Dublin-based Bohemian FC is to become the first professional football team from the League of Ireland to march in Dublin Pride. This landmark moment comes as the club is aiming to become more inclusive and welcoming primarily for queer male footballers, as many still keep their sexualities hidden.
The move is just one of many initiatives that Bohs are taking to achieve this goal. To ring in Pride month, they unveiled a new rainbow mural in Phibsborough, where their home stadium Dalymount Park is located. They have also established a close relationship with LGBTQ+ charity ShoutOut, who are delivering workshops to all coaches in the clubs, and eventually all teams, to educate on queer issues and improve inclusivity.
The club also boasts the first LGBTQ+ supporters’ group on the island of Ireland, terrifically named GayBohs, which was formed in 2016. In addition, the Pride flag permanently flights high in their home ground for all to see.
We are proud to mark the beginning of #PrideMonth with this mural in Phibsborough. 🏳️🌈⚽️🏳️⚧️
We have a host of programmes, activities and initiatives throughout the month culminating in our inclusion in Dublin Pride on June 25th. #Pride #LoveYourselfToday
— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) June 1, 2022
Last month, Bohs’ COO Dan Lambert appeared on Newstalk to discuss the issue of LGBTQ+ participation in football, saying: “football is not an inclusive place – men’s football I should add.”
He continued: “I think it says that in men’s football there’s maybe a culture that is in ways unwelcoming to certain groups, but that can be changed and that can be tackled and it should be, but I think it starts with education.”
Josh Cavallo became the only active openly gay top-flight male player in the world in October 2021, but was followed this year by Blackpool’s Jake Daniels. The pair’s bravery inspired others within the sport and two Scottish referees, Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson came out at the start of June.
It is clear that the sport is thankfully changing, and although it has a long way to go, it’s moments like these that encourage progress. Catch Bohemian FC marching in Dublin Pride on June 25, and find out more about their LGBTQ+ supporters’ group GayBohs here.
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