17 February 2020

Australian cricketer Megan Schutt slams James Pattinson and Marcus Stoinis over homophobic slurs and shares own abuse story

World No.1 T20 bowler and LGBTQ+ ambassador Megan Schutt has shared her disappointment at homophobic language used by Australian cricketers Marcus Stoinis and James Pattinson.

Both Stoinis and Pattinson were handed hefty fines after using homophobic slurs in Big Bash matches.

Pattinson was reported to have clashed with teammate Cameron Gannon, but exact details of the language used were not revealed.

Stoinis was given a $7,500 (£3,900) fine and issued a public apology after 'personal abuse' against Kane Richardson.

Marcus Stoinis in bat for the Melbourne Stars (PA Images)

Schutt, 27, who will be leading the attack as Australia bid to retain the Women's T20 title this month, has long been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and admits she is 'disappointed' that this behaviour is still prevalent.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, she said: “I think it’s important to talk about it. I wasn’t angry as much as I was disappointed, which is such a bad thing to say. 

"It’s disappointing that we still use that language, and I don’t believe that those boys actually are homophobic, I truly don’t.

“They wouldn’t be saying it with that intent, but they’re still using the wrong words. Why can’t you just call someone a di**head?”

The fast bowler also revealed she faced vilification over her sexuality when Australia were in the midst of the same-sex marriage vote in 2017.

Schutt burned flyers that she received through the letterbox and added that her partner, now wife Jess Holyoake, was scared to put the rainbow LGBTQ+ flag out over fears for their safety.

“I remember putting out a rainbow flag on our balcony and Jess didn’t want to have that up there at the time. She said, what if someone targets our house because of that?," she added.

“And I said, ‘We can’t hide, this is a time to show support for everyone else around us. No one who is trying to fight for same-sex marriage is having a good time right now so we need to stick together more than ever.”

Schutt also recalled some of the names she has been called because of her sexuality.

She said: "I had people who call you 'paedophile' or say 'you’re worse than an animal' and just things that are really extreme.

“And that was why I wanted to campaign, obviously for myself, but for everybody else in the sense that I just could not and still can’t really understand hatred."

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