Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wiltshire Group Launch Campaign Against Homophobia in Sport

Wiltshire and Swindon Men’s Sexual Health has dedicated their own poster campaign to LGBT History Month and the issue of homophobia in Sport, with “Show Homophobia the Red Card.”

This poster will be sent to all gyms, sports centres, and football clubs across Wiltshire and Swindon, to be seen by a wide audience, promoting discussion and hopefully opening a few people’s minds. The group will visit the football clubs during matches and hand out flyers, and have stands and displays where the public can engage with us. They aim to challenge pre-conceptions and help sports fans and participants see, there’s no place for prejudice in sport.

Men's Sexual Health has been working closely with the Trowbridge Tigers, Wiltshire's Gay Friendly football team, who recently took part in the Gay Games in Cologne, Germany, a personal highlight for the team.

When asked why they think there haven't been many public football players to have come out player Nick Pitcher says, "well when you look at what happened to Justin Fashanu, when he was disowned by members of his own family and being dropped into the reserves and all the adverse publicity, he went and committed suicide, so it doesn't set the stall up for other players to come out. And it's obvious that every football team, and every league, there are going to be gay players, but they can't come out because of the repercussions, which is a great shame."

And its for reasons like that, Men's Sexual Health believe this to be a very important campaign so that things start to change, so more players feel safe in the sport they enjoy.

Men's Sexual Health has also made links with The Justin Campaign, which was founded to demonstrate that ten years after Justin Fashanu's tragic suicide in 1998, homophobia is still hugely prevalent in the world of professional football. In 2010 they launched the first International Day Opposing Homophobia in Football and with the second date coming up very soon, Februrary 19th, we ask you to get in touch with your local team and see how you can work together to mark this day, or get in touch with the company to find out more about the work they do.

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