The Embassy of the United States hosts Discussion on Diversity in Sports

Special guests Joanna Lohmann, Nadine Angerer and Marcus Urban talk about their experience as part of the LGBTQIA+ and athlete community

July 06th, 2022
Klara Granc, News from Berlin
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Moderated by journalist Ronny Blaschke, the athletes shared their stories and the barriers they face personally and professionally, commentated by field expert Christian Rudolph in the German context.

Taking place at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin in collaboration with the U.S. Consulates General in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Hamburg and Munich, on 6th July 2022 from 6PM to 7:30PM, the event was broadcasted on the Embassy’s Youtube channel. Joanna Lohmann and Nadine Angerer joined in over Zoom, reminiscing on their journey as activists to where they are today.

Lohmann (40), a formal professional football player, human rights activist, speaker and Sport Diplomat highlighted the highs and lows of the fight for equality between men and women in football. The United States of America recently became the first country where equal pay is provided to male and female football athletes, following the Equal Pay lawsuit this February. The cause lobbied for since 1985 in the States is contrasted by the recent abortion ban, says Lohmann, and is a setback to women nationwide. The author of Raising Tomorrow’s Champions expressed her desire of becoming a coach in the near future to support future generations, professionally and emotionally.

Nadine Angerer (43) shared her message that achieving equality starts with „sticking together”. The world-class player and longtime goalkeeper for the German national team quit in 2015 and has been working as a coach since. Germany is behind the U. S. in that sense, she states, and finds prejudice ridiculous, but is glad that discussion brought the presence of minorities to the forefront. Today, Angerer coaches in Portland.

Former East German national youth football, then second division club Rot-Waiß Erfurt player Marcus Urban (51), who today works as as a spokesperson and campaigner shared about diversity issues in sports and the workplace as a gay man. Sports can be a means of self-expression and discovery to a lot of teenagers, Urban explained, but if you have to suppress a part of yourself, it can become the greatest source of distress. Sure, there was a lot of growth in the past years, but in such a traditionally „macho” environment coming out still considered a barrier.


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