Doing their part to give homophobia in sports the boot, Premier League teams across the UK have emblazoned their Twitter profiles with rainbow colours. Players have also been spotted wearing rainbow coloured laces in a bid to makes sports more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT+ fans and sportspeople.
The LGBT+ rights group, Stonewall, launched the initiative last month and so far, many clubs in the Premier League have proven to be very supportive.
This is everyone's game
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 1, 2018
With the aim to “make sport everyone’s game,” both athletes and fans are encouraged to do what they can to be “active allies” for the LGBT+ community. To that end, clubs have been provided with resources on how to avoid homophobic language, hate speech and how to report instances of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 2, 2018
Stonewall spokeperson, Kirsty Clarke said: “It’s great to see UK sport banding together in the biggest ever show of support for LGBT people in sport. But it can’t just be the national bodies making this statement. We need every sports fan to do the same and commit to stand up as an ally to LGBT people in their sport and beyond.”
— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 30, 2018
Clark continued: “So many sports wanted to take part this year we had to extend the campaign from a week to three weeks and that just shows what an appetite there is for positive change across the sporting world.”
Proving that the initiative is still very much necessary, one need only look at the reactions on Twitter to the Premier League’s supportive posts. Comments underneath are overwhelmingly negative, showing pictures of people vomiting, accusing the League of having an agenda and basically calling LGBT+ people sick and their supporters deluded.
Great to see the homophobes out in force to prove why this campaign is needed. Football should be for all. Imagine being so insecure that you would have a problem with promoting that.
— London Falcons FC ⚽️ (@londonfalcons) December 1, 2018
The reactions caused the London Falcons club to post: “Great to see the homophobes out in force to prove why this campaign is needed”.
Closer to home, Irish artist Brian Teeling recently launched fan wear to combat homophobia on the terraces while at the same time raising funds for BeLonG To and the Bohemian Foundation.
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