Despite the increasing acceptance of the LGBT community, LGBT athletes and fans are still cruelly distanced from the full embrace of the community around sport. While other elements of society are beginning to realise the tangible and intangible benefits of LGBT inclusion, sport is far from an inclusive industry where all LGBT individuals are accepted and free to bring their whole selves to work. Everyone loses in this arrangement.
I've been lucky enough to attend some major sports events during a long career - the Olympics included - but there's something very special about the Six Nations. It's the spectacle, the history and tradition, sold out stadiums across fabulous capital cities. Yes rugby fans love it, but so too my mum. Such is the appeal of this grand old tournament over 24million people tuned in last year on (BBC) TV in the UK with nine million alone watching the thrilling climax.
As another major rugby tournament draws near, recent discussion has focused on the risk of head trauma and concussion, both short and long term, which has become a highly debated issue in sports across the world. Much of the impetus for this has arisen from American sports such as American Football and ice hockey.
England's new head coach is not your shy and retiring type, far from it, instead he is a charismatic and forthright Australian that knows what he wants. He has made it very clear that this will be his International side that beats to the sound of his drum, and today he made his first significant step towards that by announcing the 33 individuals in the RBS 6 Nations and Elite Player Squad.
The long and the short of it is that Eddie Jones has some serious thinking to do and pressure on his shoulders to nail it first time. He is expected to announce his EPS squad in just a week's time and today, on the 6th January, there are just 31 days until the BT Murrayfield Stadium awaits Jones and his side for their first International encounter...
Big statement time: Ireland will reach the World Cup final. Now I would have said this even if England had taken the title yesterday. I feel that out of all the Northern Hemisphere teams (and I'm including Wales and England in this) they seem to be best placed to challenge for the World Cup.
In the early stages of this week they'll be some sore English bodies and pensive players however their hearts and minds will be in a much better place than they were this time two weeks ago knowing that they have laid the foundations for one final, winner takes all, Six Nations' showdown.
The Italian captain is quite simply one of the greatest players of his generation and deserves to be mentioned alongside the likes of Mervyn Davies, Brian Lochore and Hennie Muller as one of the truly great number eights in rugby history.
Hearts across the country predicted an English win by 3, based on the character they showed on the road in Cardiff and the flair showcased in both of the opening fixtures it delivered high hopes of a fourth consecutive victory over Ireland. However after eighty minutes of rugby, those hopes were dashed, England were beaten and they were beaten well by an steely Irish side.
France have certainly got the makings of a very good team but there seems to be a malaise running through this squad and it would be a real shock to hear if the French players on the whole were completely on Saint-André's side.
Going to Pay to View does not deny people the opportunity to watch altogether, but the money that it brings, if well spent, can provide thousands with new opportunities to get involved: in this respect, it seems that pay to view broadcasting can be the egalitarian way, after all.
In the build up to this year's Six Nations Championship, the spotlight was on last Friday's opening game between England and Wales at the Millennium S...
Certain players while have a huge influence on their team in the next ten months and so over the next two weeks we'll be looking at couple of players from each team who could play an important part in the success or lack thereof of their nation in what will be a key Six Nations for all involved...
England under Stuart Lancaster seem to be building something special (though we've been saying that for over two years now) but they haven't got a Six Nations title or currently a consistent record against the Sanzar nations. Yet they have provided moments and performances that suggest they could challenge in the long run or if the stars align next year.
As I sat there watching the last few seconds tick ever closer to confirming England's place a-top of the Women's Rugby Union World, I asked, we aren't that bad at sport are we? ... we are actually in a golden period for British sport. If you go through the most popular sports in the UK, you will find we have world beaters everywhere, including football.
There are rarely any dull moments; huge collisions, eye-watering feat, fierce rivalries and deft skills means that if you switch off for a second during a match you'll miss something... Rugby is a physically dangerous sport, on a weekly and even daily basis players put their bodies and indeed lives on the line.