Liberal MP Don Foster Joins the Fight Against Homophobia
Don Foster, a Liberal Democrat MP known for his support of several charities and causes such as the elimination of child poverty, has now added another to his list: the fight against homophobia in sports. In an interview with the Gay Football Supporters Network, he revealed his enthusiastic support for anti-homophobia initiatives in football and welcomed the prospect of having a charity focused on fighting homophobia in sports.
Despite the prevalence of homophobia in the sporting world, Foster is optimistic about the impact of anti-homophobia campaigns and believes that there will one day be “an environment where players and fans will be able to express themselves without the fear of abuse or discrimination.” Foster recalls a match he attended where a fan yelled a racially abusive statement. He was immediately grabbed and pulled back to his seat by those around him. Heartened by such progress and hopeful for a day when football will one day be devoid of racism, Foster has the same hopes for the fight against homophobia.
In Foster’s opinion, groups like GFSN are central to the campaign. He emphasizes their significance, saying that they “have a vital role to play in challenging prejudices,” and the importance of their campaign to create awareness. “We need to see individual fans, supporters groups, sporting bodies and players speaking out against homophobia, and doing so across all sports – not just football,” he stated.
He encouraged GFSN to continue campaigning and educating people about the issues, in addition to pushing politicians and football authorities to speak out. He assured them they not only had his support, but also that, “The government is with you all of the way in making sure that homophobia is not a part of football culture.”
Foster stated there is no place for discrimination against “geography, gender, race or sexual orientation” in sports where “inclusiveness and a sense of community” is valued. “Sport should be a way of bringing people together, not a place for divisive, hurtful opinions.”
– Jane Chun