CWU members are today uniting with other equality campaigners at Bradford City Football Club to celebrate the club’s endorsement of the Sports Charter, which aims to “give homophobia the red card.”
This also coincides with the union’s own campaign focused on tackling homophobia in sport.
Long considered a bastion of anti-gay prejudice, football’s record in tackling homophobic discrimination is lamentably poor and campaigners are determined to change this.
CWU national equality officer Linda Roy said: “Back in March, the government launched a Sports Charter aimed at rooting out homophobia in sport, but, despite the Football Association being one of the Charter’s founding signatories, so far, the number of professional clubs who have signed up remains in single figures – that’s why its great that Bradford City are signing up on Saturday.
“Many CWU members are big football fans and, as an organisation committed to equality, we want homophobia to be shown the red card.”
Longstanding anti-homophobia activist Lindsey England, founder of the Just a ball game? campaign, said: “Just a Ball Game? is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with trade union members on Saturday 10th December for the CWU ‘Day of Action’ as part of our ongoing campaigning and activist workload in challenging homophobia in football.
“We are also extremely pleased that Bradford City have agreed to host this historic day when football fans will unite to raise awareness through the literature handed out addressing anti-gay abuse and LGBT issues which are part of the sport.
“We hope this will be seen as a good practice model for other football clubs and indeed other sports to follow who wish to engage in taking a zero-tolerance approach towards both homophobia and transphobia.”
To mark the occasion, there will be a formal signing of the Charter by a senior Bradford City representative in the centre circle of the Valley Parade pitch.
Outside the ground, campaigners will be leafleting fans arriving for the match, in which ‘The Bantams’ entertain Plymouth Argyle, who activists hope will also soon add their name to the fight for equality.
The CWU has been heavily involved in campaigns for equality and against discrimination in sport. The Sports Charter came about as a result of long-running campaigns by activists from the union and other organisations.