Widening lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) representation in football
An individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity should never be a barrier to participating in, and enjoying, our national sport.
To that effect, The FA will:
- Identify boundaries within football that prevent LGBT people from engaging with the sport and ensure that every opportunity is given to enable members of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities to participate and progress within their chosen area of participation in football
- Combat all forms of homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic language and behaviour – whether by spectators, players, coaches or other participants.
The FA is uniquely placed to tackle unacceptable and discriminatory behaviour in football. Why? Because as the guardian of the game in this country, The FA will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the game exists for EVERYONE. To work towards a more LGBT inclusive game we will:
- promote a positive, inclusive image and reputation for the game, its participants and supporters
- work with LGBT community and football stakeholders to identify boundaries to LGBT participation and work collaboratively and collectively to address them preserve player and participant welfare
- support professional clubs and our County FA network in developing good practice around LGBT inclusion and engagement
- amend the Laws of the Game to outlaw homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic language and behaviour
- encourage and support current and future generations of participants from all communities to join the football family, whether as players, match officials, supporters, coaches or administrators/volunteers.
In February 2012 The FA launched Opening Doors & Joining In, a whole-game LGBT action plan to make football a safe environment where homophobia is unacceptable. You can download a summary of the action plan here.
18 months later, we've published a progress report, so you can find out what we've done and what we're doing next. Download a copy of "Opening Doors & Joining In: Where are we now?" here.
The FA has identified Football v Homophobia as its chosen campaign, partnering with the Justin Campaign to educate widely on homophobia. For more details on this campaign http://www.footballvhomophobia.com/
The FA Equality Team - Outsports.Com
The FA's Inclusion Education Advisor, Chris Gibbons, has recently featured in the high profile US sports magazine "Outsports.Com". The article highlights his work as part of The FA's Equality team to help educate players, coaches and staff on diversity issues including racism, sexism, and homophobia.
Chris explains "I'm really enjoying developing training and equality education that will be disseminated across English football," Gibbons said. "Trying to figure out how to do that is very exciting. There's a lot of cross-over with the training I developed around homophobia and education. There's a lot of myth-busting and assumptions we make about people. And frankly, the solutions aren't particularly complex."
"There's been a lack of understanding about homophobia and its impact on footballers and anyone who participates in any way in football," Gibbons said. "For years, the FA focused on racism in football, and that took many years. I think football has a way to go on homophobia. As the country's national sport, I think it can have the biggest impact because it reaches so many millions of people."
The FA's measures to address homophobia in football have included introducing immediate 5 match suspensions for on-field discriminatory incidents as well as mandatory education from the 2013-14 Season. Off-pitch incidents, such as offensive tweets, will also lead to mandatory training, a fine, and may also include match suspensions.
To learn more about Chris and the work of the Equality team in addressing homophobia in football, you can access the full article by please clicking here.
Other contacts include:
Kick It Out www.kickitout.org
The Justin Campaign www.thejustincampaign.com
Pride Sports http://www.pridesports.org.uk/#!Home/mainPage
Stonewall FC www.stonewallfc.com
Homophobia: Let's tackle it - preview pages of education pack
A Homophobia education pack produced by Show Racism the Red Card which aims to educate learners about the causes and consequences of Homophobia and encourage respect for the differences between people regardless of sexual orientation.
Homophobia: Let's tackle it - film interviews and trailers
A short educational film produced by Show Racism the Red Card, featuring celebrities and professional footballers discussing the issue of Homophobia in football.
Homophobia in football film
A short awareness film produced by Kick it Out educating on homophobic abuse at football.