for the past 19 years of my life and for a long time I was complacent I sat silently as I heard homophobia used in the locker room day in and day out was until I got to college when some of my friends came out that I really realized how degrading and demeaning that language is and you know as a captain of my wrestling team as an all-american I had the power and the ability to do something about it so I decided enough was enough and I started to speak out but I have to imagine that that was tough in the beginning especially people were probably really hard on you probably really critical and asking why are you doing this sure you know people have different outlooks on it for me it was all about respect and how we speak to each other how we speak about other people should be respectful and that’s gonna bring our team together that’s gonna give us a more successful season and make this world a better place do you think that there are sports that are more homophobic than others or do you think it’s pretty even across the board when it comes to athletics in general that there is just that that type of discrimination demonstrated I think it it depends on the sport there’s definitely some sports that are more prone to homophobia than others you but you know no sport is perfect we have a lot of obstacles to overcome whether it’s on the team whether it’s the fan base whether it’s the coaches so there are a lot of areas that we need to tackle in order to make let explai set we know it can be so now you’re a coach you’ve got you’ve got all these young minds that you get to mold not only when it comes to the sport that they’re involved in but also with their personal responsibilities you also found it athlete ally calm explain why you wanted to go ahead and start this website for athletes to take a pledge on well after I started to speak out as an ally I started getting emails from hundreds of closeted athletes in high school and college and it really just made it clear to me that there’s not a voice in this area and that athletics should be a place for everybody so now I just try to do everything I can to make that makes eight sports a safe space for everybody I think the people will be from the LGBT community will recognize the human rights campaign sticker that was on our headgear there sure does he catch flack they put that on your headgear because you would wear that in matches I did III definitely caught some flak for that you know some people saw that sticker as being very political and that’s where a lot of division came from because some people vote a certain way some people have religious beliefs that you’re not going to be able to to speak to so for me I just had to bring it back to about respect and and being open and accepting of all people and I think my teammates and my athletes have been really incredibly receptive to that I was gonna say the reception that you’re receiving you’re seeing a slow but a positive change absolutely absolutely I mean I think the athletic community is ready for that and we have athletes coming out and there’s just more and more people getting on board every day I have to say congratulations so you’re getting married coming up in September right that’s correct all right so you got the planning ahead of you but for people that are interested elites out there anybody parents coaches teachers that want to learn more about your website they can go to athlete ally calm they can take the pledge there that you have people sign in and I think you’re already up to almost 1,600 athletes and coaches and teachers that have taken this pledge so we wish you continued success with that and good luck with Columbia thank you so much hey thank you

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