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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Athletes who have come out as LGBTQ in high school and college report widespread acceptance from teammates, according to a new study.

By the numbers: More than 95% of the athletes surveyed said their teammates' responses to them coming out were "neutral" to "perfect."

  • 4.6% of respondents said their experience was "bad" or worse. 24.8% said the response was "perfect or near perfect."
  • The study, conducted by Outsports, the University of Winchester and the Sports Equality Foundation, surveyed over 800 LGBTQ athletes in the U.S. and Canada about their experiences.

What they're saying: "This reflects years of research ... all showing athletes are more comfortable with gay teammates than most anyone thought possible," said Eric Anderson of the University of Winchester.

  • "The first time I ever admitted to someone I was gay was in front of all 130 of my fellow teammates," said one college football player. "[I]t was a spur of the moment decision. So glad I did it."
  • "My experience has overwhelmingly been that teammates are more open and supportive of their peers when coming out because of the shared bonds ... that sports offer them," said UCLA softball coach Kirk Walker, who is gay.

The big picture: This locker room acceptance reflects the publicly shared experiences of pro athletes like NFL player Carl Nassib, who came out and June and has barely been a story — another sign of progress.

  • 72% of Americans say homosexuality should be accepted in society, up from 49% in 2007, per the Pew Research Center.

Go deeper

Youth sports in Colorado reach inflection point amid COVID

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Youth sports have been upended amid the pandemic — but they're starting to make a comeback, particularly in places like Colorado, per a new Aspen Institute report first provided to Axios.

State of play: 23% of kids living in Western states, including Colorado, are more active than they were pre-pandemic, a higher rate than any other region in the U.S., according to the survey of youth sports parents.

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

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