Scottish football clubs say no to homophobia

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Max Kelly
Sports Editor

29 Scottish Football clubs have now signed up to LGBT Sports Charter

All 12 of Scotland’s top-flight men’s football league clubs have now signed up to the LGBT Sports Charter in a move to improve inclusivity for LGBTQ+ supporters and players. These clubs include Glasgow sides Celtic, Rangers, and Partick Thistle.

A further 17 clubs from lower leagues have also signed up to the charter including Dundee United and amateur side Clydebank FC. This means that two-thirds of the professional men’s football clubs in Scotland have signed up for the charter.

The charter includes a set of five principles which aim to remove the barriers to sport for LGBT people. Furthermore, over 30 governing bodies of sport have signed up, including the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Rugby and Scottish Athletics.

Development Manager of the Equality Network, Scott Cuthbertson said, “With two thirds of SPFL clubs signed up to the LGBT Charter we’ve reached a milestone, but we’ve still a long way to go before we eliminate homophobia from the terraces.

“We’re looking forward to working with these clubs who today have made a commitment to LGBT supporters, officials and the next generation of LGBT players. Our door is always open to clubs who haven’t yet signed up and who want to make their club more inclusive.”

Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPFL has stated, “We are pleased to offer our support to the Equality Network’s Scottish LGBT Sports Charter by becoming a signatory.

“We have previously demonstrated our commitment to inclusivity and diversity in sport by backing Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign and now look forward to also working with the Equality Network on these matters. We would also encourage all of our member clubs who wish to sign up to take that opportunity.”

The signing of the charter by football clubs marks a significant move for the protection and inclusivity of LGBT+ supporters. Earlier this year, The Equality Network’s Scottish LGBTI Hate Crime Report reported that 15% of LGBTI people had experienced hate targeted at them while watching football and over 50 percent said they had witnessed it. A 2012 study by the Equality Network showed that 57% of LGBT people would be more likely to participate in sport if it was more LGBT friendly, and that football was the sport identified as having the biggest challenges to overcome, by some margin, in relation to LGBT inclusivity.