September 14, 2011
You might know BEN COHEN (born 1978) best as a world-class rugby player. He is the 10th highest point scorer in English Rugby history. In 2003 he became a World Cup Winner and was honored with an MBE. But it is his work outside of his athleticism, and since his retirement that makes me take notice. Using his celebrity as a platform Cohen has put his energies into making sports more accessible to deaf children. (Cohen himself is clinically deaf.) But it is the issue of bullying that Cohen has taken on as his predominant cause. Forming the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, he has worked to bring awareness, and find a solution to the problem of bullying — with a specific spotlight on LGBT and homophobia issues. His mission statement: “I am passionate about standing up against bullying and homophobia in sports, and feel compelled to take action. It is time we stand up for what is right and support people who are being harmed. Every person on this planet has a right to be true to themselves, to love and be loved, and to be happy. I encourage others to stand up with me and make a difference.” Cohen’s athleticism and idealism are in his blood. His father, brother to world cup football player George Cohen, was killed in 2000 while attempting to protect an employee.
On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Margaret Sanger.
READ MORE about members of the Revivalist Generation (1974-82).