Football v Homophobia

February marks the Football v Homophobia month of action, which exists to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at all levels in football. This international initiative aims to make football a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ people, improve their representation and visibility, and to use use football in society as a tool to create positive change.

Recently, the Foundation have worked alongside Rainbow Blades to deliver LGBTQ+ workshops to students at Sheffield United Community College.

Ellie Wilson, Empower Coordinator said: “The workshops were really positive and received well by the students. Often the first thing to break down is people’s lack of confidence, not knowing what to say or feeling like they might offend somebody, and a lot of the students have been great in terms of helping start those conversations and feeling more confident in themselves. People don’t tend to understand the impact of their language, such as the words and phrases that they use, so by including that within the workshop, it was good to open people’s minds, offer alternatives, and teach them how to use pronouns for example. It was nice to see the students engaging within the session, putting in their rainbow laces and asking plenty of questions.”

James Laley, Founder & Chair of Rainbow Blades said: “It’s been great to come down and speak to the students about the importance of allyship. It’s fantastic to see the reception from them and how knowledgeable they are already on LGBTQ+ inclusion, how much they want to learn and be visible allies. It’s extremely heart-warming and bodes well for the future.”

Izzy, Community College student said:

“It was a really good session. There was a lot of good conversations in class afterwards. I think it’s just basic respect for people. By holding these sessions, it gets the word out and it makes people feel more confident and inclusive in football. It spreads a wide message and makes everybody feel included.”

Click here for more information about our Empower LGBT+ programme.