Justin Fashanu inaugurated into the Football Hall of Fame

Justin Fashanu in Norwich City colours

Today, on what would have been his 59th birthday, we joined with members of the wider footballing community at the National Football Museum to celebrate Justin Fashanu’s inauguration into the Football Hall of Fame.

During his career Justin very publicly came out as a gay man and to this day remains the only male player to have done so in English football before retirement.

He was also the first black player to be valued at over £1million and will always be remembered for his wonder goal of the season against Liverpool whilst playing for Norwich City in the 79/80 campaign. 

Fashanu’s Goal of the Season 79/80. Video; NCFC/YouTube

Tragically Justin’s life was cut short when he took his own life but today we remember his contribution to the English game and recognise him as an inspiration to LGBT+ participants in football and the wider sporting world.  

Rob Sanderson (Proud Canaries member & Pride in Football officer) said “it’s important to all of us within the LGBT+ movement in football to see Justin Fashanu quite rightly given a place in the Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to the game.

“Justin Fashanu was more than just the first out gay male footballer, but it is right that we remember he came out at a time that it was unheard of within football. As a result he suffered from homophobic abuse both on and off of the pitch, the lasting legacy of which is that we have yet to see another male footballer come out whilst still playing in the English game. 

“We work with strategic partners such as the FA, EPL & EFL as well as with clubs across the U.K. to make football a safe and welcoming space for LGBT+ fans and to eradicate both LGBT+phobia and all other forms of discrimination from the game that we all love.”

Rainbow Laces 2019

Today, 27th November 2019, is Rainbow Laces Day 2019. It comes during the annual campaign led by our fellow campaigners at Stonewall aimed at increasing LGBT+ visibility within the beautiful game and is supported by both the Premier League & the Football League. 

LGBT+ visibility within football here in the U.K. has never been higher, with over 40 dedicated supporter groups at club level and Three Lions Pride acting as pioneers on the international stage. Yet LGBT+ fans still face abuse in the stands and on social media, particularly at this time of year. With that in mind, when fans came together for #CallitOut19 we took a lighthearted look at some of the most common things we hear with a little help from our friends at Pride of Irons and West Ham United. 

Mean Tweets
LGBT+ football fans read ‘Mean Tweets’ at #CallitOut19

If you’d like to get involved in this year’s Rainbow Laces campaign then check out these resources from the FA, contact your club’s LGBT+ supporter group (have a look here to see if your club has a group) or reach out to us by email and check out our toolbox if your club doesn’t yet have an LGBT+ group. 

#CallitOut19

Last month fans from clubs and nations across Europe gathered at the London Stadium, home of West Ham United and Pride of Irons, for Pride in Football’s third annual symposium #CallItOut19.

Around 100 fans were in attendance, representing clubs the length of the UK, and nations including Ireland and Belgium. They came together to collaborate around the issues faced by LGBT+ football fans and to challenge negative attitudes whilst raising awareness of equality and inclusion within the game we all love. The keynote event of the weekend was a panel session which saw #CallItOut19 attendees joined by West Ham United’s Alisha Lehmann, Olympic boxing medalist and ally Anthony Ogogo, out gay wrestler Brad Slayer, actor Charlie Condou & Guardian journalist Nicky Bandini.

Pride of Irons co-chair Jim Dolan said: “Our relationship has been recognised as one of the best between an LGBT+ fan group and a club in football, which is why Pride in Football (PiF) asked West Ham to host #CallItOut19.

“The high-profile support given to various LGBT+ campaigns like Rainbow Laces and the Pride in London Parade by the club; the support of both senior staff and the players, and the appointment of out-gay staff to senior positions shows the club is driving awareness across football and beyond.”

I’m a bit overwhelmed…

Di Cunningham, out-going Chair of Pride in Football and organiser of Proud Canaries, said; “I’m a bit overwhelmed! One hundred people signed up for this (#CallItOut19); that’s LGBT fans, plus other stakeholders in football who are interested in LGBT inclusion.

“That is 100 people putting their heads together to solve some of the problems we still have. It isn’t all about celebrating how far we’ve come, we’ve still got to look at where we’ve got to go to. Events like today make me feel really, really good and hugely positive for the future.”

Steph Fuller, incoming PiF Chair and founder of Proud and Palace, said: “In a world of negative headlines it could be easy to believe that all is lost. However if you attended #CallItOut19 you cannot fail to have been caught up in this movement of positivity – real football fans representing clubs from across the UK and Europe, coming together to freely share knowledge and experience, with single aim of making football a truly inclusive place for LGBTQ people. 

LGBT+ football fans with Anthony Ogogo at #CallItOut19

“Pride in Football now has a membership of fifty supporters groups across the English & Scottish leagues, and we look forward to the continued growth of our membership and welcoming more groups from clubs that are unrepresented.”

Get involved…

You can get more information on events such as #CallItOut19 and about how to set up your own supporters group by viewing our toolbox or by emailing info@prideinfootball.co.uk.

Open Letter to UEFA

In conjunction with Three Lions Pride, we wrote an Open Letter to UEFA calling on them to demand action from the Polish FA. This was sent in light of the failure of the Polish FA to respond to recent displays of banners containing anti-LGBT and homophobic language at league clubs within Poland. You can see the text of the letter below.


This is an open letter to UEFA from Pride in Football (the UK alliance of
LGBT+ football supporters) and Three Lions Pride (the England Men's team LGBT+ fan group)
We are deeply concerned at the apparent lack of action from the Polish FA in response to recent anti-LGBT and homophobic fan banners at clubs in Poland.
LGBT+ fans (and all supporters including those from any minority community) should feel safe and welcome to watch their team wherever they are playing. UEFA's constitutional machinery champions such equality - and the criteria for eligibility to participate in its competitions specifies that member associations actively address any form of discrimination.
The absence of a visible response to displays of bigotry at its league clubs in the last few weeks is a clear breach of this requirement and we suggest that the Polish national team should forfeit the right to play Sunday's game in Warsaw unless there's an immediate and unqualified condemnation of the actions ahead of the game.
As fans we understand it would be devastating for both countries' supporters and players to be penalised for the behaviour of others, but it's well within the Polish FA's power to ensure urgent action is taken to redeem the situation and prevent such a sanction.
We're aware of the forthcoming #EqualGame conference at Wembley in April and note that commitments shared there may be deemed less than compelling if
UEFA haven't invoked suitable and timely reparation from a member association for these shameful incidents.

Rainbow Laces 2018


This year, 2018, will be remembered as a year which has seen the annual Rainbow Laces campaign benefit from added fan empowerment and involvement. This is something which is clearly demonstrated when considering the ease at which projects originating from LGBT+ Fans Groups have been able to gain mass media coverage. The change is a welcome one, and is one which has come about after we have seen a noticeable increase in the inclusion of LGBT+ groups by clubs when planning for events and engagement to take place around their designated Rainbow Laces 2018 fixtures, as well as seeing more of a focus being given to the campaign by match-day broadcasters.


Check out some more images from the Rainbow Laces 2018 campaign.


Want to get more involved?

Why not check out our Member Groups page? This is where you can find contact details for your team’s LGBT+ group, who can help you to get more involved in events at your club. Or you can head over to our Contact Us page. This is where you can find out how to get in touch with us here at Pride in Football directly.

#CALLITOUT 2018 Programme

Pride in Football go to Nottingham for #CALLITOUT2018!

#CALLITOUT2018, exploring fan-based responses to LGBT+phobia in Football

#CALLITOUT2018 logo
Saturday 9th June at #CALLITOUT2018

The Robin Hood Suite Nottingham Forest Football Club 
The City Ground Nottingham NG2 5FJ

9.30am Registration and Coffee, Juice and Pastries

10.00am Welcome and Introduction:Nicholas Randall, Chair Nottingham Forest FC, Di Cunningham, Chair Pride in Football

Journalist Nancy Frostick will be recording the event – please let her know if you don’t want to appear in photos.

Panels and Q&A will be chaired by Jon Holmes of Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Digital and by Helena Doughty, patron of LGBT Trickies.

10.15 Panel: What will it take for an elite gay male footballer to Come Out? Ryan Atkin (out gay ref), SiobhánPrior (England Basketball medallist, Forest fan and inclusion activist), Sam Feeney (Trans activist and counsellor, Proud Lilywhite/Amber & Proud) and Jehmeil Lemonius (Stonewall and Stonewall FC)

10.45 Panel: Are Media and Broadcasting standards on LGBT+ Inclusion adequate? Bob Ballard (Radio 5 Live, Talk Sport, Nancy Frostick(Freelance journalist), Kevin Beirne(Football London, JOE.co.uk, FT Mag)

11.15 Panel: LGBT+phobic international competition hosts; are they inevitable? How should we respond? Joe White (Campaigns Lead Pride in Football), Tim Purcell(MoT member and corporate social responsibility advisor, Simon Ware Chair Amnesty LGBTQ and Proud Tricky, Siobhán Prior(England Basketball medallist, Forest fan and inclusion activist)

12.00 Lunch/Stadium Tour

Please take a moment over lunch to complete this short survey of LGBT+ fan match experience  https://bit.ly/2Jb3CyC

1.15pm Workshops:

Preparing for an elite gay male player coming out. Lead by Gay Gooners Chair Dave Raval

Developing an LGBT+ fan group. Lead by Marching Out Together, LUFC LGBT+ fan group

Minimum Standards and Code of Conduct for Media and Press. Lead by Pride in Football Chair Di Cunningham

2.15pm Feedback from Workshops/plenary

3.00 Drinks available from the bar

3.15pm The Brighton Kop – short film doc with Director Ruben Armstrong and Brighton Kop founder Benny Punk Q&A and

4pm Close

Saturday Evening

Broadway Cinema 14 – 18 Broad Street Nottingham NG1 3AL

7.30 Mario; £5 for delegates

Sunday 10th June at #CALLITOUT2018

Notts County Football Club, Meadow Lane Stadium, Meadow Lane, Nottingham, NG2 3HJ

11.00 am Pride in Football member AGM, with Breakfast Roll and hot drink

NB! For those arriving early on Friday8th:

Nottingham City Council, Council House, Old Market Square, NG1 2DT

7pm Mayoral Drinks Reception

Broadway Cinema 14 – 18 Broad Street Nottingham NG1 3AL

9pm Just Charlie with intro by Sam Feeney

Drinks and food are available at Broadway Cinema and local eateries and bars

Show Some Respect

What do you say to a homophobe at a football match? Should you even say anything at all? Pride in Football’s #CALLITOUT campaign helps us to find the right words by asking them to ‘Show Some Respect’.


Pride in Football represents the UK’s LGBT+ Football fan groups and its #CALLITOUT campaign encourages all fans to challenge LGBT+phobia, but how exactly do you do that in a crowded football stadium? It’s simple really… the next time you hear anyone being LGBT+phobic, only if you feel safe to do so, then simply ask the abusive person to ‘Show Some Respect’.

By working together we can all help to make football a better place for everyone.


Check out our fabulous comic strip & animation from David Shenton below:

The Show Some Respect comic strip
The comic strip

The animation

 

Reporting Discrimination

Kick It Out has released figures to show there has been an increase of 59% on reports relating to discriminatory abuse. You can read our response here:

Pride in Footballs response to Kick it Outs mid season update on reports of discrimination in football

Click the link below to see the Sky Sports report:

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/11240384/football-fans-more-confident-in-reporting-abuse-say-lgbt-alliance-group 

 

 

Football’s Coming Out! LGBT+ England Fans out in numbers at Wembley

Wembley’s 81000 ticket holders along with a global TV audience for the recent England vs Germany friendly saw historic barriers bridged with the poignant marking of Armistice Day by both teams. Reinhard Grindel, president of the German Football Association welcomed the marking of remembrance as an example of the values cherished by football: respect, tolerance, and humanity.

At the same game in the stands, those same values were affirmed by an en masse attendance of 100 LGBT+ fans; members of the Pride in Football network of supporter groups, from Arsenal’s Gay Gooners to Wolverhampton’s Molineux Pride. The growth of the LGBT+ supporter movement in UK leagues has been remarkable – from just 4 groups 3 years ago there are now 35 with more in development. The groups are working with their clubs to help make grounds more welcoming and improve the match day experience for everyone. And via in-stadium banners and a presence on social media the groups have made visible a community not traditionally associated with the game. This in turn seems to be moderating behaviour on the terraces; reducing homophobia and encouraging fans to challenge unacceptable language.

The LGBT+ England fans group, with the support of the FA, have been attending games together for the last 18 months – for qualifiers and friendlies at the Stadium of Light, the Etihad and Wembley and have made sure to have meet-ups before and after the game and add to their gallery of group photos with their rainbow flags and banners. Sarah, a Gay Gooner said of the games:

“It was flipping brilliant to be in a situation that was so emphatically LGBTI-inclusive. To be able to support the national team while being openly and comfortably myself was incredibly special”

And Lee, who took his partner (with some trepidation) to an England game for the first time, also rated the experience:

“This could be the start of tackling the taboo of gay fans actually liking football for the game.”

There is a real appetite for travel to next summer’s World Cup to support England but the enthusiasm is tempered by awareness of the Russian Federation’s laws and attitudes: Joe White, Campaign Lead for Pride in Football says:

“There are a number of us who are keen to go to and support England at the World Cup in Russia, but we all appreciate the potential risks we would be taking in attending to watch the game we love”.

So travel must be on the understanding that football’s national and international governing bodies exact from the Russian authorities confirmation that venues and host cities will ensure that all fans are welcome regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

It will also be important for the group to display – at least for sharing on social media – their iconic rainbow coloured three lion crest. Di Cunningham Chair of Pride in Football

“We have a duty to our Russian counterparts be visible, inspite or perhaps because of the Russian Federation’s ‘Gay Propaganda Law’ that bars their attendance as an identifiable group at games in their country.”