Football fans against homophobia
AFC Wimbledon has become the first British club to lend its support to the “Football Fans against Homophobia” campaign, which aims to take a clear stand against discrimination.
The gay rights movement has made considerable advances in Western society. In football, however, being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is still a taboo. Around the world, football is still a stronghold of masculinity, predominantly supported by and run by men, for many of whom being gay is viewed as a weakness. Gay supporters and, particularly, gay players rarely dare to come out of the closet.
AFC Wimbledon is an inclusive club where everyone is welcome, regardless of their background. Discrimination of any kind has no place on the terraces, on the pitch or in the dressing room. We are therefore lending our support to the campaign, and Saturday’s home match against Accrington Stanley is dedicated to the fight against homophobia. The club’s management and players urge supporters to help create a positive and inclusive atmosphere at The Cherry Red Records Stadium.
A “Football Fans Against Homophobia” banner will be displayed at the game, and during the pre-match warm-up, Wimbledon players will be wearing T-shirts in support of the campaign.
Founded in Berlin in 2011, “The Football Fans against Homophobia” campaign has gained increased support and a banner was created and displayed at more than 50 football clubs and football-related community projects across Germany. Since 2013, an English version of the banner has been travelling around Europe, and has been displayed in Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Norway and the Netherlands. Saturday’s match is the first time the banner will have been displayed at an English football club.
AFC Wimbledon is to support the campaign in conjunction with the FARE network, an umbrella organisation of football supporters, community groups, ethnic minority groups, clubs and NGOs, which are all committed to fighting discrimination and working towards social inclusion in football. The network is active in 44 countries and works on all levels of the game.