Football clubs are being encouraged to follow the example of Altrincham FC who sported the LGBT+ pride flag on their jersey for a competitive fixture to show their support for football’s fight against homophobia.
The club says this is a first of its kind, the clubs’ usual red and white stripes were replaced with the rainbow colours for a game against Bradford as part of the National League North league on Saturday.
‘Football v Homophobia’ logo was featured on the kit and the initiative has been gaining global praise.
“It’s fantastic for us and has had amazing support,” campaign director Lou Englefield told the Press Association. “You could not believe the debate and talk it’s caused across the world.
“Obviously it’s also been met with some homophobic and derogatory comments on social media over the last week too, but that happens when people stick their heads over the parapet and Altrincham have done that today.”
— Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) February 18, 2019
Englefield said that a number of non-league clubs have contacted the campaign about running similar initiatives, but she would like to see high-profile clubs taking part.
“It would be amazing to see one of the big clubs to follow Altrincham’s lead,” she said. “Let’s get that message out as far and as wide as possible.
“But to be fair the coverage Altrincham have had has reached Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America, it’s been amazing.”
Before the game kicked off, club chairman Bill Waterson told the club’s website: “We believe it will be the first time anywhere in the world that a senior football club has worn a kit solely modelled on the LGBT Pride Flag.
I’m in my element…football and rainbows 🌈
Huge kudos to @altrinchamfc for wearing these shirts today in support of Football vs Homophobia and the LGBT+ community.
We’ve gone behind the scenes with Football Focus…coming up shortly on BBC1… pic.twitter.com/KRmAGH7mJz
— Jo Currie (@JoCurrie) February 16, 2019
“And Altrincham will, therefore, be creating a small moment of football history.”
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