Senni Salminen, triple jumper
“I want to participate in the “Don’t break the game” campaign because I am part of a minority myself, and this is a fantastic opportunity to speak out about human rights in sport. Like elsewhere in society, human rights in sport are often not realized. For example, discrimination and harassment take place in sport, and I’ve personally encountered ignorance and homophobic jokes.
There is a strong heterosexual assumption in the sporting world. Before I disclose my sexual orientation, I’m always asked whether I have a boyfriend. It probably stems from attitudes towards sexual minorities, a sense of disgust or fear, or perhaps it more widely reflects what we as a society consider to be normal. For a long time, I felt that I had to hide my sexual orientation. Unfortunately, it’s the case in sport that it’s difficult to be your true self.
I believe that coming out publicly about my girlfriend contributed significantly to my good performance in summer 2021. If an athlete is preoccupied with something serious, of course it can affect results.
Responsible bodies in sport should intervene in all kinds of discrimination more often. In my experience, it’s often the case that problematic situations are examined very superficially and then forgotten, with no deeper investigation. Raising human rights issues in sports should not be left down to the athletes alone.”