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U.K. Takes Steps to Combat Homophobia

February 24, 2012

The U.K. has taken steps forward to combat homophobia in sport this week, with Prime Minister David Cameron meeting with football representatives and equality organizations Wednesday.

(Picture: PA)

(Picture: PA)

The meeting was held because of the recent series of racism accusations, but Cameron said the meeting was to “reaffirm our vigilance against racism – and all forms of discrimination.”

Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin Fashanu and who recently made a documentary video about homosexuality in football, was one of the participants at the meeting.  This past week the FA launched an action plan for tackling homophobia at a grassroots level, but Cameron also pushed for more work to be done in the top leagues.

“It’s obviously quite unlikely that there are no gay Premiership players, and that tells you something about the tolerance within the game,” said Steve Field, Cameron’s spokesman.  Sources: (Al Jazeera) (The Guardian) (Bloomberg Business Week)

Meanwhile, the FA have punished West Ham player Ravel Morrison for a homophobic remark he made on Twitter.  The player was fined £7000 and warned about any future misconduct after admitting to the charge of “using abusive and/or insulting words including a reference to a person’s sexual orientation.” (The Telegraph)

Finally in Scotland, a new initiative was launched Tuesday against homophobia in Scottish sport as part of Football vs Homophobia week. The initiative, Out for Sport, will be run by the Equality Network, a charity working for LGBT human rights in Scotland, with work also being done by LEAP Sports Scotland, a national organization established to support LGBT sporting groups.  Out for Sport will research homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport and use the results to produce a series of recommendations to the Scottish government and sports bodies.

Scott Cuthbertson, Community Development Coordinator for the Equality Network, said; For too long homophobia and transphobia has been allowed to plague Scottish sport, with prejudice and discrimination too often left unchallenged. This will be Scotland’s biggest research to date on homophobia and transphobia in sport.

With all eyes on Scottish sport in the lead up to the Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth games, now is the right time to ensure sport is fully inclusive to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.” (Gay Today)

Football v Homophobia

February 21, 2012

As many of you probably know, we a currently in Football v Homophobia week, which runs from February 18-26.  The main website for this event can be found here where you can find all kinds of information, a shop, and ideas for how to support the event.

In addition, they also have gotten many professional clubs to get involved with Football v Homophobia, with the official list of now being:

  • Arsenal
  • Aston Villa
  • Fulham
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle United
  • Norwich City
  • Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Derby County
  • Ipswich Town
  • Millwall
  • Huddersfield Town
  • MK Dons
  • Wycombe Wanderers
  • Exeter City
  • Gillingham
  • Port Vale
  • Hyde FC

They also have plenty of information for fans to use to help get their favorite club to support equality, which can be found here.

There are also many planned events for local football fans (all events are in England).

February 21
LGBT Panel Event at Nottingham Trent University
Hosted by Nottingham Ball Bois, this discussion event on Tuesday February 21st will see a number of highly-respected figures, including Nottingham Forest Chairman Frank Clark, Notts County defender Sam Sodje, and The Justin Campaign Director Megan Worthing-Davies all speak.
More info here.

February 24
The K College in Tonbridge will be holding the inaugural Justin Campaign Virtual League, to be played on Fifa 12 on the XBox.

February 25
Nottingham City Homes LGBT Employee Forum is hosting an event which will focus on the relationship between sport and the LGBT community. The event takes place at the Tenant Resource Centre, 14 Hounds Gate, Nottingham. (11am – 3pm)

February 26
Starting on the 26th of February, Liverpool Pride will be hosting three five-a-side tournaments for FvH. The other dates are 4th Mar and 25th Mar. More info here.

And We’re Back

February 21, 2012

Hello everyone! I hope you all have had a great start to the new year.

You have probably noticed our absence over the past few months and wondered when, or if, we would be back working. We had quite a few problems with the website because of our domain being purchased by a third party, but now we can finally announce that we are back! Our website address has changed to redcardhomophobia.net and we hope to be posting new articles shortly. 

In order to return fully though we need everyone’s support and energy to keep this project alive. Everyone working at Red Card Homophobia also has work, school, family, etc responsibilities that also require their attention, so it would be great if more of you could volunteer to help. 

You can do this by writing articles or finding articles from your local community and sending them to us. Please leave a comment if you are interested in writing and we will have our head of writers email you.   Other ways to help are simply spreading some RCH love on twitter, commenting on the posts we put up, and/or making graphics in support of kicking homophobia out of football.

Thank you all for your continued support of Red Card Homophobia.

Gay Football Clubs: Mersey Marauders

September 27, 2011

In the second article in our series on gay and gay friendly football clubs we focus on the Mersey Marauders based in Liverpool, England.  We got in touch with team chairperson Paul for this interview.

 Mersey Marauders 
Can you explain how and when the Mersey Marauders were formed? 

The foundation of a gay/bi friendly football team on Merseyside in 2005 was the idea of Steve Hess. Having previously played for London’s Stonewall FC, Steve used the GFSN as a vehicle to gauge interest in a team from the football Mecca of Liverpool. His initial premise was for ‘Fairies across the Mersey’ to gather together and join in the national 5-a-side tournaments, promoting health and fitness and providing a social group for gay and bisexual football supporters and players in and around the Liverpool area. (http://baroberts.bimserver2.com/mersey.html)

Has the team gained any local attention?
Yes, local Liverpool stations Radio City and BBC Radio Merseyside have interviewed team members.  The squad have played matches with teams from Merseyside Police, City Councillors, HMP Liverpool and teams from across the GFSN clubs of the UK and Ireland.
Where does the team practice and play games?
The team practices at Lifestyles Everton Park
Great Homer Street
Liverpool
L5 5PH
Matches are held at available pitches in Liverpool.
What kind of activities (if any) do you hold off the pitch?
Socials and fund raisers.  Get togethers to watch key matches.  Bed in at the Bluecoat (http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/blog/view/who-is-blogging/21)
What plans do you have for the team in the future?
 To join the GFSN League and take part in the GFSN cup competitions next year.  To play in Europe this year.
What has been your most memorable moment as part of the team?
 Winning the Yorkshire Tournament in March this year, coming top of 33 teams.
If one of our readers was interested in joining the team how could they go about that?
Contact us via email or facebook mmfootball@hotmail.co.uk or www.facebook.com/mersey.marauders


A Quick Anniversary Survey

September 23, 2011

Thank you for your time, if you have any other comments or suggestions leave them below.

 

Anniversary Celebration RCH Themed Dessert

September 22, 2011

Where there’s a celebration, there is food. For this occasion, we decided to bake special Red Card Homophobia brownies. Now, we must admit we used a recipe of Maria Elia for inspiration. Here  you can read how you make them and at the end you can see our humble result!

Read more…

Anniversary Slogan and Design Contest

September 21, 2011

After one year, the Red Card Homophobia website and our merchandise are in need of a new look! That is why we are holding two contests. The first contest is about thinking up a strong new slogan to use. And the second one is about creating a beautiful design to match that slogan.

We are giving you two weeks to come up with a brand new slogan for Red Card Homophobia. After that the best slogans will serve as an inspiration for a new design. All you designers will have one month to come up with something. And finally there will be voting on the best combination of slogan and design.

Of course there are very nice prizes involved.  The two winners will get to choose between either a tote bag or a T-shirt with their winning design printed on it! And they will get to see their slogan/design featured on the Red Card Homophobia website and in the online store.

The two weeks for the Slogan Contest start today! Good luck to everyone who participates.
Please send in your slogan(s) at redcardhomophobia@gmail.com with the subject “Slogan Contest”.

DC United Stand United In Their Support of LGBT Teens

September 20, 2011

Launched in September of 2010, the “It Gets Better” project aims to bring messages of support and hope to LGBT youth dealing with the struggles of bullying due to sexual orientation or suspected sexual orientation.  Largely online and taking advantage of social media, the “It Gets Better” project includes videos of personal stories and encouragement uploaded by gay and straight teens and adults, celebrities, business leaders, politicians and, increasingly, athletes.  Recently, following a petition signed by over 300 fans, DC United became the first Major League Soccer team to create a video where United players Josh Wolff and Clyde Simms urge teens to find people they trust to confide in, that they are not alone in their struggle, and that, each day, it gets better.

DC United’s involvement with the LGBT community goes further than the video, with the club hosting the upcoming United’s Night Out, a match against Chivas USA organized by the Federal Triangles Soccer Club, a lesbian/gay/bi soccer club in the DC area.  The match will be held Wednesday, September 21st at RFK stadium and tickets are $25.  Chivas USA has also been supportive of LGBT rights with players Justin Braun and Michael Lahoud being the first MLS players to participate in the NOH8 campaign as well as hosting an equality night in July.  By creating this video, DC United becomes the first non-Major League Baseball team to participate in the “It Gets Better” project.  Currently there are no openly gay athletes in any of the 5 biggest American sports and homophobia exists in football/soccer around the globe as we have consistently highlighted.  But professional teams raising awareness could help not only show young people that their sports idols are intolerant of discrimination but also to lessen the stigma of homosexuality in sports for a new generation.

-CLH

Ticket information can be found here.

Source: [Outsports]

Red Card Homophobia Celebrates its One Year Anniversary

September 19, 2011

As the first year of Red Card Homophobia comes to a close, we would like to take a look back at how the organization began, and the accomplishments that have been made over the past 365 days. We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our gracious thanks to everyone who played a role in keeping the RCH mission alive.
Red Card Homophobia began a year ago when a few football fans decided to come together to make a difference. They decided to put their words into actions and start an organization to spread the word about ending homophobia in the beautiful game. The accomplishments during our first year have been larger than what we initially expected.

We worked to spread the word through social networking sites. Our Twitter account has more than 1,000 followers. Professional footballers such as Glen Johnson and Charlie Adam have retweeted our message to give homophobia the red card.  Our Facebook page has been “liked” by nearly 2,000 people and growing.

In addition to social networking sites, our website www.RedCardHomophobia.com has accumulated 41,261 hits since going live. Thanks to our wonderful writers, 71 articles have been posted this past year.  A Red Card Homophobia online shop, where people can buy official merchandise with the RCH logo, was also put up. The shop is mainly for our followers, so they can show their support for RCH and spread our mission outside of the online world.

One of RCH’s biggest accomplishments this year was when one of the RCH moderators got in contact with the Dutch football club AFC Ajax to inform the players of our goal. With the permission of Ajax, five of their players agreed to have their picture taken with the RCH logo to show their support in ending homophobia in football.

Red Card Homophobia is a collaborative effort. We would like to sincerely thank the many amazing people who have contributed their precious time and energy to secure the growth of this humble organization. We would like to thank everyone who has worked with us this past year — whether you tweeted our #redcardhomophobia Twitter hashtag, wrote at least one article for the website, or just mentioned RCH to your friends. No contribution was and will ever be too large or too small. You are deeply appreciated.

And now, the second year begins. The RCH team will work harder to help the organization grow and accomplish our mission. With new ideas and your help, we hope this coming year will be brighter and better for Red Card Homophobia.

The road to end homophobia is a long and difficult path, but we are on our way. With your cooperation, we can make this world a more beautiful place to live in, not just for football players, but for everyone.

Adelaide United’s Levchenko supports coming out of gay players

September 15, 2011

Levchenko during training with Adelaide United. Photo credit: AdelaideNow

Newly signed Adelaide United player Evgeniy “Lev” Levchenko is never unassertive when it comes to his beliefs. After appearing on the cover of L’HOMO, Levchenko again showed his support for gay football players.

Speaking with AdelaideNow, the Ukranian midfielder shared his passion for cars, social networking, football, and gay rights.

“You know, for me, it’s just like living in prison,” said Levchenko about homosexual football players who choose not to come out. “There are gay football players, but they won’t come out because they’re scared. I know many of them don’t live a normal life and that is the issue. You don’t have to [come out] – but do it if you want to.”

Levchenko, who is heterosexual, became more vocal about his support in gay players when one of his friends decided to go public with his homosexuality. “I understood him. [I felt like] he was hiding his feelings and emotions all of his life,” he said. Levchenko shared that his football friend is now happier since his coming out.  The tragic death of Justin Fashanu, who also played for a football club in Adelaide, was another defining moment that led to Levchenko’s passionate advocacy for gay rights.

Source: [AdelaideNow]

Follow Evgeniy Levchenko (@elevchenko) on Twitter.

– N.E.