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Football Association Joins Charter to Stamp Out Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport

Football Association Joins Charter to Stamp Out Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport

In what many will consider a breakthrough move, the Football Association (FA) this week announced that it has signed on to a charter designed to give “a red card to homophobia and transphobia” in sport.

The charter calls on sports associations to do all they can to stamp out homophobia and transphobia, both in terms of institutionalized prejudices and discriminatory language or abuse used by spectators of the sports.

The FA joins the Lawn Tennis Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union, as well as the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in signing on to the Charter for Action.

From the FA’s website:

The Charter has four points:

[1.] We believe that everyone should be able to participate in and enjoy sport – whoever they are and whatever their background

[2.] We believe that sport is about fairness and equality, respect and dignity. Sport teaches individuals how to strive and succeed, how to cope with success and disappointment, and brings people together with a common goal

[3.] We are committed to making these values a reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.   We will work together, and individually, to rid sport of homophobia and transphobia

[4.] We will make sport a welcome place for everyone – for those participating in sport, those attending sporting events and for those working or volunteering in sports at any level.  We will work with all these groups to ensure they have a voice, and to challenge unacceptable behaviour.

[...]

Alex Horne, General Secretary of the Football Association, said: “The FA and its stakeholders have worked hard over the years in providing football for all and ensuring that football stadia are open to everyone and are both family and LGBT friendly.

“We’ve seen real progress over the last 20 years when it comes to tackling racism and that’s something football should be proud of. We remain committed to our long-term goal of removing all forms of discrimination, such as homophobia, out of the game.”

The Charter for Action is part of a British cross-government plan designed to aid LGBTs in all areas of life.

Britain’s Equalities Minister, Liberal Democrat Lynn Featherstone, commented on Charter for Action, saying:

“Sport is still seen by many as an institution where there are barriers we have yet to tear down, because there are so few openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people who feel comfortable on the field.

“Professional sports have the ability to change attitudes, on the field as well as in society. That is why it is important we break through this last remaining taboo and tackle it head on so that LGBT people feel welcome in all sports.

“The Liberal Democrats have long pledged to tackle prejudice everywhere and today’s launch of the Charter for Action is an important step in ensuring in sport, homophobic prejudices become a thing of the past.”

Earlier this month Swedish footballer Anton Hysen, the son of former Liverpool player Glenn Hysen, announced that he is gay, potentially making him the only openly gay footballer in Europe.

You can learn more about the Charter for Action and sport at the charter’s dedicated Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/lgbtsportcharter.

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Photo adapted under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to F650Biker.

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21 comments

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2:17PM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

No one deserve to be discriminated because of his/her sexual identity or sexual orientation.

7:10AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Hurray for Europe! US, let's join the "Old World"!

4:44AM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

Well done and great achievements!!!

11:42AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

Hope this one gets lots of publicity! It's about time.

2:16PM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Gosh homo's aren't what the right has tried to paint us. I'm gay, hold a life guarding certificate, hiking, camping, fishing, pretty good kayaker, avid water & snow skier, and a certified advanced scuba diver. I have not, nor will I ever fit into the box of the republican-'Christian' right

11:38AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

thank you

10:00AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

What a thought.....athletes are athletes and humans are humans, instead of called straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. Another area of discrimination....many professional athletes are overpaid and treated as royalty.

9:21AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Excellent and awesome! If only the sports associations in America - like the NFL - would do the same! Too many 'macho' men posturing and acting stupid on sports fields, showing their ignorant and ugly sides with 'fag' and 'queer' being the insult of choice. Women's sports have the same issues and problems, and it's ridiculous.

Hopefully, DADT will be officially over soon, and DOMA repealed, and then maybe these jocks can get over themselves and realize that being gay means nothing to how the game is played.

9:04AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

Sports is a way of relieving the stresses that result in war. Sports should be available to everyone. The question is simple: Do you want to play football against (fill in the group) now, or fight a war with them next year? By banning homophobia in sports, the people involved have a chance to battle without death and learn to communicate or at least leave each other alone.

8:44AM PDT on Mar 16, 2011

@Empress Ginger ~

I never use homophobia--in bad cases I use heterosexism--in the more virulent cases, like yours, I use heterosupremacism, which carries all the baggage that "supremacist" implies.

Will that work for you?

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